Five NC AHEC employees received 2018 John Payne Fellowships to further their professional interests and explore innovative educational efforts.

The fellowship is awarded annually to two or more non-medical AHEC faculty or staff to support continuing professional development relevant to the AHEC program. This year’s recipients are using the $2,500 stipends to keep pace with current standards and trends, to update their knowledge and skills, and to extend their knowledge into new and related fields.

Frank Castelblanco, MAHEC
Frank Castelblanco, MAHEC

Frank Castelblanco, DNP, RN, director of the Division of Regional Services at MAHEC, will use the fellowship to attend the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) 2019 Change Conference in Washington, D.C. “The conference is a professional development opportunity to learn about new approaches and models in health care to improve care and outcomes,” stated Frank, who has been with MAHEC since March of 2014.

Jessica Williams, SEAHEC
Jessica Williams, SEAHEC

Jessica Williams, BS, director of practice support services at South East AHEC, is also interested in improving patient care. This September, Jessica will attend the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient Center Medical Home Congress in San Diego, where she will learn more about best practices and network with other certified content experts from around the country. Jessica has been with AHEC for almost eight years. “It’s an honor to do the work we do. The ability to assist with practice transformation, working onsite with providers in our region is very rewarding,” she shared. “To witness improved quality outcomes, enhanced workflows, and optimization of systems within these practices—I know that patient outcomes are positively impacted.”

Carrie Jackman-Hoyle, Charlotte AHEC
Carrie Jackman-Hoyle, Charlotte AHEC

Carrie Jackman-Hoyle, MHA, director of continuing medical education at Charlotte AHEC, used the John Payne Fellowship to attend a critical workshop necessary for her surveyor training with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). “Becoming a surveyor is allowing me to expand on my opportunities to contribute to the ACCME community,” stated Carrie. “More importantly, I am passionate about deepening my present CME skillset. Obtaining a deeper comprehension of the ACCME criteria will give me the ability to be a stronger leader for my team.” Carrie said she has found her five years at AHEC to be challenging, intriguing, and thought-provoking. “It is a blessing to come to work every day, knowing that this stimulating line of work is going to improve the quality of life for patients across the nation and beyond.”

Lauren Honeycutt, Greensboro AHEC
Lauren Honeycutt, Greensboro AHEC

Lauren Honeycutt, MBA, CDP, education technology/dental coordinator at Greensboro AHEC, and Andy Cundiff, BA, project manager for immersive technologies at Charlotte AHEC, used their John Payne Fellowships to improve their technological expertise. Lauren traveled to Orlando, Florida, to attend the 2018 Learning Solutions Conference, which focused on developing online learning and new technologies to apply in the learning environment. “The conference allowed me to learn from other instructional designers and explore new methods of development,” shared Lauren. “I am excited to incorporate my new skills in our online courses.” Andy used the fellowship funds to attend two seminars on emerging immersive technologies: Virtual Reality in Health Care at Harvard Medical School in Boston and the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California. Andy is using what he learned to try to find better ways to incorporate augmented and virtual reality into continuing medical education.

Andrew Cundiff, Charlotte AHEC
Andrew Cundiff, Charlotte AHEC

In her 10 years at AHEC, Lauren has enjoyed using her talents in different ways. “That variety keeps me engaged with my work, but the mission is definitely what keeps me motivated. I love working with a group of people who genuinely care about others and actively try to enhance the community we live in.” Andy, who has been with AHEC for five years, enjoys the opportunities to work with new types of technology. “I really enjoy using technology for the greater good—rather than for shooting zombies in video games,” he laughed. “My position puts me on the leading edge of emerging technologies that help people learn, and maybe one day, will save people’s lives. That potential for huge impact is very satisfying.”

John Payne Fellowships are just as important for the AHEC Program as they are for AHEC employees. Since 1999, the NC AHEC Program Office has awarded funds to 46 non-medical faculty, helping everyone keep pace with current standards and cope positively with change while developing a greater understanding of the impact of AHEC’s mission. Fellowship recipients return to work and share what they have learned, often presenting their new knowledge at AHEC statewide conferences. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

About the John Payne Fellowship

The John Payne Fellowship honors the memory of John Payne and his nearly 25 years of contributions to the NC AHEC Program. The fellowship memorializes Payne’s leadership of AHEC and his lifelong commitment to community-based education, his love of travel, and his interest in exploring new ideas. Visit ncahec.net for more information about the John Payne Fellowship, including eligibility, application procedures, and former fellowship recipients.