In partnership with communities across the state, AHEC has coordinated the award-winning Wisconsin Express program since the mid 1990s. This program gives health professions students a unique opportunity to become immersed in Wisconsin's diverse communities and cultures, while they explore health care delivery in medically underserved areas and learn from students in other disciplines.
The week-long program is held annually in mid-May at about a dozen regional sites, with an occasional special offering during Spring Break or Winter Break.
Mixed discipline student teams arrive on Sunday or Monday, and spend a week in their host communities. Activities vary, and typically include presentations from community residents, participation in community activities, visits to community agencies and resources, interactions with local health care professionals, and interactive learning exercises or group projects. The experience concludes either Thursday evening or Friday with a wrap-up, reflection and evaluation session. Past hosts have included rural, American Indian, Hmong, Somali, and multicultural urban communities.
After participating in the program, students have reported feeling better prepared to make decisions about their future careers and where they might like to practice their professions. In addition, they have enjoyed the chance to work with students from other disciplines and experience being a member of an interprofessional team.
Eligibility and Application Process:
All students enrolled in health professions programs throughout the state's public and private colleges and universities are welcome to apply. In past years students have come from physical therapy, medicine, pharmacy, nursing (all levels), nutritional science, social work, physician assistant programs and more. The application period begins in December and runs through February for the May programs. Earlier application cycles are in effect when the program is offered during Spring Break or Winter Break. The application includes submission of essays, but does not require transcripts or letters of reference.
Program Fee: $200 for the week per participant. There is no application fee.
Keri Robbins, Wisconsin Express statewide program coordinator
2016 Winter Break - Women's Health focus (January 11-15);
1 site offered
2016 Spring Break (March 20-25);
2 sites offered
2016 Summer program (May 15-20);
12 sites offered
Regional Program Sites: