AHEC Center Director Announces Retirement

After 32 years of service, Sally Lavery, M.Ed., CHES, AHEC Center Director for the Canton Regional Area Health Education Center (CRAHEC) is announcing her retirement effective August 31, 2021. The CRAHEC center is located on the Kent State University Stark campus.

First hired in 1989, Sally established a nursing advisory committee from nursing and staff development directors from rural and small hospitals in the CRAHEC 8-county region after an in-depth nursing needs assessment project. This committee went on to plan numerous continuing education programs held in locations in the rural communities. Original hospitals represented were Alliance Community Hospital, Peoples Hospital, Wooster Community Hospital, Lodi Community Hospital, and Joel Pomerene Memorial Hospital. The Office of Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology joined forces with our advisory committee to plan geriatric continuing education programs for rural health professionals.

In 1991, CRAHEC offered the first mini-grants to go to rural hospitals and organizations in the 8-county area through the Austin Baily Health and Wellness Foundation. Mini grants from CRAHEC to small rural hospitals and health departments have been the impetus for successful rural community health education programs. Even though these mini grants are not provided today, over the years they made an important impact in the rural communities.

In addition, Sally, along with other KSU faculty members, health departments, and a local physician established the "Primary Care Services Model for Migrant Workers: A Nurse Practitioner Utilization Project." This program addressed the healthcare needs of migrant workers in Hartville through the establishment of a nurse practitioner clinic at the Hartville Migrant Center. Today, the Stark County Health Department administers the program, and it has grown to involve so many more health professional student experiences and has provided even more health care for the migrant workers.

Finally, Sally has been instrumental in providing clinical education with the Living with Grief curriculum done each April at the Kent State Stark campus. The list of all Sally has done with her programming and expertise in the coordination of the CRAHEC AHEC Center will be sorely missed.

We wish Sally all the best as she spends more time with her family in this new chapter in her life! For more information on the AHEC program, please go to neomed.edu/ahec.

-Submitted by Patricia Thornborough

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