West River Area Health Education Center

Monthly AHEC Scholar Profile - September 2022

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Meet one of our 2021 AHEC Scholars!  This month we are excited to feature Alina Hanak, a pyschiatric mental health nurse practioner (PMHNP) student at Maryville University.

Alina Hanak
Maryville University

My name is Alina Hanak.  I was born in Bucharest, Romania, and reading books was my childhood hobby.  I also loved to learn new languages and traveled to different countries every summer.  I became a teacher, teaching ESL for almost ten years.  While waiting in an airport between flights, I met my husband, who was returning from deployment.  A year later we got married, and this is how my American adventure began!  After moving to the U.S. and having our son, I was looking for something more meaningful to do.  I started attending nursing school and became a registered nurse. I always loved psych, so here I am now, a psychiatric nurse.  I worked inpatient psychiatry at Behavioral Health West until the end of July, when I took a break for my clinicals.  I am currently working on becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) through Maryville University.  I plan to return to my work when I finish my clinicals.  I miss my job, my patients, and feeling like I made a difference for someone. When I am not working, I like to hike, do yoga, read books, or spend time with my son.

"The AHEC Scholars program is a must for anybody considering a healthcare career, as it provides the tools for improvement and helping your community."

We are excited that Alina chose to be a part of AHEC Scholars! The AHEC Scholars program is designed for college-level health profession students interested in supplementing their education by gaining relevant knowledge and experiences in rural and underserved areas of SD. Program activities cover the following six Core Topics: Interprofessional Education, Behavioral Health Integration, Social Determinants of Health, Cultural Competency, Practice Transformation, and Current and Emerging Health Issues. Learn more about this free, professional development program at https://www.westriversdahec.org/higher-education-students/sd-ahec-scholars/

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