West River Area Health Education Center

Monthly AHEC Scholar Profile - September 2023

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Meet one of our 2022 AHEC Scholars!  This month we are excited to feature Debbie Theisinger, a BSN student at SDSU in Rapid City.


                                                                                                             Debbie Theisinger, SDSU BSN student

Having just moved to SD in 2021, I had not an inkling of what to expect as a born and raised city dweller. I started attending SDSU (College of Nursing), still with belongings to unpack. Very quickly I started to learn to appreciate and adapt to the dynamics and culture around rural living. It was Stephanie Mayfield that had swooped in and offered me an opportunity to be a West River AHEC Scholar.  I cannot stress enough how much this program will provide for you, especially for someone like me who is new to the area.  After having been accepted into the program, I hit the ground running. I've been able to spread out from the Rapid City area and have a sense of how to approach the unique diversity and history of the state. With AHEC, local clinics, interprofessional practitioners, community organizations, outreach programs will be at your fingertips. As you grow in your education/career, the experiences and networking you will be doing through AHEC will only enhance your local visibility which will prepare you for frontline work as future health care providers. The communities out here are so vast, and some very much underserved; this is where AHEC Scholars will stand and serve to make a difference.

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