Master of Family Therapy student selected as AHEC Scholar

Carson Outler

MACON – Mercer University School of Medicine first-year Master of Family Therapy (MFT) student Carson Outler was recently accepted to the Three Rivers Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholar Program.

“Carson is an exceptional student and is passionate about improving access to mental health services for marginalized and vulnerable populations in our community, especially for sexual minorities,” said Dr. Andrea S. Meyer Stinson, interim program director of Mercer’s MFT program. “We are very proud of her accomplishment and how she is representing both our program and the School of Medicine with this great achievement.”

The AHEC Scholar Program is a is a two-year multidisciplinary program that gives future health care providers a unique opportunity to experience training in a rural and underserved environment and work interprofessionally with students in their region. The program consists of both online and classroom instruction as well as hands-on clinical training. The curriculum highlights behavioral health integration, social determinants of health, cultural competency, and current/emerging health issues. Outler will also earn a stipend as an AHEC Scholar.

Outler was raised in Columbus, Georgia, and earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Mercer in 2019.

“The AHEC Scholars Program aligns perfectly with the mission of the Mercer Family Therapy Program,” said Outler. “To be chosen for this program is an honor, and I am eager to work with other health care professionals and cultivate skills to better serve the underserved populations of Middle Georgia in the future.”

Three Rivers Area Health Education Center is a community-driven, nonprofit organization. Since 1994, it has been assisting communities in building and sustaining the health care workforce to meet health care needs. 

About Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)

Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened a full four-year campus in Savannah in 2008 at Memorial University Medical Center. In 2012, the School began offering clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students in Columbus. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School’s primary teaching hospitals: Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master’s degrees in family therapy, preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. in rural health sciences.

Jennifer Nelson is the director of marketing and communications for Mercer University School of Medicine. She is responsible for the School’s communications strategy as well as managing all of its print and digital marketing needs, including the website, recruitment materials, and electronic newsletters.