Eastern Shore E.P.O.P.S. Program

The E.P.O.P.S. program is a hands-on workshop utilizing props, individual and group activities, and discussions to promote understanding, empathy, and sensitivity to the sensory losses of the elderly. Over the past 17 years, this program has offered more than 90 sessions with 1,869 participants trained. For more information or to book an E.P.O.P.S training session please email Lisa Widmaier at

Diabetes Prevention Program CDC Collaborative

The National Diabetes Prevention Program—or National DPP—was created in 2010 to address the increasing burden of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in the United States. This national effort created partnerships between public and private organizations to offer evidence-based, cost-effective interventions that help prevent type 2 diabetes in communities across the United States.

One key feature of the National DPP is the CDC-recognized lifestyle change program, a research-based program focusing on healthy eating and physical activity which showed that people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle change program can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people over 60 years old).

For more information, view the National DPP Infographic pdf
The Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center offers online diabetes education and patient referrals through the DPP program. Our staff wants to talk to you about the diabetes prevention program. Complete this short interest form and we’ll be back in touch within 2-3 business days to see if the program is a good fit for you.

REACH Program

The REACH program will:

  • Reduce disparities
  • Educate minorities
  • And encourage individuals to take charge of their health through
  • Community collaboration and
  • Healthy living

This initiative uses the Community Health Worker (CHW) model to deliver screenings and education to the target population to eliminate health inequities, improve health outcomes and close disparity gaps so that every resident has the tools and power to achieve optimal health. Complete our partnership form to learn more about collaboration opportunities with the REACH Program.

Preceptorship Rotation Engagement Program

Through our Preceptorship Rotation Engagement Program we continue to coordinate arrangements for clinical rotations for Introduction to Clinical Medicine 4th year students (ICM IV) and Primary Care Track (PCT) based on student(s) assignments, preceptor availability and housing needs.

Health care workers often return to practice where they trained, and students learn from experience that it’s rewarding to work in underserved areas. That’s why AHEC connects young people, students and practicing professionals to training opportunities with minority and disadvantaged populations, in rural areas such as the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Through the Preceptorship Rotation Engagement Program (PREP), ESAHEC connects students to professionals making a difference in public health.

Partnering with medical and other health professions schools, we connect students with dedicated preceptors for a 4-week rural medicine experience. Allowing health professionals to share their knowledge and experience in the context of their day-to-day practice.

For more information, visit our Preceptor page.

Interested in Becoming a Preceptor? Contact:
Kimberly Finch
Geriatrics and Clinical Education Manager

AHEC Scholars Program

AHEC Scholars is an interprofessional program geared towards health and social service profession students. Students are exposed to interdisciplinary didactic and community-based clinical or experiential training in rural and/or underserved areas. Each AHEC is requested to have a minimum of 15 students enrolled. ESAHEC facilitates or supports IPE opportunities for scholars.

Senior Support Program

All conferences/events/training are focused on providing knowledge to health profession and social service students, health, and social service professionals as well as caregivers.

Dementia Live training was added this year to the program through a grant from the Department of Aging. ESAHEC’s goal is to offer Dementia Live training several times a year.

GGEAR is a state-funded program developed in 1987 to support interprofessional educational and research activities in the field of geriatrics and gerontology that are designed to bolster the well-being of older adults and improve quality of later life. ESAHEC serves as a partner on the project and supports the programs mission, vision and progress in the following ways.


The Geriatrics & Gerontology Education and Research Program is a University of Maryland, Baltimore-based program that facilitates interprofessional education and interdisciplinary research activities in the field of aging in partnership with campus affiliates and agencies and organizations serving Maryland’s older adults and their caregivers.


Optimize care provided to older adults to promote quality of life through education, research, and training.



Geriatrics and gerontology are specialties with an inherent relationship—a focus on older adults and the aging process with the goal of maximizing functioning to achieve a high quality of life. GGEAR-supported activities and initiatives embrace the perspectives of these fields as we work collaboratively with partners on and off campus to cultivate educational and research activities.

In cooperation with the Maryland Area Health Education Centers (MAHECs) and the Johns Hopkins Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), GGEAR provides professional education conferences that are geographically and financially accessible to professionals and paraprofessionals in the senior service and care industry, as well as older adults and their families.

In partnership with the Maryland Agencies on Aging and organizations such as the Maryland chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Beacon Institute, GGEAR co-hosts a variety of conferences for professionals, paraprofessionals, and the lay community, including the annual Family Caregiver Conference in Southern Maryland (since 1992) and annual conferences for nursing Assistants in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

GGEAR sponsors the Geriatric Assessment Interdisciplinary Team (GAIT) Project in partnership with the MAHECs, GAIT brings together health professional, social work, and law students from all University System of Maryland (USM) campuses for didactic and clinical sessions at geriatric sites located in medically underserved communities across the state, including medical & rehabilitative hospitals, independent living & long-term care communities, and hospice & palliative care settings.

In partnership with the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center (ESAHEC), GGEAR sponsors an annual Assessment Tool Workshop for students at Salisbury University and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore majoring in Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Dietary/Nutrition and Social Work. This half-day interdisciplinary training program supports the development of clinical skills relevant to the care of older adults and emphasizes the importance of a team approach in geriatric health care planning and delivery.

CHW Network

Our Community Health Worker Training program is offered online in a virtual classroom setting. Students who successfully complete the program learn the required skills needed to be successful in the health care field. Becoming a CHW allows you to be an advocate for patients while giving back to your community. Our current program is offered twice a year in the spring and fall. Apply today for our spring cohort

The Maryland AHEC (MAHEC) CHW curriculum provides a 140-hour (100 hours classroom/40 hours practicum), competency-based training that covers the 9 Maryland Department of Health core competencies:

  • Advocacy and community capacity building skills
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Cultural competency
  • Understanding of ethics and confidentiality issues
  • Knowledge of local resources and system navigation
  • Care coordination support skills
  • Teaching skills to promote health behavior change
  • Outreach methods and strategies
  • Understanding of public health concepts and health literacy

Although unified under the MAHEC Program name, the CHW training is scheduled and delivered by each of the three regional MAHECs – ESAHEC, AHEC West and Central Maryland AHEC.


  • Specialized training (i. e. diabetes, HIV, sickle cell etc.)
  • Small classroom setting
  • Join a network of professionals engaged in health care
  • In person CPR BLS Certification offered for local students
  • Certified CHW program in the state of Maryland

Since 2013, MAHEC centers have trained over 400 CHWs who are employed in health departments, hospitals, community-based agencies, AHECs, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and many others. Our talented instructors represent an array of experiences in education, healthcare, and human services. The MAHEC CHW Training Program offers competitive pricing for groups and individuals.

Payment plans and scholarships available.

EARN Workforce Development Program

EARN Maryland is a state-funded, competitive workforce development grant program that is industry-led, regional in focus, and proven to help businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete.

EARN Maryland is flexible and innovative, designed to ensure that Maryland employers have the talent they need to compete and grow in an ever-changing 21st century economy. The program aims to:

  • Address the demands of businesses by focusing intensively on the workforce needs of a specific industry sector over a sustained period.
  • Address the needs of workers by creating formal career paths to good jobs, reducing barriers to employment, and sustaining or growing middle class jobs.
  • Encourage mobility for Maryland’s most hard-to-serve jobseekers through job readiness training which may include GED® preparation, occupational skills development, literacy advancement, and transportation and childcare components.

How Does EARN Maryland Work?

EARN Maryland invests in strategic industry partnerships from key economic sectors in every region. These partnerships will use the power of coordination across education, workforce, and economic development initiatives to address the multiple needs of companies, starting with the training of skilled workers. Once formed, the partnerships will develop plans to train and educate workers – and place them in meaningful employment.

Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center (ESAHEC) collaborates with the three local colleges on the Eastern Shore – Cecil, Chesapeake, and Wor-Wic – for the EARN Ready to Care partnership. This partnership is responsible for training and placing Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) throughout the Eastern Shore.

Funder: Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

  • On July 1, 2022, ESAHEC will enter its fifth round of funding from EARN.
  • Each funding period lasts two (2) years
  • To date, the partnership, led by ESAHEC has trained and placed 144 CNAs.

DDA Oral Health Training

The DDA Oral Health Training Program is designed to provide trainings and CEUs for oral health professionals interested in continuing education opportunities.

This program offers oral health training on the unique dental considerations for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The program is offered via live webinar format where healthcare professionals will receive 2 CEU’s.

Teen HPV and Vaping Prevention Program

The Smile of a Lifetime Starts Now: The goal of this program is to address the national vaping and HPV epidemics amongst America’s youth by providing oral health education and resources for students, which will encourage them to be proactive in their own health and making positive lifestyle choices that have significant impacts both now and in the future. Through a guided discussion, we will help teens to identify and understand the risks associated with these behaviors and discuss positive ways to avoid peer pressure.

Success Highlights: This program partnered with Caroline County Public Schools in 2019 and has provided oral health education to approximately 2,000 middle school students since then.