McLeod Health, Pee Dee AHEC & Florence 1 Schools Launch Biomedical Innovations Program


Pictured with the West Florence Biomedical Innovations Health Science students are Will McLeod, Senior Vice President and Administrator of McLeod Regional Medical Center; Dr. Richard O’Malley, Florence 1 Schools Superintendent; Gail Weaver, Director of Pee Dee AHEC; Nichole Scipio, Florence 1 Schools Project Lead the Way Instructor; Matthew Peake, McLeod Health AHEC Health Careers Program Coordinator; Christ Rogers, Florence 1 Schools Director of STEM Education; and Matthew Dowdell, Principal of West Florence High School.

On Friday, April 23, 2021, West Florence High School’s Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Health Science students shared findings from their first research project, “Emergency Medicine and Medical Issues of Today” at the McLeod Medical Plaza.

This event highlighted a new branch of partnership between McLeod Health, Pee Dee AHEC, Florence 1 Schools, and West Florence’s PLTW Biomedical Innovations Health Science Program. Future research projects in combination with education at McLeod Health will explore Public Health, Epidemiology, Human Physiology, and Microbiology.

Working closely with the students on this project were Nichole Scipio, the Project Lead the Way instructor at West Florence, and Matthew Peake, the Health Careers Program Coordinator for Pee Dee AHEC.

The mission of Pee Dee AHEC is to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare for communities in the region through a system of community academic partnerships. Pee Dee AHEC offers a variety of activities for students in middle school, high school and college who may be interested in pursuing a career in health professions. Their goal is to connect students and professionals with the tools, training and resources necessary to provide quality healthcare with a focus on primary care for rural and underserved communities. Staff with McLeod Regional Medical Center support the Pee Dee AHEC Health Careers Program throughout the school year and summer months by speaking to classes, mentoring and hosting observational students, as well as teaching about the different career options available in healthcare.