March 24, 2017 | Erin Bluvas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Macie Smith, Program Development and Training Manager for the Arnold School’s Office for the Study of Aging (OSA), has been named the 2017 recipient of the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium’s (AHEC) Outstanding Educator Award. This honor is bestowed by AHEC’s Continuing Professional Development Council to recognize an exceptional educator who serves S.C. healthcare professionals.
Smith was selected due to her contributions to educating healthcare workers and family members who care for the state’s most vulnerable populations, particularly the older adult community in the areas of dementia and healthy aging. She first connected with AHEC in 2012 to form partnership between the organization and OSA to disseminate OSA’s Dementia Dialogues program. This program is a five-session training course designed to educate the community and individuals who care for persons who exhibit signs and symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. To date, more than 22,000 individuals have participated in Dementia Dialogues training.
Since teaming up with AHEC, Smith has bolstered the organization’s geriatric education programs by developing evidenced-based materials and providing frequent education programs. She has become a critical contributor to AHEC’s educational programming and demonstrates a unique ability to connect with training participants.
“Professional educators emphasize the correlation between enhanced learning outcomes and the ability to connect, to build relationships with students, patients, families and communities,” says Cheri Plyler, director for Mid-Carolina AHEC. “In exemplary fashion, Dr. Smith has the innate ability to engage learners in the topic and content at a personal level while instilling a desire to elevate their professional development with new information and skills!”
“Dr. Smith has a delightful personality; she is organized, professional and always timely,” adds Rebecca Jackson, continuing professional development coordinator for Mid-Carolina AHEC. “She receives exceptional feedback from participant evaluations.”
One such comment was made by a participant in Smith’s Annual Social Work Day course, where she educates participants on the field of social work: “Macie Smith is a refreshing, honest, dynamic trainer. Well done, indeed.”
Some of her courses provide much-needed support and information when taking care of family members. “I personally found this training very helpful with experiences I am having with my mother,” says a participant of Smith’s When Caring Becomes Chronic course.
Melanie Anderson, a former board member of Mid-Carolina AHEC aptly summarizes Smith’s abilities as an educator. “After being taught by Dr. Smith, I always feel motivated and confident to implement relevant content,” says Anderson. “She represents the impact educators can make when they are passionate about teaching.”
Smith is a Licensed Social Worker and Certified Social Work Case Manager with over 16 years of experience working with aging and other vulnerable populations in S.C. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C. She also earned a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.