Dr. Cindy Selleck says farewell, heads to UA Birmingham

She has spent that past 23 years at USF Health blending her passions for providing access to medically underserved populations and for teaching budding health professionals, all to the benefit of families along the entire west coast of Florida.

But now Cindy Selleck, ARNP, DSN, director USF Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program, is leaving USF Health to take a new position at her alma mater: the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she will be associate dean for Clinical Affairs and Partnerships in the School of Nursing.

Dr. Cindy Selleck

Dr. Selleck joined USF in 1987, teaching Family Health Nursing in the College of Nursing. She went on to chair the graduate concentration in Family Health Nursing as associate professor before being named in 1994 acting center director for the newly formed USF AHEC.

The goal of AHECs, which the Congress formed in 1972, is to forge partnerships between academic medical centers and their communities. One of Dr. Selleck’s first priorities when taking the post 16 years ago was to establish two regional AHEC centers (Gulfcoast North AHEC based in Land O’Lakes and Gulfcoast South AHEC based in Sarasota), expanding USF’s AHEC reach to a nine-county service area: Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Desoto, and Charlotte.

It can be estimated that, under Dr. Selleck’s leadership, USF AHEC secured more than $50 million in state and federal funding and more than 300,000 students, health professionals, youth and community members have benefited from the programs and services of the USF AHEC Program, said Anne Maynard, MPH, CHES, program director of USF AHEC.


Some of these highlights include:
• More than 10,000 health professions students (from USF, as well as from affiliated academic partners) were provided with educational opportunities, including rotations through rural health clinics.
• More than 93,000 students (K through 12, and undergraduate) heard about options for entering health professions through routine ACCESS Days held at USF, as well as off-site informational sessions.
• More than 160,000 people from throughout the state met with AHEC at community events, including health fairs, education classes and group sessions.
• More than 3,000 people participated in AHEC-sponsored tobacco education and cessation programs and/or were trained how to host such programs.
• More than 40,000 health professionals received continuing education through AHEC (such as programs on infectious disease, osteoporosis and domestic violence) and/or were preceptors for students.

“Cindy has always been committed to caring for the underserved, using primary care as her model,” said Laurie J. Woodard, MD, associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine.

“I would invite her to teach our medical students in physical diagnosis the fundamentals of women’s health care because she was able to clearly provide a balanced, informative and compassionate approach to the care of women. Cindy is so bright and articulate. She is someone who can take an idea and bring it to fruition making many friends along the way – a real ‘can-do person’. She has been able to bridge the world of the academic health center and our community with warmth and grace that has been unequalled. She is a very classy woman, an exceptional leader – a truly exceptional person.”

For Dr. Selleck, connecting educational with clinical service is almost genetic. Her father was a physician and her mom was a nurse; her sister is a nurse, and her brother is a veterinarian.  Her research has focused on alcohol and substance abuse (especially for pregnant women), family health issues such as teen pregnancy, health disparities, and medically underserved populations.

The USF Health community will honor Dr. Selleck at a reception Friday, Sept. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Children’s Medical Services Building.

Story by Sarah A. Worth, USF Health Office of Communications