Morehouse School of Medicine Partners with Hancock County Schools to Expand Health Equity and Rural Opportunities Project

MSM students to lead virtual anatomy classes for high school students in rural Hancock County, Georgia.

Anatomy Student

ATLANTA, GA – MARCH 7, 2024  Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the Hancock County School District are partnering to bring the Health Equity and Rural Opportunities (HERO) Project to students at Hancock Central High School. Beginning this week, several dozen Hancock County students are expected to take part in the program during the remainder of the spring semester. The high schoolers will receive anatomy lab training from Morehouse School of Medicine students in a virtual format. Hancock Central High School is located in Sparta, Georgia, about 100 miles southeast of the MSM campus in Atlanta's West End neighborhood.

“As the Program Director for HERO, I am deeply inspired by the collaboration. This partnership embodies the shared dedication of Morehouse School of Medicine and the Hancock County School District towards fostering health equity and justice. By leveraging digital learning and the school’s pipeline health sciences education programs, we are not only advancing our commitment but also setting a foundation for sustainable change," stated Jinjie Zheng, PhD, MS, MA, MSM Assistant Dean for Digital Technologies.

With the mission of “Bridging the gap of health equity in rural communities through digital resources,” the HERO Project is part of MSM’s Office of Digital Learning, in collaboration with Health Careers Opportunity Program Academy, the Innovation Lab, the Health Equity for All Lives (H.E.A.L) clinic, and the Family Medicine Telemedicine Program. The project aims to build health technology capacity and improve access to health care and education in rural counties in Georgia. It is funded by a grant from the US Department of Agriculture through its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program.

“The Hancock County School District is excited to establish this partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine,” said Dr. Alma D. Harper, Superintendent of the Hancock County School District. “This opportunity will enable our students to experience anatomy labs in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be available to them if not for this partnership. Several of our students are interested in medical careers, and to have the chance to be taught by faculty and students from Morehouse School of Medicine is truly an honor.”

MSM is also working with rural school districts and communities in Early County, Randolph County, Stewart County, and Clay County, Georgia, to enable students in those areas to receive an enriched anatomy lab experience and community health worker experience through the HERO Project.

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About Morehouse School of Medicine

Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation’s number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission — the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master’s degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit or call 404-752-1500.


Jamille Bradfield
Director, External Communications, Media Relations & Crisis Communications
Morehouse School of Medicine