Happy 10th Anniversary Michigan AHEC!
The Michigan Area Health Education Center, a program of Wayne State University that seeks to increase access to quality primary health care providers in underserved communities, marked its 10th anniversary recently. In 2010, Michigan AHEC was funded through a grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Since that time, Michigan AHEC has worked to reduce disparities throughout the state by increasing access to health professional training programs, coalition building and strengthening health professions education pipeline and clinical education programs. Thanks to the efforts of Michigan AHEC and its host partners, we can report many accomplishments across the state since its founding, such as the establishment of five regional centers in Detroit, Mount Pleasant, Grand Rapids, Calumet and Houghton Lake. Other accomplishments include:
- Michigan AHEC was formed as a collaborative interdisciplinary effort between the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Wayne State University College of Nursing. It is administered by Co-Prinicpal Investigators Dr. Tsveti Markova, Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine and Dr. Ramona Benkert, Interim Dean and Professor, Wayne State University College of Nursing. It is the only AHEC in the country that is jointly administered by a School of Medicine and a College of Nursing.
- Michigan AHEC completed the full implementation of the AHEC Database Management System (ADMS) in 2015. ADMS maximizes cloud technology to support the data management and HRSA reporting needs for the Michigan AHEC Program Office and Regional Centers;
- Over 33,000 teens and young adults have participated in programming that exposes them to health care careers through enrichment, outreach and informational activities;
- Michigan AHEC has helped over 3,300 health care professional students perform primary care clinical rotations in rural and underserved communities;
- More than 7,400 health professionals have participated in continuing educational programs to help meet the needs of practicing clinicians in underserved areas throughout the state of Michigan;
- In 2019, Michigan AHEC was awarded a one-year $230,000 grant from HRSA that was used for workforce training activities to support opioid use disorder diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The funds were divided among Michigan AHEC's five regional centers for activities that help address unique aspects of the Opioid crisis in their region.
- In June 2020, Michigan AHEC received over $95,000 in CARES Act funding from HRSA. The funds are being used to enhance the infrastructure of three Federally Qualified Health Care Centers in Michigan and an academic training program on best practices to prevent, prepare and respond in the delivery of telehealth services to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- The Michigan AHEC Scholars Program recently launched its third cohort. Since 2018, 82 health professions students from across the state of Michigan have participated in the program. The Michigan AHEC Scholars Program is designed for health professions students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in supplementing their education by gaining additional knowledge and experience in rural or urban underserved communities.
- Since Michigan AHEC was founded in 2010, it has received over $1 million in funding from the State of Michigan. The funds helped launch the MIDOCs program, Autism Spectrum Disorder training, curriculum assessment initiatives and data collection on health care providers participating in the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program (MSLRP). Michigan AHEC also received over $750,000 from the Kresge Foundation and nearly $9 million from HRSA.
Over the past 10 years, Michigan AHEC has addressed the health disparities of rural and underserved communities by working to educate and enhance the well-being of the communities we serve. This history of providing education to students and health professionals, training community health professionals, and encouraging youth to enter healthcare professions, will serve to inspire Michigan AHEC's future endeavors. We are proud of what Michigan AHEC has accomplished and look forward to a bright future ahead.