Michigan AHEC Awarded $740,000 from HRSA, Announces New Co-Principal Investigator and Selects New Host Partner for its Southeast Regional Center

The Michigan Area Health Education Center (AHEC) was recently awarded $740,000 in grant funds from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The funds will be used to continue to strengthen its statewide network of 5 regional centers and provide an unprecedented number of health care career preparation initiatives, clinical experiences and continuing education programs for health care professionals in communities throughout the state.

Dr. Jinping Xu

It was also recently announced that Dr. Jinping Xu, Interim Chair of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, has been named as the new Co-Principal Investigator of Michigan AHEC. She is a full Professor and a practicing family medicine physician with many years of research funding. Dr. Xu is also the Director of MetroNet, a practice-based research network in southeast Michigan. “We welcome Dr. Xu to Michigan AHEC and look forward to working with her on setting priorities for the next phase of our HRSA Grant,” said Dr. Ramona Benkert, Co-Principal Investigator of Michigan AHEC and Associate Dean for Academic and Clinical Affairs and Professor, Wayne State University College of Nursing.

Dr. Ramona Benkert

“I am excited and honored to be the Co-PI of the Michigan AHEC grant and looking forward to working with Dr. Benkert and the entire AHEC team to make significant contributions to Michigan’s health workforce development and ultimately to improve health outcomes of all Michiganders,” said Dr. Xu. “I’m looking forward to meeting and collaborating with the programs of the five regional centers statewide including in Detroit, Mount Pleasant, Grand Rapids, Calumet and Houghton Lake. Each of these regional centers have a specific focus for their interprofessional health education programs, and have best practices to share.”

In addition to HRSA funding, Michigan AHEC also announced the recent selection of Health Centers Detroit Foundation, Inc. (HCD), as the host partner for its Southeast Regional Center. HCD is a non-profit, 501(c)3, three-site community health center organization founded in March of 2004 and was designated a Look-Alike in the Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alike program in October of 2005. HCD offers a full spectrum of primary care services to its patients, both directly and through strategic partnerships and serves about ten thousand unique patients a year.

Dr. Herbert C. Smitherman Jr.

Health Centers Detroit has a history an ongoing commitment to serving the health care needs of the underserved in the Detroit region. “We are very pleased with the opportunity to work with Michigan AHEC as a host site for its Southeast Regional Center,” said Dr. Herbert C. Smitherman Jr., President & CEO of Health Centers Detroit. “Both of our organizations share a common mission to foster partnerships with the local community to improve healthcare in underserved and urban areas.”

HRSA has awarded consecutive yearly grants to Michigan AHEC since 2010.Michigan AHEC is funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (Grant # U77HP26582) and Wayne State University. Michigan AHEC is also supported by the following host partners: Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center and MidMichigan Community Health Services.

Back to listing