History of AHECs: In 1971 Congress established the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program to build a healthcare workforce committed to serving medically disadvantaged populations. A national network was developed to improve the supply, distribution, diversity and quality of our workforce to increase access to health care in medically underserved areas.

Michigan AHEC Program: The Michigan AHEC program was established in 2010 by Wayne State University as a partnership between the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. Its purpose is to create five regional AHEC centers to cover the entire state to carry out the mission and three pillars of the AHEC program. The funders are Health Resources and Administrative Services, (HRSA), The Kresge Foundation and Wayne State University.

The three goals of the Michigan AHEC program are Diversity, Distribution and Practice Transformation. The goals are designed to:

  1. Increase the diversity and distribution of health professions students and practitioners through targeted training and partnerships in underserved and rural communities.
  2. Support practice transformation in primary care urban and rural underserved community practices through strategic partnerships with local, regional ans state agencies to improve patient health outcomes.
  3. Develop strategic and innovative program with statewide partners through collaborations focused on addressing health care disparities and access issues.

The Upper Peninsula Regional Center is committed to these goals and to working with community and regional organizations, partners, service agencies, health departments, the health profession colleges in the region, municipalities, local high schools and other groups interested in supporting workforce and health professions development.