Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) are part of a network of regional centers that are coordinated through a central program office. Each regional center is “locally grown” and is designed to assess and meet the needs of citizens in that specific region. There are over 235 AHECs in 49 states. The purpose of AHECs is to improve the quality of health care, especially primary and preventative care, by improving the distribution, diversity, and quality of the health-professions workforce. AHECs help fill the workforce needs in our underserved communities by recruiting students from those communities into health professions training programs close to home. Our Indiana AHEC Program Office is housed at the Indiana University School of Medicine because of federal funding requirements that AHECs be housed in a school of allopathic or osteopathic medicine. AHECs have been in existence nationally for over 30 years. There are 8 regional Area Health Education Centers in Indiana, with plans to continue expansion to 8 regional AHECs to ensure comprehensive and effective statewide support to medically underserved communities. AHEC has been in Indiana since 2001, with the Metropolitan Indianapolis–Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (MICI-AHEC) established in 2006.
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