Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC) – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

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For more information about this program please contact:

Sheronda Kimbrough
Director, Workforce Programs

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Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

AHEC, the Area Health Education Center, works to recruit, support, and maintain a diverse health care workforce.

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The Chicago Area Health Education Center is part of the National AHEC Organization (NAO) developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train, and retain a health professions workforce committed to under-served populations. Locally, within the Illinois AHEC Network, the Chicago AHEC program provides a link between needed health resources and local communities.
The goal of Chicago AHEC is to meet primary care and public health workforce needs in the Chicago area. Our activities include:
Health Careers Promotion

Our Speakers Bureau links professionals representing diverse health careers—from nursing and medicine, to public health and psychology—to career seekers to inform, motivate, and empower them to pursue attainable health career goals.

Through partnerships with Health & Medicine’s Chicago Schweitzer Fellows for Life program and other networks, Chicago AHEC provides professional mentorship to underrepresented students who are enrolled in health career programs across the Chicagoland area. In 2020, we provided health professionals as career speakers to 618 Chicago Public School students.

Are you interested in sharing your professional experience by being a member of our Speakers Bureau? We encourage health professionals of all levels to join! Click here to sign up.

Professional Education and Support

Chicago AHEC hosts interdisciplinary/inter-professional trainings to promote best practices in primary care, health promotion, and delivery reform. The intent is to include a wide range of health professions to support interdisciplinary sharing and learning. Past interdisciplinary trainings have included a Train-the-Trainer workshop on Veterans’ Behavioral and Mental Health services.

Community-Based Student Education

Our Speakers Bureau is available to speak to and mentor students in community-based settings about health disparities, health topics, health promotion, and service learning. Chicago AHEC also offers job shadowing experiences in community-based settings. Our community-based education focuses on promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, public health principles, and policy development around key health workforce challenges in collaboration with Heath & Medicines’ other program areas. Recent activates include a pilot program for 42 “opportunity youth” at three community sites, providing them with essential skills, health workforce exposure programming, job shadowing, HIPAA orientation, certification opportunities, as well as know your rights and records relief information.