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

Sara Wright-Pupo
Chicago AHEC Program Coordinator

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Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

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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.



  • Chicago AHEC Announces Sponsorship Opportunity for 2022 Black Men in White Coats Summit

    February 7, 2022

    Health & Medicine and the Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC) are pleased to announce that we are accepting sponsorships for our Black Men in White Coats Summit, to be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at Malcolm X College in Chicago. Established in 2013, the Black Men in White Coats campaign aims to increase […]

  • Save the Date: Black Men in White Coats Summit

    December 16, 2021

    On Saturday, June 4, 2022 the Chicago Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at Health & Medicine Policy Research Group will host its second Black Men in White Coats Youth Summit at Malcolm X College in Chicago. The summit will bring together 500 students, parents, educators, clinicians, and community leaders to inspire youth to consider careers […]

  • Students Prepare for Health Careers in Medically Underserved Communities

    August 13, 2021

    Students interested in health careers gathered with public health professionals on August 14-15, 2021 to learn, teach, network, and discuss best practices for improving health in and with marginalized communities across Illinois. Co-convened by three urban administrators of Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) — Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC) for Northeast Illinois AHEC, […]

  • Chicago AHEC Hosts Black Men in White Coats Screening for CPS Students & Teachers

    March 3, 2021

    On Friday, March 5th, the Chicago Area Health Education Center (Chicago AHEC) hosted a virtual screening of the Black Men in White Coats documentary for Chicago Public School (CPS) students and teachers with special guest Dr. LaMenta “Sweetie” Conway, CEO, I Am Abel Foundation. Black Men in White Coats (BMWC) is an organization created by […]

  • New Report: Addressing the Absence of African American Men in Chicago-Area Medical Schools

    July 30, 2019

    Developed in response to a grant from Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute, this report focuses on one specific health workforce challenge: the absence of African American men in medicine. As a health workforce policy and practice leader in Illinois, Health & Medicine recognizes that the workforce challenges we face locally and nationally are multifaceted. […]