Completing a regional survey and creating an advisory board are the future initiatives for the Mid-Michigan Area Health Education Center at Central Michigan University.
Executive Director Lisa Hadden leads the program, which was created in 2010 by a federal grant to recruit and train a health care workforce in Michigan.
“We believe this program is much-needed, as Michigan is suffering from a shortage of professionals in almost all fields in health care,” Hadden said via email. “We really enjoy our work and believe that our contributions over time will bring something to the table.”
The AHEC is a non-profit corporation housed in the College of Medicine at CMU built on three pillars: recruitment, placement and retention.
Hadden said the corporation has plans to complete a regional survey to assess the needs and assets that support or create barriers to access to primary care.
A regional advisory board encompassing 19 local counties is also on the agenda to assist in following through on the goals of the Mid-Michigan AHEC.
“We will also be meeting with the Michigan Works! Program to assess their training programs in health professions and gain an understanding of the type of credentials needed for various positions in health care,” Hadden said.
Since her resignation as president of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce on July 12, Hadden said she has focused on the foundational work to get the AHEC corporation up and running.
“This took several months of hiring and training staff, establishing a board of directors, developing a budget, updating bylaws and working with many departments of the university to finalize our service agreements,” she said.
The AHEC hosted a simulcast, a simultaneous transmission of the same program, in the Health Professions auditorium on Jan. 25 for CMED and College of Health Professions faculty.
At the live event at Saginaw Valley State University, two nationally renowned speakers focused on enhancing the quality, effectiveness and accountability of care across the continuum.
Another current initiative involves working with the AHEC office at Wayne State University to provide after-school tutoring in math and science and summer camp opportunities for five local high schools.
Dentistry and veterans programs are also current priorities for the Mid-Michigan AHEC.
While the initial five months of work hasn’t involved interacting with students, Hadden said it is a goal.
“Once we meet all of the structural recruitment for the grant and our funders at Wayne State University, we will be more involved in educating students about opportunities in the health careers and the related educational requirements,” Hadden said.
Calls made to CMED Dean Ernest Yoder were not returned in time for publication.