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$4.2 million grant helps efforts to improve access to health care in underserved areas

August 30, 2017


Detroit, MI – The Michigan Area Health Education Center, a program of Wayne State University that seeks to increase access to quality primary care providers in underserved communities, today announced that it has been awarded a 5 year, $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Michigan AHEC will use the funds to continue to strengthen its statewide network of 5 regional centers and support HRSA’s mission to improve health and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce and innovative programs. By enabling Michigan AHEC to provide clinical experiences and continuing education programs for health care professionals and support practice transformation in primary care urban and rural underserved communities, this grant reinforces Michigan AHEC’s alignment with Wayne State University’s mission and values of community engagement, diversity and inclusion and commitment to excellence.

“This award is great news for future of healthcare in Michigan,” said Dr. Tsveti Markova, co-principal investigator of Michigan AHEC, endowed chair and professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences and associate dean for graduate medical education in the Wayne State University School of Medicine. “This grant will allow us to build upon our efforts to improve access to health care in underserved areas and help us to positively impact the current and future health care workforce throughout Michigan.”

“Having been with the program since its inception in 2010, I am pleased that HRSA sees the value of our interprofessional leadership and program model,” said Dr. Ramona Benkert, co-principal investigator of Michigan AHEC, associate professor and associate dean of academic and clinical affairs in the Wayne State University College of Nursing. “These additional five years of funding help us to continue our statewide efforts to enhance the distribution and diversity of the health care workforce and to support practice transformation in underserved communities.”

Michigan AHEC also announced the recent selection of Covenant Community Care as its new host partner for its Southeast Regional Center. Covenant Community Care, Inc. is a faith based charitable non-profit Community Health Center serving the people of Metro Detroit. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, they offer integrated medical, dental and behavioral health care to approximately 20,000 people per year in six clinical sites in the Detroit area. The Michigan AHEC Southeast Regional Center serves nine counties in southeast Michigan: Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. "Our community health center is committed to helping young people from Detroit and Southeastern Michigan to develop as health professionals who are equipped to serve everyone regardless of income or insurance status," said Paul Propson, chief executive officer of Covenant Community Care.

Michigan AHEC is funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (Grant # U77HP26582) and Wayne State University. Academic partners include Wayne State University’s College of Nursing, School of Medicine, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and School of Social Work; the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry; Central Michigan University; Western Michigan University; and Northern Michigan University.

The Michigan Area Health Education Center (AHEC), a program of Wayne State University, was established in 2010. Through a statewide network of regional centers, Michigan AHEC works to improve community health and strengthen the state’s health care workforce by recruiting, training, and retaining health professionals committed to increasing access to primary care in underserved areas. For more information, visit http://miahec.wayne.edu or call (313) 577-5161.