MARQUETTE, Mich.—The Michigan Area Health Education Center has launched its Upper Peninsula Regional Center, with Northern Michigan University as the host partner. Representatives of the U.P. regional center will visit Chippewa, Luce, Mackinac and Schoolcraft counties this month to establish initial contacts with stakeholders and as a first step in conducting a needs assessment for each of the fifteen U.P. counties it serves.
Michigan AHEC was established by Wayne State University in 2010 to enhance access to quality health care by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community and educational partnerships. With a statewide network of regional centers, Michigan AHEC prepares underrepresented and disadvantaged youth for health care careers, promotes clinical training opportunities for students in shortage areas and provides continuing education programs for health professionals
“Michigan AHEC is excited about extending our reach and resources to the Upper Peninsula,” said Ramona Benkert, associate dean for clinical and academic affairs of the WSU College of Nursing and co-principal investigator of the Michigan AHEC program. “The Upper Peninsula has a severe shortage of primary care and other health professionals. We are pleased Northern Michigan University has joined the Michigan AHEC team and look forward to working with the university and the community to identify and address northern Michigan’s health care workforce needs.”
As host partner for the Upper Peninsula Regional Center, NMU offers medical pre-professional programs as well as certificate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in nursing, clinical lab sciences, and allied health. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Early Assurance Program, an initiative that targets students from underserved rural or urban areas, first-generation college students, graduates from low-income high schools, students who are Pell grant-eligible or those who are interested in practicing medicine in a high-need specialty in areas where there are health care shortages.
Mary Jane Tremethick, associate dean and director of NMU’s School of Health and Human Performance, is interim executive director of the U.P. center. Cindy Noble joins her as program manager. Noble will work under Tremethick’s supervision to manage programs, coordinate data collection and develop public relations, marketing and community engagement strategies.
“Cindy and I are pleased to reach out to communities across the Upper Peninsula as we work to identify needs and develop programming to strengthen the Upper Peninsula’s health care workforce,” said Tremethick.
For more information on the U.P. Regional Center, contact Noble at 906-227-1613 or firstname.lastname@example.org.