Indiana Area Health Education Centers Network

A healthy Indiana requires health care professionals located in all areas of the state—from inner city neighborhoods to rural communities—available and prepared to educate citizens about health problems and issues and to provide quality service. Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) help to provide communities with this critical resource.

An AHEC is a network of regional centers that are coordinated through a central program office. Today, 54 AHEC programs with more than 200 centers operate in almost every state and the District of Columbia. Each regional center is locally grown to assess and meet the needs of citizens in that specific region.

Core Functions

The Indiana AHEC Network enhances access to quality health care, primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community/academic educational partnerships:

Increase representation of individuals from under-represented minority and disadvantaged (URMD), rural and medically underserved backgrounds in health professions, particularly primary care.

Improve the readiness, willingness and ability of health professions trainees to serve in primary care, rural and medically underserved community settings.

To utilize a comprehensive community-based education approach to improve the skills and competences of health professions students skills and competencies necessary to enhance the quality of health care and provide transformative team-based care delivery within rural and underserved areas and populations.

Increase health professionals’ access to training resources that support practice, reduce professional isolation, disseminate best practices and improve quality of health care for medically underserved communities and health disparity populations.

In accomplishing these goals, the AHEC can improve the quality of health care, especially primary and preventative care.

Program Leadership

James A. Ballard, EdD

James A. Ballard, EdD

Adjunct Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Jennifer D. Taylor, DHEd

Jennifer D. Taylor, DHEd

Assistant Professor of Family Medicine

Regional Centers

The Indiana AHEC Network office is located within the Department of Family Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. The Indiana AHEC Network is comprised of eight regional centers, who work to serve the needs of their communities by providing pipeline programming, clinical rotations in rural and underserved areas, and continuing education opportunities to practicing health professionals.

The East Indiana Area Health Education Center (EI-AHEC) includes the 14 counties of Bartholomew, Dearborn, Decatur, Fayette, Franklin, Henry, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Rush, Union, Wayne and Switzerland.

Center Director: Jeff Hartz, MA

The Metropolitan Indianapolis/Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (MICI-AHEC)includes the 9 counties of Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Morgan and Shelby.

Center Director: Erica Young, MPH

The North Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (NCI-AHEC) includes the 13 counties of Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Pulaski, Tippecanoe, Tipton and White.

Center Director: Jeremy Ashcraft

The Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center (NEI-AHEC) includes the 17 counties of Adams, Allen, Blackford, DeKalb, Delaware, Elkhart, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Randolph, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.

Center Director: Justin Tobyas, MA

The Northwest Indiana Area Education Center (NWI-AHEC) includes the eight counties of Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Porter, St. Joseph and Starke.

Center Director: Sandra Behrens, RN, MBA

The South Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (SCI-AHEC) includes the 12 counties of Brown, Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Scott and Washington.

Center Director: Michael Edwards

The Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center (SWI-AHEC) includes the ten counties of Daviess, DuBois, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick.

Center Director: Jane Friona, MHSA

The West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (WCI-AHEC) includes the nine counties of Clay, Fountain, Greene, Montgomery, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo and Warren.

Center Director: Jacquelyn Mathis, MS

AHEC Scholars

The AHEC Scholars program will prepare students entering the health professions workforce. AHEC Scholars is designed specifically for applicants who have a strong interest in providing care to those living in rural and medically underserved communities across Indiana in positions such as physicians, physician assistants, nurses, public health practitioners, respiratory therapists, physical therapists and other allied health occupations.

AHEC Scholars offers online learning units and community-based experiences designed to give health professions students a deeper understanding of rural and urban health care, caring for underserved populations and the importance of practice transformation in a clinical care setting. Fellows will focus on five core issues – behavioral health integration, cultural competency, interprofessional education, practice transformation and social determinants of health. For more information about the AHEC Scholars program contact