Our mission is to enhance access of quality primary health care for underserved populations in northwest Wisconsin. We achieve our mission by connecting students to careers, professionals to communities & communities to better health through partnerships with academic & community organizations.
We accomplish our mission by:
We develop and conduct health career awareness and recruitment activities for students and adults.
We facilitate community-based clinical training for health professions students to aid in regional recruitment.
We provide continuing education for health professionals.
We partner with local organizations in a variety of outreach activities to improve the health of the community.
We strive to improve access to health care by improving the number, distribution and diversity of health care providers in 11 counties in northwest Wisconsin.
Northeastern AHEC, Inc. serves as the fiscal agent for Northwest AHEC.
THE AHEC STORY
Northwest Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (NWAHEC) is a community-based, not-for-profit organization whose goal is to increase access to health care by improving the number, distribution and diversity of health care providers in 11 counties of northwest Wisconsin.
Realizing a need to address the shortage of primary care physicians and the inadequate distribution of health professionals, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education recommended the establishment of Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) in 1970. These centers were to be linked with university health science centers in an effort to improve access to health care in rural and inner city areas. As a result, the national AHEC program was established in 1972, with the purpose of improving the supply, distribution, retention, and quality of health professionals available in medically underserved areas.
The service area of Northwest Wisconsin AHEC includes 20% of the Wisconsin land area and eleven counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix and Washburn. Ten of the NWAHEC counties are designated as Mental Health Professional Shortage Area's (HPSA), ten contain Primary Care HPSA’s and nine are classed as Dental HPSA’s. In all but one, the populations exceed the state average of persons aged 65+. Nine of the eleven counties top the state average for people living below the poverty level. Somali immigrants lured by jobs in the poultry industry now comprise 13% of the city of Barron’s population. In addition, the Northwest region is home to four Bands of the Lake Superior Chippewa – Bad River, Lac Courte Oreilles, Red Cliff and St. Croix
How We’re Funded
Most of our funding comes from Federal (Health Resources and Services Administration, HRSA) and State AHEC funding through the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
As a non-profit organization, we are required to make our audits available to the public. If you are interested in seeing our audit, please contact our office for a copy.
Board of Directors
Byron Crouse, Professor Emeritus- President
Liz Pizzi, Northwood Technical College- Vice-President
Janel Ouimette- Northwood Technical College- Treasurer
Jennifer Abernathy, North Shore Healthcare
Patti Senk, Memorial Medical Center
Sara Wartman- Bayfield County Health Department
Janice Wilber, Red Cliff Community Health Center