Why a Minnesota AHEC?
Minnesota is one of the healthiest states in the nation—yet it faces significant health risks and workforce shortages. What can Minnesota AHEC do to positively affect Minnesota's health professions workforce needs?
Minnesota AHEC's vision
Minnesota AHEC's vision for our education programs in Minnesota is to:
- promote health outcomes by developing future health professionals who value community engagement;
- assure a vital health professions workforce through community-campus partnerships with the University of Minnesota; and
- contribute to a vibrant economy by eliminating health professions shortage areas.
Building upon success
Minnesota AHEC supports the University of Minnesota's Health Professions Schools to build education programs that place and support health profession students in clinical rotations throughout the state.
Getting the right people to the right place at the right time
Research shows us that:
1) if a health professions student is originally from an area, they will generally return to a that area to practice; and 2) if a health professions student completes a clinical rotation in a rural or urban community, they are more likely to return to a rural or urban community for practice.
Additionally, many Minnesota counties lack sufficient health care providers to meet the needs of their citizens. In fact, nearly ninety percent of Minnesota counties, many of them rural, are designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) or Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs). Minnesota AHEC is positively influencing maldistribution by supporting health professions students.
Minnesota AHEC is actively recruiting Health Professions Students and Residents to rural or urban practice by:
- Supporting health professions students in Greater Minnesota with stipends.
- Facilitating clinical training, internships, and other activities for health professions students.
- Working with rural and urban communities to develop interprofessional education sites across the state focused on community health projects.
Nurturing an interest in health careers
Health professional shortages in the state are steadily increasing while supply of health professionals is decreasing. Minnesota AHEC provides numerous health career educational activities for K-12 students throughout the state in order to influence more students to consider health sciences as a career. By reaching students at earlier ages, Minnesota AHEC encourage and support students to be adequately prepared for the rigorous requirements of postsecondary health professions education. Read about Minnesota AHEC’s programs to support Health Careers Exploration for Students and Resources for K-12 Teachers.
Changing demographics and health disparities
The face of Minnesota's population continues to change, especially in rural and urban areas. Our state has a growing concentration of older residents with complex health care needs. Rural and urban areas also are experiencing rapidly changing demographics, with significant new populations of Latino, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, Russian, Laotian, Cambodian, and Ethiopian residents. Quality of care is affected by the unique needs of Minnesota's changing population. Minnesota AHEC’s programs work collaboratively with Community Members to address statewide and regional workforce issues, build relationships with schools and local health care systems, and increase cultural competency among health care professionals.
Select your home region
For more information
AHEC programming varies by region. Click on your home region on the map at right to find out about specific opportunities available to you.