Area Health Education Center

 

AHEC is a state and nationwide network of programs that strives to improve health through the recruitment, training and retention of a diverse work force for underserved communities. Indiana has eight regional “centers” that are coordinated through a central office. Each regional center is designed to assess and meet the needs of their local communities. Our West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center was the first operational AHEC in the state originating in 2002.

 

Statewide Reach

The Indiana AHEC Program Office is located within the Department of Family Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. There are eight independent regional offices that work to serve Hoosiers living in their designated counties.

East Indiana Area Health Education Center (EI-AHEC) 

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

Metropolitan Indianapolis/Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (MICI-AHEC)

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

North Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (NCI-AHEC)

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

Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center (NEI-AHEC)

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

Northwest Indiana Area Health Education Center (NWI-AHEC)

The Northwest Indiana Area Education Center includes the 8 counties of Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Porter, St. Joseph, and Starke.

South Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (SCI-AHEC)

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

Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center (SWI-AHEC)

Our newest AHEC, the Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center, includes the 10 counties of Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick.

West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (WCI-AHEC)

The West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center includes the 9 counties of Clay, Fountain, Greene, Montgomery, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, and Warren.

West Central Indiana AHEC Service Area map

WCI-AHEC services an 11-county region consisting of Warren, Fountain, Parke, Vermillion, Montgomery, Vigo, Clay, Owen, Putnam, Greene, and Sullivan.

The Need

Demographic

The population of WCI-AHEC’s region is older and less educated, with higher unemployment and lower incomes than the rest of Indiana.  Elevated percentages of both Medicaid and Medicare dependents are also prevalent.

Education

The population of WCI is less educated and while high school graduation rates in most West Central counties are in line with the state median, fewer residents have any post-secondary education.

Health

Residents in ten out of the eleven counties in the West Central Indiana region report being less physically and mentally healthy than the state average.

The teen birth rate is above the state median in eight of the eleven counties, and the percent of mothers who smoked during pregnancy is significantly higher in the entire region.  In addition to those major health concerns is the fact that ten of the eleven counties have a higher rate of preventable hospitalizations among their Medicare population, which is especially significant in light of the high proportion of Medicare beneficiaries.

Healthcare Workforce

Primary care and mental health providers in the WCI region have larger patient loads than the state median in all counties except Vigo, which is the largest.  Dental providers see more patients than the state median in all 11 counties.  Additionally, the West Central Indiana region experiences under-representation of Blacks and Hispanic/Latinos in much of the health care workforce compared with the general population.