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Home > News >Northwest MN AHEC

Northwest MN AHEC News

Application Deadline Approaching for MN Health Professional Loan Forgiveness Programs

December 1, 2010 is the deadline for MN Health Professional Loan Forgiveness Programs through the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Minnesota Department of Health.


According to the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, the purpose of Minnesota's Loan Forgiveness Program is the recruitment and retention of health care professionals to needed areas and facilities within Minnesota.

Applications are available online. Note that most programs require applicants to apply while still enrolled in a program of study or residency.


Loan forgiveness is an important benefit for health care professionals as well as health care facilities and communities experiencing a shortage of access to primary health care services.

Contact Amy Vallery for information on these programs at or 651-201-3870.

Bemidji Area Indian Health Services, Tribal, Urban Health Directors Meeting

The Bemidji Area Indian Health Service invited Minnesota AHEC to participate in their Fall 2010 Indian Health Services, Tribal, Urban (I.T.U.) Health Directors Meeting on Wednesday, October 27th.

The meeting was held in Bloomington, MN and was attended by health care administrators from health care facilities that serve tribes in the Bemidji Area Indian Health Service(IHS) region, which covers Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In the Bemidji IHS region, there are 24 health centers and 33 health stations operated by tribes. In addition, there are five urban Indian health programs operating under the authority of Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

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Other guests included Shriners Hospitals for Children -- Twin Cities and the National Health Service Corps. Both programs share in the mission to improve health care access and support the health care workforce.

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Mary E. Kautto, RN, Outreach Director for Shriners Hospitals for Children -- Twin Cities

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Melissa Hansen, Program Coordinator for Minnesota AHEC

Train the Trainer session for a New Health Careers Curriculum held in Red Lake Falls

Northwest MN AHEC partnered with the Pine to Prairie Consortium and RiverView Health, to implement a health careers curriculum designed to expose 8th-10th grade students to numerous careers related to health care.

On August 24th, the first Train the Trainer class was held to introduce five health instructors to the curriculum, including a new simulation mannequin.


The simulation mannequin allows for hands-on introduction to some of the tools and materials used by various health professionals, as well as the kinds of tasks they perform. The curriculum also provides career information sheets, activities, and directions to accompany the use of some of the pieces of equipment.

The curriculum and the equipment will travel around to schools in northwest Minnesota. The instructors are encouraged to invite health care professionals into the classroom to assist with the presentations. Plans are in place to train 3 more trainers in December.

The equipment and the curriculum design were made possible by the Health Careers Promotions Grant from the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education. Contributions were also made by several hospitals and post-secondary education institutions across the region.

Tri-State AHEC Meeting

August 26, 2010
Tri-State AHEC Conference
Moorhead, MN

MN AHEC representatives from Southern MN AHEC, Central MN AHEC, Northwest MN AHEC, and the MN AHEC Program Office met with representatives from South Dakota AHEC and North Dakota AHEC to discuss common goals and efforts in the areas health professions training and placement.

NW MN AHEC Collaborates with UMC Marketing Students on a Service Project

Marketing Classes at U of M, Crookston Gain Real-world Experience through Projects Addressing the Marketing Needs of Regional Businesses

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"The marketing research class, a senior level course, worked with the Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center (NW MN AHEC) on some research that addressed high school students' perceptions of career choices in general along with healthcare related careers. Sandy Henneberg along with Executive Director Joan Tronson, represented AHEC and met with the students about the research project. The class conducted focus groups in high schools, in-depth interviews with guidance counselors, and developed surveys that were sent to every high school covered by the Northwest Minnesota AHEC."

In the photo above: Members of the marketing research class presented their research findings on the perceptions of high school students about healthcare careers to a representative from the Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center on Friday, December 11, 2009. Class members include: Seated (l to r):Cynthia Weber a senior from Crookston, Minn.; Marketing Instructor Rachel Lundbohm; Northwest Minnesota Area Health Education Center Executive Director Joan Tronson; Thomas Melhorn, a senior from White Bear Lake, Minn.

"RPAP Key to Recruiting Small-Town Docs"

MN AHEC is proud to work with third-year medical students from the University of Minnesota who participate in the Rural Physicians Associate Program (RPAP). There are RPAP students in all four of our established rural AHEC regions.

The program is in its 38th year and has over 1,200 alumni, 57% of which chose to practice in rural areas. RPAP is a unique opportunity in clinical training wherein third-year medical students live and train for nine months in non-metropolitan communities under the supervision of preceptors who are family physicians. These preceptors mentor students in the professional and personal aspects of being a physician.

RPAP students learn clinical medicine, procedures, community health, and the business of medicine.


The program has been highlighted in the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center News Capsules. You can also check out the program's newsletter, The Rural Physician, and more information can be found on the program's website.

Career fair for women held at UMC

Career fair for women held at UMC
Coverage from a March 3, 2008 issue of the Crookston Daily Times

Look here for more information on this event or please contact Joan Porraz, Executive Director of Northwest MN AHEC.

Senator Klobuchar visits to Crookston

U.S. Senator Klobuchar to Discuss Rural Health Care Issues on Jan. 15 at U of M, Crookston

Posted January 11, 2008 in the UMN Crookston News

For more information on this event and others in Northwest MN AHEC, please contact Joan Porraz, Executive Director of Northwest MN AHEC.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will kick off her northwestern Minnesota 2008 Main Street Tour at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, on Tuesday, January 15. Klobuchar will hold a discussion on rural health care from 7:40 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in Bede Ballroom A in the Student Center on campus. The Minnesota Rural Health Association will host the event. Other participants include the Northwest Area Health Education Center, RiverView Health and the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

Minnesota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions cooperative agreement # 1U76-HP00599-01 funded through Title VII of the Public Health Service Act.

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