September 1, 2021

Michigan AHEC Awarded $740,000 from HRSA, names new co-principal investigator

The Michigan Area Health Education Center was recently awarded a $740,000 grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to continue strengthening its statewide network of regional centers and provide an unprecedented number of health care career preparation initiatives, clinical experiences and continuing education programs for health care professionals throughout the state.

HRSA has awarded consecutive yearly grants to Michigan AHEC since its founding at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in 2010.

The center also recently announced Jinping Xu, M.D., interim chair of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, has been named the new co-principal investigator of Michigan AHEC.

Jinping Xu, M.D.

Dr. Xu is a full professor and a practicing family medicine physician with many years of research funding. She is the director of MetroNet, a practice-based research network in southeast Michigan.

“We welcome Dr. Xu to Michigan AHEC and look forward to working with her on setting priorities for the next phase of our HRSA grant,” said Ramona Benkert, Ph.D., co-principal investigator and associate dean for Academic and Clinical Affairs, and professor of the Wayne State University College of Nursing.

“I am excited and honored to be the co-principal investigator of the Michigan AHEC grant and look forward to working with Dr. Benkert and the entire AHEC team to make significant contributions to Michigan’s health workforce development and ultimately to improve health outcomes of all Michiganders,” Dr. Xu said. “I’m looking forward to meeting and collaborating with the programs of the five regional centers statewide, including in Detroit, Mount Pleasant, Grand Rapids, Calumet and Houghton Lake. Each of these regional centers have a specific focus for their interprofessional health education programs and have best practices to share.”

Michigan AHEC also announced the recent selection of Health Centers Detroit Foundation Inc. as the host partner for its Southeast Regional Center. HCD is a non-profit, 501(c)3, three-site community health center organization founded in March 2004 and designated a Look-Alike in the Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike program in October 2005. HCD offers a full spectrum of primary care services, both directly and through strategic partnerships, and serves about 10,000 patients a year.

Health Centers Detroit has a history of ongoing commitment to serving the health care needs of the underserved in the Detroit region.

“We are very pleased with the opportunity to work with Michigan AHEC as a host site for its Southeast Regional Center,” said Herbert Smitherman Jr., M.D., president and chief executive officer. “Both of our organizations share a common mission to foster partnerships with the local community to improve health care in underserved and urban areas.”

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