AHEC - Area Health Education Center

South Central Illinois Area Health Education Center (AHEC)


Pinckneyville Community Hospital recently became a host site for South Central Illinois Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Federally funded by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), AHEC offers programs and services to improve the supply, distribution, retention and quality of healthcare in rural and underserved areas of the United States.  Together, Pinckneyville Community Hospital and AHEC are working to increase the exposure of rural healthcare opportunities to these future professionals.


Pre-College Pipeline Activities

  • Job Shadowing Experiences
  • Seats to VirtualJobShadow.com
    • Access to self-assessments, career and life-skills videos, resume/cover letter builders
  • Career Exploration Program at Pinckneyville Community Hospital
  • Classroom-based health careers presentations
  • Mentorship and Career Advising
  • College preparation support



Community Immersion Experiences

  • Rural/Underserved Health Experiences
    • A 3-5 day experience for college and graduate/professional students
  • Community Education on core topics
  • Opioid Crisis Resources
  • Participation in Health Fairs and Expos
  • Partnerships with Summer Health Camps



Health Professions Recruitment and Retention

  • Job shadowing for current health professions students
  • Field placements- assistance finding internships, apprenticeships, or community-based rotations required for school
  • Continuing Education


AHEC Scholars Program

  • Innovative program for undergrad and graduate students who are enrolled in a health professions degree or certificate program for the next 2 years.
  • AHEC Scholars is comprised of the following elements:
    • Completion of community based experiential trainings – this include job shadowing, 3-5 day immersion experiences, or other experiences pre-approved by an AHEC director.  If your current program of study includes experiences or clinical practicums that are based in rural or underserved settings, these hours may count towards this element.
    • Completion of virtual, self-paced training modules covering key topic issues in underserved healthcare
  • In year 2, completion of a Community Service Learning Project (CSL) with other Scholars 
  • Opportunities for students to attend monthly speakers, various events, subscription for virtual life-skills videos, and so much more.
  • Conditional to funding, students will be offered a yearly stipend to help offset any costs to the student.
  • Upon completion, Scholars receive a nationally recognized AHEC Scholars Certificate and graduation cords.