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The Metropolitan Indianapolis-Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (MICI-AHEC), an organization dedicated to helping recruit, train and place health care professionals in rural and medically underserved communities, has received $82,000 of funding from the CareSource Foundation. The area health education center, which is hosted by The University of Indianapolis through a strategic partnership, will utilize this funding to provide medical training scholarships for students and community residents interested in a career as a community health worker (CHW), certified nursing aide (CNA), medical interpreter or qualified medication aide (QMA).

“Through this grant, our team is able to provide up to 67 scholarships to individuals, growing the health workforce right here in Central Indiana,” said Erica Young, executive director of MICI-AHEC. “This training will be foundational in inspiring students’ passion and further exploration of the medical field. Additional benefits we hope to measure through these programs include greater workforce retention, students using this role as a stepping stone into medicine, nursing, or other health care careers, and the uplifting role these individuals will play within the local communities in which they reside.”

These health programs, designed to position quality health care workers within their own communities upon certification, can have a positive and lasting impact within populations. MICI-AHEC strategically partners with local and regional organizations to offer key health careers to assist in reducing health disparities. The students entering these programs will ultimately serve clients within their own community, where they are likely to share a cultural background as well as a greater understanding of the challenges being faced by residents within a given area. In addition to providing trusted support to residents as they navigate their own unique health circumstances, these certified individuals become a known resource, fostering greater awareness and health engagement among community members.

“One of the most crucial ways that we can reduce health disparities and improve access to care is by supporting greater diversity, representation and a health care provider presence in areas of need within the community,” said Dr. Cameual Wright, vice president and chief medical officer for CareSource Indiana. “CareSource recognizes the importance of representing diverse backgrounds and cultures as this creates both trusting and lasting bonds, connecting residents to local health care resources. We look forward to seeing the impact these students will have within Indianapolis and the surrounding rural areas.”

In addition to the student scholarships, MICI-AHEC will also devote a portion of this funding toward supporting the efforts of key personnel at The University of Indianapolis as they further  expand these health programs. This area health education center, which is completely grant funded, educates, trains and retains health care professionals to serve Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan and Shelby counties.

To learn more about MICI-AHEC, their health programs and/or scholarship opportunities, visit uindy.edu/mici-ahec or call 317-788-2001.

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