The Minnesota Urban AHEC is the state’s first and only urban AHEC and joins four existing rural AHECs. The center will work in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center's six health professions schools and in close partnership with Minneapolis urban communities to address health professional workforce needs. Efforts will focus on nurturing an interest in health careers among youth and providing community-based and interprofessional education for health professions students. An important area of focus will be linking health professions students with the community in substantive ways to cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation of factors influencing health in urban settings.
“I’m looking forward to extending AHEC’s network into Minneapolis’ diverse and vibrant neighborhoods,” said Barbara Brandt, Ph.D., assistant vice president for education and director of Minnesota AHEC. “We are excited to become a more engaged part of the North Minneapolis community and will work with our partners to build on our programs already in the community such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, as well as develop new opportunities to collaborate on areas of health and wellness.”
Pam Cosby, M.P.A., will serve as the founding executive director of the Minnesota Urban AHEC.
“I am excited to be a part of the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) where my passion for the community and the goals of AHEC to prepare future health professionals from underserved communities intersect. I welcome the opportunity to provide the linkage between the community and the University’s health schools in meeting future needs surrounding health care careers,” Cosby said.
Cosby is a long-time resident of North Minneapolis and has a broad range of leadership experience in the area of community health and youth development. Most recently, Cosby served as program coordinator for the National Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center of Hennepin County. She has also served Hennepin County as a community liaison staff member for the North Minneapolis Health Advisory Committee and for the Racial Disparity Initiative for the Council on Crime and Justice.
The Minnesota Urban AHEC is located at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC) on the Northside of Minneapolis. The Minnesota Urban AHEC will partner with a number of community and University organizations in its collaborative work with North Minneapolis, Phillips, and other urban neighborhoods. Key partners include NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC), Broadway Family Medicine Clinic, and the University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research.