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News & Events

North Central AHEC was able to successfully shift many of our programs into a virtual format as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please click the links below to see what we've been up to.  

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North Central AHEC Hires Nicole Thill as New Executive Director

North Central AHEC is pleased to announce that Nicole Thill, MPH, became the new Executive Director of North Central AHEC on October 1, 2018.


Nicole most recently served as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Scenic Rivers AHEC, where she was employed for nearly 5 years.  At Scenic Rivers AHEC, Nicole helped shape programs and opportunities offered to high school and undergraduate and graduate level students across the Scenic Rivers AHEC region and the state of Wisconsin.  Nicole supported the development of the AHEConnect Health Careers Mentoring program, creation of the health careers curriculum, relationship building at regional high schools, delivery of Wisconsin Express and coordination of job shadow resources.  Most recently, Nicole served as the HPV Regional Educator making connections across Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to meet the goals of the National AHEC HPV Education Project.


Nicole earned a Master of Public Health degree as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education, both from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. Nicole is thrilled for the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of North Central AHEC. She looks forward to continuing the great work that is happening across the region.  She also sees a lot of potential for expanding partnerships and programs, in order to further advance our mission of improving access to health care in rural and under-served areas by increasing the supply, distribution, diversity, and quality of the healthcare workforce.

2nd Annual Health Science Educators Academy

The 2nd annual Health Science Educators Academy took play July 24-25, 2018 at UW-Stevens Point. High school health educators from around the state were challenged to gain a deeper understanding of various health care professions and the knowledge necessary for their students to be prepared for the healthcare workforce. The National Standards for Health Science Education addressed were academic foundations, communications, legal responsibilities, ethics, safety practices, health maintenance practices and information technology.

The two day event started off with Keynote Speaker, Caitlyn Mowatt, a Health Communications Specialist with Wisconsin Health Literacy. She addressed the need for getting back to the basics of teaching how to implement health literacy education in the classroom. She also discussed how to help future healthcare professionals understand the importance of and how to encourage teachers to do their best to help make complex situations more understandable for all.  

This conference also addressed the connection between learning and practice. Allowing for training and hands-on activities by UW-Stevens Point Health Science instructors related to current issues of nursing for the Silver Tsunami, medical laboratory services, pursuing careers in health sciences, finding and using reliable sources of information to address nutrition-related questions, and wellness and communication specialists programs. 

The participants also had training on emergency medical services: simulation mannequins, EKG’s, intubation and standard precautions that were provided by Stevens Point Mid-State Technical College instructors. Program participants were also able to tour the Stevens Point Fire Department. EMS shared information about “A Day In The Life of a Paramedic” and training on Stop The Bleed procedures.  

To conclude the two day event, a panel of public school administrators, Craig Broeren, Superintendent of schools SPASD, Brigitta Altmann Austin, SPASH Association Principal, Eric Siler, WRPS CTE Coordinator, and Shelley Swanson, Amherst HS Counselor shared their viewpoints and fielded questions about the value of health science education, HOSA and support for career technical education. South Central AHEC staff members shared information on the services AHEC provides around the state of Wisconsin.

North Central Wisconsin AHEC

South Central WI-AHEC

WI-Department of Public Instruction 

UW-Stevens Point School of Health Care Professions

Mid-State Technical College

For more photos of the event, see 2nd Health Science Educators Academy

AHEC Day at the Capitol

September 20th, 2017 was WI AHEC Advocacy Day at the state capital. This biannual event is dedicated to support staff, partners and alumni to develop advocacy skills and promote awareness of AHEC through meeting with lawmakers and/or their staff, creating awareness around workforce issues and the impact AHEC programs have to address access to care and employment needs across the state. In addition to the North Central AHEC staff, 7 past program participants met with 8 regional legislators to emphasize the need for AHEC supported programs and to share their AHEC story.

Wisconsin AHEC Wins National Award

The Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program earned national recognition as the 2016 recipient of the Eugene S. Mayer Program of Excellence Award from the National AHEC organization (NAO).


The Program of Excellence award is given biennially to an AHEC program that exemplifies community and university partnerships, program comprehensiveness, responsiveness to community needs, and has had a significant impact on improving access to health care for citizens in its state. This recognition is the culmination of many smaller awards the Wisconsin AHEC system has received over the years for regional programs and statewide events.

The award was presented on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 at the NAO biennial conference in Washington DC. Nancy Sugden, Assistant Dean at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and Program Director for Wisconsin AHEC, accepted the award on behalf of the directors and staff of Wisconsin AHEC’s seven regional Centers (Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Beloit, Cashton, Wausau, Superior, and Marinette), their governing board and the Statewide AHEC Board.

“It is especially gratifying to receive this award as we celebrate Wisconsin AHEC’s 25th year,” said Nancy Sugden. “We have enjoyed the steadfast support of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health through those 25 years, and many, many individuals, academic programs and partner organizations have contributed to the development of our AHEC System and its signature programs.  What I find most remarkable about Wisconsin AHEC, however, is the degree of collaboration among our seven regional AHEC centers for program development and implementation. Shared programming and a cooperative spirit have enabled us to make the most of limited resources and build the program.”

NCAHEC Wins National Award


North Central AHEC was awarded the 2016 AHEC Center Award for Excellence from the National AHEC Organization for Education Resources. It was awarded for the development of the website, which is a portal to Information Resources for Health Providers. Grant funding from the National Library of Medicine was used to develop the portal. 


A special "thank you" goes out to Diana Robertson, Mark Scully, and Suzanne Matthew for their work on this website.

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