Dwain Harris, director of the Southern Kentucky Area Health Education Center in Mount Vernon for the past 14 years, has been named the first permanent chief executive officer of the National AHEC Organization(NAO). He will assume the position Jan. 21 and will be based at his home in Somerset.
AHECs train students in health-care professions, especially for rural and under-served communities. In Kentucky, the eight regional centers are a collaborative effort of the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.
The national organization lobbies on issues important to its members and the populations they serve. It says its mission “is to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals via strategic partnerships with academic programs, communities, and professional organizations.”
Harris said, “The NAO leadership has done such an incredible job of advancing the AHEC network in the last few years. I am honored to join this team, and I am eager to begin work strengthening our existing partnerships while creating new ones.” Harris is a past president of the Kentucky Rural Health Association.