Organization Information

KU Area Health Education Center


302 Fleming, Suite 4
Garden City, Kansas 67846


Lee Ann Shrader, Lesa Gilbert, Kathy Friesen







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A primary mission is to improve the distribution, supply and quality of healthcare professionals. We do so by facilitating the recruitment and retention of health professionals, promoting health careers, supporting rural training sites, fostering continuing professional education opportunities and promoting technology-driven initiatives. An additional component of our mission is to provide advocacy skills that will enhance the capacity of KUMC and our partners to maximally utilize resources to address health issues. We partner with community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, local, state and federal organizations and education institutions to accomplish these objectives.


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KUMC Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) were founded in 1978, through the combined efforts of the Governor, the State Legislature and the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), as the primary educational outreach effort of KUMC and the principal means of decentralizing medical and other health professions education throughout the state.  Three centers - in Garden City, Hays and Pittsburg - offer programs, continuing education and services to medicine, nursing and allied health students as well as to rural providers in their part of the state.

Each AHEC extends its programs into approximately one-third of Kansas counties, making programs and services available to citizens, rural providers and students. Quality training experiences in community settings away from the academic medical center expose students to practice opportunities and realities in rural communities, helping to encourage rural practice choices. The AHECs also address the needs of communities and health professionals by offering continuing education programs and strengthening collaboration among providers, educational institutions, hospitals, nursing homes, health organizations and county extensions.


  • Program Goals Continuing education for health-care providers.
  • Quality health-care services and educational programs to the public.
  • Cooperation and coordination among communities, health-care providers, educational institutions and health-related organizations.
  • Programs to increase the number of Kansans who enter health careers.
  • Consultation clinics with medical sub-specialists from KUMC.
  • Rural/underserved clinical experience for students in health-related education programs.