Wisconsin Area Health Education Center statewide program secures new leadership

For immediate release

February 1, 2017

MADISON – University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

The Wisconsin Area Health Education Center (AHEC) has hired a new statewide director.

Brenda Gray, PhD, former director of the center’s Milwaukee regional office, will take the helm of the state program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health on Feb. 13.

Gray has a background in public health and education that align perfectly with the goals of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, said Byron Crouse, associate dean for rural and community health. “She has been the Milwaukee center director since 2011, during which time that center excelled as she demonstrated her ability to collaborate with many organizations and help mobilize community groups to promote equity for all,” he said. “This passion will now be directed statewide.”

The state center is a health-professions education and outreach program funded by a federal grant and the state legislature. It is part of a national network of programs for improving accessibility and quality of primary health care in underserved parts of the country.

Through partnerships with community members and academic institutions, the center works to train healthcare professionals in communities outside the traditional academic setting around the state.

Including Milwaukee, the center has seven regional offices: Manitowoc, Beloit, Cashton, Wausau, Ashland and Rhinelander. In addition to a statewide board of directors, each center has its own board of directors.

While in Milwaukee, Gray’s office, among many important efforts, established several health initiatives (including medical student recruitment and internships); connected health care professionals with community partners; and promoted community health through a diabetes awareness and education campaign, according to a report from the Milwaukee regional AHEC office.

Gray replaces Nancy Sugden, who was the center’s director for the past 17 years.

Suzanne Letellier, program manager at the Milwaukee office, will be the interim director in Milwaukee, as the Milwaukee office searches for a new director.

For more on the Wisconsin Area Health Education Center visit: ahec.wisc.edu

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