The Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program has hired a new statewide director. Elizabeth Bush will oversee Wisconsin’s AHEC state program office at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

“Liz will bring to the AHEC Program a wealth of experience, not only working as a teacher herself, but also supporting educational programs located in rural and underserved urban communities,” said Dr. Patrick Remington, associate dean for public health at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Funded by a federal grant and the state legislature, the state’s AHEC program is part of a national network of programs for improving accessibility and quality of primary health care in underserved parts of the country.

The goal of the state program is to improve access to quality health care by developing community-based health professions training programs and enhancing health education resources across the state.

The Wisconsin program comprises seven regional centers, with offices in Beloit, Cashton, Manitowoc, Marengo, Milwaukee, Rhinelander and Rothschild.

Bush joins AHEC from her current role as program manager of independent learning at the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus, where she leads program development and evaluation, builds new community and educational partnerships, and manages relationships with internal support units and existing partners.

“I’m eager to join the team and lead our collective efforts towards strategic program development and innovation while expanding our academic and community partnerships, which are necessary to move Wisconsin AHEC forward and grow our impact in communities across the state.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology and master’s degrees in biomedical anthropology and secondary education from Binghamton University and the University of New Mexico, respectively.

Bush will begin her work as AHEC’s next director May 15.