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The Manhattan Staten Island Area Health Education Center (MSI AHEC) was incorporated in May, 2004 to address health care disparities through increased workforce diversity, and improve access to health care by providing education services particularly for medically underserved communities.
The MSI AHEC is part of both a national program, with centers in 46 states, and a New York statewide system, developed in 1998, with four regions designed to support nine centers throughout the state.
New York's ninth and newest AHEC is located in the heart of Harlem and serves the counties of New York (Manhattan) and Richmond (Staten Island).
AHEC helps to promote minority interest in the health-care professions through programs like the Summer Health Internship Program (SHIP), which provides high school and college students exposure to the health field.
Such initiatives are extremely important in Manhattan and Richmond Counties, where minorities are underrepresented in the health care professions, and many live in Medically Undeserved Areas (MUA) or are designated as Medically Undeserved Populations (MUP).Through its initiatives, MSI AHEC aims to increase the numbers of minorities within the health care delivery system, and prepare these professionals to serve those communities that need it the most.