Area Health Education Center - Northern Rhode Island //

What is an Area Health Education Center?


In November 2016, the Clinic was awarded funding to establish the Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at our facility in Providence. The Clinic now works with the Rhode Island AHEC State Program Office (at Alpert Medical School at Brown University) and the Southern Rhode Island AHEC (at the University of Rhode Island College of Nursing), to advance AHEC goals in Rhode Island. AHEC funding enables the Clinic to develop and coordinate its student training/ workforce development efforts.  

AHEC is a national program developed in 1972, and there are over 200 AHEC’s in the U.S. The mission of AHEC both aligns with and advances the mission of the Clinic. Both AHEC and Clinic aim to:

  • Provide community-based training for individuals interested in pursuing careers in the healthcare field

  • Encourage professional teamwork and participation in interdisciplinary training

  • Prepare individuals to provide effective care to underserved areas and health disparity populations

Establishing the Northern RI AHEC at RI Free Clinic allows the Clinic to further strengthen our already strong academic partnerships and place more students at the Clinic for training, leading to a more diverse, culturally-competent, and prepared healthcare workforce in Rhode Island.

Who Are We Seeking?


We are seeking students currently enrolled with one of our academic partners.

As an AHEC Student Trainee, you will be placed at the Clinic to complete a health training internship. In addition to gaining health discipline-specific skills, you will develop professional competencies in interdisciplinary teamwork, cultural sensitivity and caring for underserved populations. You will also have the opportunity to participate in continuing education activities alongside other health professionals at our Clinic.

We are particularly seeking the following types of health professional students to join us as AHEC Student Trainees:

  • Clinical Nutrition Students

  • Clinical Psychology Students

  • Dermatology Residents

  • Gynecology Residents

  • Health Information Technologists

  • Health Services Administrators

  • Medical Assistant Students

  • Nurse Practitioner Students

  • Occupational Therapy Assistants

  • Pharmacy Students

  • Physical Therapist Assistant Students 

  • Physician Assistant Students

  • Psychiatry Residents

  • Public Health Students

  • Social Work Students

How to Become an AHEC Student Trainee


1. Submit a Volunteer Application through the Free Clinic’s website:

One of our VISTA Volunteer Coordinators will then contact you to complete the remaining steps:

​2. Sign-up for access to the AHEC Student Trainee Resources Portal (below).

​3. Review the introductory video and Handbook in the Resources Portal.

4. Attend an in-person Clinic orientation.

5. Coordinate shifts at the Clinic with your preceptor.

Apply Now

AHEC Student Trainee Resources Portal


If you have submitted a Volunteer Application to become an AHEC Student Trainee or are a current AHEC Student Trainee, click the Resources Portal button below. 

The portal will allow you to access mandatory pre-orientation materials, as well as ongoing professional development and continuing education opportunities. 

AHEC Resources Portal

For more information regarding AHEC, please contact Marvin Ronning at 401-274-6347 ext. 322 or via email at

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