SSM Health, in partnership with the University of Illinois-College of Medicine at Rockford, the Urban Medicine Program at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine and the National Center for Rural Health Professions (NCRHP), has established the South Central Illinois Area Health Education Center (SCI-AHEC) in Centralia, Illinois.

SCI-AHEC serves the following counties in Illinois: Bond, Clinton, Effingham, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Jersey, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair, Union, and Washington.

It is the mission of SCI-AHEC to inspire, train, recruit and retain a diverse and broad range of health professionals to practice in rural communities, where the need is greatest.

SCI-AHEC exposes the area youth to the many rewarding health care career opportunities that are available. These opportunities are introduced through classroom presentations, science fairs, school-based health careers clubs, career fairs, health careers camps, job shadowing, internships, and career resources.

Funded by a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Illinois initiative is under the auspices of The National Center for Rural Health Professions (NCRHP).