One Research Boulevard, Suite 103
Starkville, MS 39759

About AHEC

Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) were developed in the 1970s by Congress to address an increasing shortage of health professionals. Today, there are more than 200 regional AHECs that operate in almost every state. Approximately, 120 medical schools and 600 nursing and allied health schools collaborate with AHECs to improve health for underserved populations.

AHECs can be described as a pipeline for healthcare training. We connect with youth at an early age to educate them on health career opportunities. Next, we connect health professionals to communities, and then we connect communities to better health; overall, increasing the quality and availability of healthcare throughout the nation.

The Northeast Mississippi Area Health Education center is located at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi. NE MS AHEC serves students, healthcare professionals, and institutions throughout Northeast Mississippi. We are committed to improving the health and health care of Northeast Mississippians and decreasing health disparities in the region. The counties we serve are Alcorn, Benton, Chickasaw, Clay, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tishomingo, Tippah and Union.



It is the mission of the NE MS AHEC to enhance the quality of health care in the region by recruiting and retaining health professionals, creating connections between communities and professionals and using both academic and community resources.



  • Recruit health professionals in underserved counties
  • Publicize information regarding the availability of health profession’s education and continuing education to health professionals
  • Educate youth on health career opportunities
  • Improve the quality and availability of healthcare



Ronald Cossman – Principal Investigator

Ronald Cossman, Ph.D., is the Principal Investigator for the Mississippi Center for Health Workforce and the Northeast Mississippi Area Health Education Center, and is also a Research Fellow for the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University. Dr. Cossman received his Ph. D. in economic geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He earned a masters degree in Demography and Population from Florida State University. He has research interests in health geography, demography, and health services research. Click here to view a PDF of Dr. Cossman’s curriculum vitae.

Ronald Cossman

Last updated: 8/24/2015