About Us

The North Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) promotes the collaboration of schools and community organizations to engage in a comprehensive strategy to help eliminate the shortage of healthcare professionals in underserved areas and correct the uneven distribution of healthcare providers in the state. The North Dakota AHEC supports rural communities from rural locations, with offices in Mandan and Mayville.


Denise Andress, RN
Director, Western North Dakota AHEC

Western ND AHEC 

Denise is a Registered Nurse of 25 years. She is currently the Director for the Western Area Health Education Center for North Dakota. A native of Hettinger, North Dakota, Denise has an extensive background in rural healthcare delivery. In her position, she develops programs to recruit and retain healthcare providers in underserved rural areas, as well as address workforce shortages and educate students about healthcare career options. Denise received her Bachelor's degree in Nursing in 1992 at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. She has completed her Master's in Business Administration with a healthcare emphasis from the University of Mary in Bismarck.

"Having lived and worked in rural communities, survival of our communities is dependent on programs such as AHEC. Programs such as these improve the human infrastructure of our communities through education and resources that keep our rural communities viable."

Eastern ND AHEC

Katelyn is right at home as the Director for the Eastern Area Health Education Center located at Mayville State University. She graduated from the institute in 2017 with her BAS in Business Administration. Living in rural North Dakota, Katelyn understands the importance and impact of having local healthcare facilities available. Her desire is to help facilitate the continuance and improvement of rural health options.

 Katelyn brings expertise of process improvement to North Dakota AHEC with an emphasis on program management. The primary programs Katelyn controls are AHEC Scholars, Clinical Rotations, and NDHOSA. 


Katelyn M. Brinkman
Director, Eastern North Dakota AHEC

HOSA-Future Health Professionals State Advisor
Tel: (701) 788-4795

Program Office


Jan Flatin
Administrative Assistant – North Dakota AHEC
Phone: (701) 777-6084

Jan Flatin is also the administrative assistant to the programs of Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training and the National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative at CRH at the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Grand Forks. Jan joined CRH in 2017 but has been on campus since 1997.


Brad Gibbens, MPA
Principal Investigator – North Dakota AHEC
Phone: (701) 777-2569

Brad Gibbens is the director of CRH at UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences and an assistant professor at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Grand Forks.


Robert W. Pawloski, EdD
Implementation, Data Management, and Evaluation Specialist – North Dakota AHEC
Phone: (402) 871-5971

Robert "Bob" Pawloski has served as implementation, data management, and evaluation specialist to North Dakota AHEC since 2016

Contact the Program Office

North Dakota AHEC
Center for Rural Health
University of North Dakota
School of Medicine & Health Sciences
1301 N. Columbia Road, Stop 9037
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037
(701) 777-3848

Our Funding

The AHEC is supported by a federal Health Services Resources Administration Bureau of Health Professions grant which requires a 1:1 federal/non-federal match, as well as state-appropriated funds. In addition, grant support from Sanford Health Foundation has supported Rural Interdisciplinary and HOSA programs in the past.