UnityPoint Health - Memorial Hospital Hancock County, IL COVID-19 Info

West Central Illinois AHEC

West Central Illinois AHEC

About West Central Illinois

Many of the very western counties in West Central Illinois provide activities along the Mississippi River and other counties more central enjoy the Illinois River. Both rivers offer areas of natural beauty and outdoor activities, including trail-riding, camping, boating and much more. The area is home to Argyle Lake and Weinberg-King State Parks, the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge, the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge The region has quaint towns with rural life culture, local businesses, churches and civic organizations. The region has covered bridges, lock and dams, prize hunting ground, a working ferry, and local festivals and fairs throughout the region.  The region offers a variety of museums, is served by several colleges and universities, and offers opportunities for entertainment with wineries, theaters, and opera houses. Local sports for high schools and colleges are also a favorite among area residents.

Area residents enjoy the Midwest hospitality, historical treasures throughout the region and archaeological museums, civil war re-enactments, car cruising and shows, as well as local orchards.  It is also home to the Niabi Zoo, the John Deere Pavillion and Fort Johnson and Fort Edwards. West Central Illinois is close to amenities with scattered family farms and close-knit communities. The region is close to Springfield, Quad Cities and St. Louis.

About the population in West Central Illinois has growing pockets of diversity with various ages and occupations.  Each county is a bit different, but has a large portion of agriculture, health careers, small local businesses, various manufacturing, and schools and institutions of higher education.

About our location. Memorial Hospital is the host site for the West Central Illinois AHEC.  Their dedication to improving health by providing education and wellness programs and innovative services at all the stages of life enable progressive thinking and draw health professions from the area to observe the integral parts of this critical access hospital. Memorial Hospital is an affiliate of UnityPoint Health and a critical access hospital known for their friendly, qualified health professionals and state-of-the-art technology.  The hospital is the second largest employer in the county with over 200 employees.  They are also one of the few small hospitals in the state still providing obstetrical services.  The hospital also encompasses the Hancock Village campus with supportive living and memory care senior services. The hospital is passionate about caring for all stages of life while integrating amazing opportunities for students. 

About our strategic partners. Community partner organizations serve as our local connection to help identify needs, available resources and potential opportunities to provide health care students experiences outside the classroom. Through the strategic partners within the community, students can be involved with the Hancock County Career Expo through our partnership with SIU School of Medicine and Hancock County Economic Development, the Hancock County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) Program involving multiple community partnerships and area employers, the Rural Health Coach program through Western Illinois University (WIU), or Scrubs Academy through a partnership with Carl Sandburg College.  These various partners are passionate about students learning about health careers and gaining valuable interactions through these programs.  Our passion for students being fully integrated into our hospital, having opportunities to develop new programs and services, and flourishing in their field of study provides resume building activities for those interns, who continue to view Memorial Hospital as a preferred site for student internships.

The West Central Illinois AHEC is part of a facility that encourages leaders to lead, physicians to practice, staff to have a career, and patients to expect the highest quality care with the highest level of respect.  The center is building on a continued reputation of helping students throughout the region and supporting professionals with preceptorships and learning experience.  The hospital continues to look for ways to meet the needs of the community by developing innovative services; enhancing the quality of healthcare provided through technology; and engaging in educational programming with local partners, such as the health department, local schools, and other professionals.  Memorial Hospital continues to work with WIU, Carl Sandburg College, and Southeastern Community College.  The new center will create additional opportunities with regional health professions programs and providers.

The partnership with ICAHN, WIU and Sarah D. Culbertson Hospital to create a Rural Health Coach (RHC) program for students in various healthcare disciplines has been a wonderful success.  Students are gaining non-clinical experience through interpersonal interactions with clients and meeting clients where they are in their healthcare journey.  This has proven to be a valuable experience for the university, for the hospitals involved, for the students and for the clients.  We have received positive feedback from both the clients and the students on the value of this experience.

 Programs we host:  

  • Rural Health Careers Y
  • Pipeline Y
  • Continuing Education Y
  • Job Shadowing Y
  • Preceptor Site for professional students 
  • Rural Health Coach for students and volunteers
  • In Plain Sight Parent Education
  • Consumer Wellness Advocate Training
  • Professional Coach Training
  • CPR, ACLS, PALS, health professional clinical opportunities and community education.



Click here to learn more about AHEC.


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