State health official named director of Area Health Education Center

January 15, 2014

Barbara Lucas has joined the West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center as director.

Lucas comes to the Terre Haute-based center from the Indiana State Department of Health where she was director of the chronic respiratory disease section for more than five years. She previously spent two years as director of programs for the Indiana Youth Institute and 12 years as director of alternative education at the Indiana Department of Education.

While in Indianapolis, she served as an adjunct faculty at the University of Indianapolis, University of Phoenix, and Crossroads Bible College. Additionally, she has developed and implemented program evaluations for several organizations and has written peer-reviewed publications related to health behaviors of street youth and alternative education programs in Indiana. She is a graduate of Purdue University.

"I am looking forward to applying my skills in collaboration and partnership development in the training and continuing education of health care professionals," Lucas said.

"We are so happy to have Barbara join us as the AHEC director," said Jack Turman, dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services at Indiana State University, which hosts the center. "Her experience in public health, education and program development will be greatly appreciated in advancing AHEC's mission."

Lucas succeeds Louise Anderson who retired after serving as director since 2007.

The West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center is one of eight such centers around the state and more than 200 around the country that assist in training health professionals, provide continuing education, recruit minority students into health careers and respond to emerging health issues.

Each center plays an important role in providing communities with health care professionals prepared to meet the specific needs of its region. The West-Central Indiana center serves the largely rural area of Clay, Fountain, Greene, Montgomery, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo and Warren counties.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu