Wayne State College

Public Invited to Celebrate Launch of BHECN Northeast at Wayne State

Published Friday, October 20th, 2023

The Wayne State location is the third rural site for the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska. Launch celebration will be Nov 3.

The public is invited to help Wayne State College and the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska (BHECN) celebrate the launch of the BHECN Northeast site at Wayne State on Friday, Nov. 3.

The launch event will be held from 11 a.m. to noon in the Elkhorn Room of Wayne State’s Student Center. Guest parking is available in Lot 10, located east of the Wayne State Student Center. Following a short program, tours of the new facility, located on the second floor of Wayne State’s Benthack Hall, will be available.

BHECN, which is headquartered at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, works to grow and support the state’s behavioral health workforce. The Northeast site is BHECN’s third rural site – joining the BHECN Central site at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, which launched in 2015, and the BHECN Panhandle site, which started at Chadron State College in 2019.

"This collaboration is a cause for all of Northeast Nebraska to celebrate,” said Ciera Afrank, director of BHECN Northeast. “BHECN Northeast intersects BHECN's value of local autonomy and Wayne State's mission for regional service. Our goals for building and supporting the behavioral health workforce aim to improve outcomes for all of our communities."

"BHECN and Wayne State have a longstanding partnership that has already impacted many providers in our rural workforce, including myself,” added Afrank, “and the launch of BHECN Northeast extends the reach across the region and takes the possibilities to new heights."

Rural sites help ensure BHECN’s efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce are tailored to meet the unique training, recruitment, and retention needs of various regions in the state, said Marley Doyle, MD, director of BHECN.

“Nebraska is a geographically and demographically diverse state and that means providers, students, and trainees face different challenges based on the part of the state in which they work,” Doyle said. “We’re thrilled to see the Northeast site come online and help us better serve the needs of those who live and work in that part of the state.”

Wayne State College is “excited and honored to serve and support the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska's mission to recruit and retain behavioral health professionals in Northeast Nebraska,” said Steven Elliott, vice president for academic affairs at Wayne State. “I have been impressed with the level of collaboration between UNMC and Wayne State throughout the development of this important partnership with BHECN and look forward to supporting the expansion of training opportunities for the rural behavioral health workforce in Nebraska.”

BHECN Northeast aims to foster connection and mentorship across all levels of involvement in behavioral health, including high school and college students envisioning their futures, those evolving into the workforce from other pathways, new professionals navigating first experiences, and seasoned providers expanding their skills and networks.

For more information, contact Ciera Afrank at 402-375-7392 or [email protected].