Montreat College announced this week the addition of new Board of Trustee member Dr. Jeffery E. Heck. Since February 2012, Dr. Heck has served as president and CEO of the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville, one of nine centers in the statewide NC AHEC program.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Heck to Montreat College’s Board of Trustees,” said Montreat College President Paul J. Maurer. “He brings a tremendous breadth and depth of experience, including experience as a leader, academician, and physician. Dr. Heck’s love of Montreat College’s mission and heart for service, combined with an action orientation, brings great promise to his trusteeship.”
MAHEC is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and has a Board of Directors comprised of 18 regional leaders and serves the 16-county WNC region. It has an annual budget of $50 million, 550 employees, 45 full-time physician and dentist faculty, and 72 residents and fellows. MAHEC operates residency programs in family medicine (in Asheville and Hendersonville), Ob/Gyn, general dentistry, general surgery, psychiatry, and pharmacy, and fellowship programs in hospice/palliative medicine and primary care sports medicine.
MAHEC also presents continuing professional development programs for healthcare professionals, health careers and workforce diversity programs for students, supports quality improvement for providers in private practices, and provides library and knowledge services.
Dr. Heck is a professor of family medicine with UNC-Chapel Hill and associate dean for the Asheville campus of the UNC School of Medicine, which he founded in 2008. He attended Vanderbilt University, Medical College of Ohio, and a family practice residency program at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio. In 1995, Dr. Heck served as a consultant to the World Health Organization in Geneva, and he was on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine for 20 years, serving as director of its family medicine residency program and professor of family medicine. In 2004, Dr. Heck joined MAHEC as department chairperson of family medicine, and then worked for four years with Mission Hospital to establish the Asheville campus of the UNC School of Medicine. He currently serves on eight regional or national boards.
Global health is an area of great interest to Dr. Heck, and he founded the not-for-profit organization Shoulder to Shoulder in 1990 to provide much needed healthcare services in poor, rural Honduras communities, and served as its executive director for more than twenty years. Staffed by volunteers from academic partners in the US, 11 clinics are currently in operation serving a population of 36,000 Hondurans.
Dr. Heck and his wife Cathy have five children and 10 grandchildren.