Meet Our New CEO, Dwain Harris
Dwain Harris begins as chief executive officer of the National AHEC Organization in January 2019, bringing more than 20 years of experience in healthcare leadership and communications to the role.
As CEO, Harris will support all NAO members through education and service development. He is responsible for membership communication, support and benefit development. He serves as chief liaison in developing relationships with HRSA, Congress and other organizations with a shared interest in health care.
An ex-officio member of the NAO Board of Directors, he assists in operational policy development and NAO governance, informing the organization’s leadership of opportunities for expansion, membership base, markets, new industry developments and standards as well as policy changes that may impact the organization.
Harris began his AHEC career in 2004 when he was hired as center director of the Southern Kentucky AHEC, where he worked closely with his team in all areas of the AHEC mission, including student rotations, preceptor development, health career promotion, pipeline development, continuing education and community health initiatives. He has also served as communications consultant for his host institution, Rockcastle Regional Hospital, since 2006.
He was the director of marketing and communications for a rural healthcare system from 1997 until 2004, and prior to that worked as a community journalist. He has a bachelor’s in print journalism and master’s in health administration from Western Kentucky University. He is a past president of the Kentucky Rural Health Association, and he currently serves as board chair of Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated.
Always interested in community development and encouraging healthy lifestyles, Harris is an avid runner and tennis enthusiast. He helped build Rockcastle County’s Girls on the Run chapter, served as vice president of the Lake Cumberland Tennis Association and is a member of USTA Kentucky’s junior recreation committee. He also directs the national award-winning Countywide Stride run/walk series, which has introduced recreational running and walking to hundreds of participants.
Harris lives in Somerset, Kentucky, with his wife, Julie, son Matthew, 12, and 7-year-old twins, Piper and John Parker.