The department, in cooperation with the state-approved medical schools in this state, shall organize an area health education center network based on earlier medically indigent demonstration projects and shall evaluate the impact of each network on improving access to services by persons who are medically underserved. The network shall be a catalyst for the primary care training of health professionals through increased opportunities for training in medically underserved areas. (1) The department shall contract to assist in funding an area health education center network which links the provision of primary care services to low-income persons with the education of medical students, interns, and residents. The network shall:
(a) Be coordinated with and under contract with the state-approved medical schools, which shall be responsible for the clinical training and supervision.
(b) Divide the state into service areas with each state-approved medical school coordinating the recruiting, training, and retention of medical students within its assigned area.
(c) Use a multidisciplinary approach with appropriate medical supervision.
(d) Use current community resources such as county health departments, federally funded primary care centers, or other primary health care providers as community-based sites for training medical students, interns, and residents.
(2) The department shall establish criteria and procedures for quality assurance, performance evaluations, periodic audits, and other appropriate safeguards for the network.
(3) The department shall make every effort to assure that participating medical schools do not discriminate among enrollees with respect to age, race, sex, or health status. However, such schools may target high-risk medically needy population groups.
(4) The department may use no more than 5 percent of the annual appropriation for administering and evaluating the network.