Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)

About AHEC
The AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) program was developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations.  AHEC centers operate under the administration of an accredited medical school (AHEC program).  The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions administers AHEC programs.
 
AHEC centers coordinate and facilitate the training of health professions students, primary care medical students, healthcare providers and introduce primary and secondary grades students to careers in the medical and healthcare fields.  AHEC training activities are intended to help increase the number of primary care providers who provide services in rural and other underserved areas and to recruit individuals from underrepresented minority populations or from disadvantaged or rural backgrounds into health professions. 
Today there are 57 AHEC programs with 253 AHEC centers that operate in almost every state.  Approximately 120 medical schools and 600 nursing and allied health schools work collaboratively with AHECs to improve the health in underserved areas and to underserved populations by improving access to quality healthcare. 

AHEC Priority Acitvities:
  1. Health careers recruitment
  2. Community-based training and education with focus on primary care
  3. Community placements or preceptorships
  4. Interdisciplinary/professional education and training
  5. Continuing education to existing healthcare workforce
  6. Public health careers exposure