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Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

What is an Area Health Education Center (AHEC)?

An AHEC is a nonprofit organization strategically located in a designated region where healthcare education and the needs of the community are not adequately met. An AHEC is founded on the belief that healthcare workers are likely to remain in the location at which they train and receive their education.

An AHEC also supports practicing professionals by offering continuing education programs and other types of supportive resources, especially for those in rural and underserved areas. These programs help to enhance evidence-based practices and clinical skills.

How do Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) improve healthcare?

By placing healthcare students in various real-world settings, AHECs can improve healthcare for rural and underserved populations. Additionally, students participating in AHEC service-learning programs can better understand the cultural and economic barriers to healthcare delivery and the needs of their local communities.

Another focus of AHECs is the recruitment, placement, and retention of healthcare workers to address the needs of a specific region.