The Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program enhances access to high quality, culturally competent health care through academic-community partnerships to ultimately improve the distribution, diversity, and supply of the primary care health professions workforce who serve in rural and underserved health care delivery sites. The AHEC Program awardees subcontract with community-based AHEC centers in one or more regions of a state.
Along with state and local partners, the AHEC programs and centers:
The AHEC Program funds schools of medicine and, in states with no medical school, schools of nursing.
The AHEC Program consists of two phases, Infrastructure Development and Point of Service Maintenance and Enhancement.
Infrastructure Development awards fund AHEC planning, development and implementation. Grantees provide community-based, interdisciplinary/interprofessional training programs and establish AHEC centers in one or more regions of a state. Each grantee can receive as much as 6 years of funding and no more than 12 years of financial support for multiple centers.
Point of Service awards fund AHEC programs and centers that have completed the Infrastructure Development phase. Modifications may be made to the program due to changes in demographics or needs of the populations in AHEC service areas. There is an emphasis on community-based, interdisciplinary/interprofessional training programs and activities that will enhance primary care, workforce diversity, and quality of care with the goal of ultimately improving access to healthcare in underserved areas.