What are Area Health Education Centers?
Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) are federally funded organizations that focus on the expansion of the health care workforce particularly in rural and underserved areas.1 They offer a variety of educational programs that provide awareness and understanding of the complex barriers to health care delivery in hard-to-reach communities. In addition, AHECs provide continued support services to health care professionals and often establish training for health care providers in the areas they seek to serve.
AHECs & Community Health Workers
Individuals who participate in AHEC programs often move on to a position within the health care industry, including becoming a Community Health Worker. Being that AHECs are passionate about supporting health career student needs so that they can provide sustainable healthcare in the rural and underserved areas that they live in; interfacing with CHWs is a frequent occurrence. CHWs are trusted members of their community who empower their peers through education and connections to health and social resources. They have unmatched knowledge of how social, economic, and cultural factors impact health in their communities. This makes them an invaluable source of information for organizations seeking to have an impact on the populations they serve.