What is Area Health Education Center (AHEC)?
Through the Rural Health Education Network Office, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) applied for and received federal funding to establish Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) in Nebraska. UNMC received its first AHEC funding from the Division of State, Community and Public Health within the Bureau of Health Professions under the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) in September 2001 as part of the National AHEC Organization.
The Nebraska AHEC Program is based at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and is implemented through five regional centers located in Kearney, Norfolk, Scottsbluff, Lincoln and Omaha. Regional centers enable AHEC to carry out local programs with efficiency and provide statewide local services to deliver high quality, efficient, effective and flexible services that meet local needs of all 93 counties in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Area Health Education Center Network works throughout Nebraska to improve access to basic healthcare by linking local community groups with the resources of UNMC and other health professions training programs. AHEC improves access to healthcare by:
- Recruiting minority students into the health professions. AHECs work with Nebraska's public schools to provide health career programs for grades 8-16.
- Partnering with community organizations to address local health issues. AHECs have helped local groups secure federal and private funding by ensuring and effective group process.
- Providing continuing education that improves the care received by vulnerable populations.
- Developing and supporting community training opportunities for health professions students. The AHEC Program has been instrumental in helping UNMC place more of its students in underserved communities.
- Developing and implementing the Nebraska AHEC Scholars Program for health profession students designed to give students a deeper understanding of rural and urban health care, caring for underserved populations, and the importance of transformation in a clinical setting.