What is AHEC

Alabama Area Health Education Centers

Poised to lead for the future of Alabama Health Care

An Opportunity to Advance the Rural Healthcare Workforce

Developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train, and retain a health professions workforce committed to serving underserved populations, Area Health Education Centers work to creatively adapt national initiatives to address local and regional health care issues. Our education, recruitment, and retention programs serve as a bridge between academics and communities, connecting students to health careers, health professionals to communities, and communities to better care.

The purpose of each program is to meet the needs of the communities we serve through robust partnerships with a focus on exposure, education, and training of the current and future health care workforce. We work closely with each state’s institutions of higher education, healthcare providers, community partners, and others to build and support the healthcare workforce needed for every community to have access to diverse, high-quality, patient-focused care.

Patient-Focused Care for All

At AHEC, we have made it our mission to enhance access to quality healthcare, particularly primary and preventative care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals via strategic partnerships with academic programs, communities, and professional organizations.

Workforce Development

AHEC recruits students through our programs. Partnering and collaborating with high schools and community colleges, AHEC provides opportunities to students in order to develop a trained healthcare workforce.

Continuing Education

AHEC supplements and promotes education by creating networks between two and four-year institutions. When education is consistent and abundant, career ladders are created for healthcare professionals, strengthening their retention rates and lifting individuals and communities beyond traditional disenfranchisement. 

Bridging Educational Gaps

By supplementing healthcare specific educational resources, AHEC attempts to reduce the academic achievement gaps for a more diverse workforce serving historically underserved communities.

Diversifying the Workforce

AHEC works to diversify the healthcare workforce along ethnic and socioeconomic lines through recruitment in rural communities.

Economic Development

Healthcare is a primary driver of economic development. Each family medicine physician placed in a rural community creates 24 new jobs on average. AHEC improves healthcare access and hyper-local economies by connecting communities with the providers they need.

At AHEC, we’re building and supporting the healthcare workforce Alabama needs.
Join us today.

The Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Center is funded in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration, the federal agency charged with training health professionals and improving health care for people who are geographically isolated, economically disadvantaged or medically vulnerable. The contents of this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.