The Creation of the Flordia AHEC Network
An imbalance in the quality of and access to health and health care across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups are reflected in racial and ethnic disparities in health status and the under-representation of minority and disadvantaged individuals in the health workforce. AHEC programs play a key role in correcting these inequities and strengthening the nation’s health care safety net. Through community-based interdisciplinary training programs, AHECs inspire, train, recruit and retain a diverse and broad range of health care professionals to practice in communities who need them most.
In Florida there are five (5) AHECs Programs and ten (10) Centers, and together they form the Florida AHEC Network, an extensive statewide system originally established to support health professions students training and health professional education; and since 2007, tobacco training and cessation programs. Each center is supported by an AHEC program at one of the state’s medical schools. This organizational structure enables the AHECs to draw upon the resources of the academic health centers in addressing local health care issues.
Today, 56 AHEC programs with more than 235 centers operate in almost every state and the District of Columbia. Approximately 120 medical schools and 600 nursing and allied health schools work collaboratively with AHECs to improve health for underserved and under-represented populations.