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West Central Alabama Alabama Area Health Education Center (AHEC) ​

Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) are committed to expanding the health care workforce, maximizing diversity and facilitating distribution, especially in underserved communities. AHECs were created by Congress in 1971 to increase the quantity, diversity and distribution healthcare professionals, especially in rural and underserved areas. Research has been shown that positive changes to these three areas increase access and improve the overall health of communities.

Our Center has had the opportunity to partner with AHEC for the following events: 

  • Annual Mental Health Summit: ​The purpose of the Community Mental Health Summit is to enhance the quality of mental health care for Veterans and their families through collaborations between the VA and community healthcare providers and community-based organizations.
  • You are the Key to Cancer Prevention: HPV Awareness: The National AHEC Organization (NAO) received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a project to provide education to health professionals regarding the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Through this cooperative agreement, NAO will strengthen HPV vaccination recommendations, resulting in a decrease in missed opportunities to vaccinate adolescents. The West Central Alabama serves as the State Entity for Alabama, working with the Alabama Statewide AHEC Network to: 
  1. Provide clinician outreach and training
  2. Disseminate educational materials about HPV vaccination
  3. Increase and form strong partnerships that support increasing vaccination rates for youth ages 11 & 12
  4. Push prioritization of HPV vaccination efforts
  • Youth First Mental Health First Aid: The Mental Health First Aid course was first created after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, CT in a response to educate community members on how to recognize when youth are experiencing a mental health crisis. Since its development, the Mental Health First Aid course has produced many positive effects within communities and raised awareness about the warning signs of mental illnesses in youth. This 8-hour certification course will teach individuals who work with youth how to recognize the signs of youth who are experiencing mental health distress and how to properly address it. 
  • Dixie NERD Camp: The Dixie NERD Summer Enrichment program is a week-long health career exploration experience designed to enrich the lives of students who show a genuine interest in learning about health professions. Through intensive and interactive activities and sessions, students will be provided with basic health skills training, educational growth, and invaluable resources.