AHEC stands for "Area Health Education Center."
Established by Congress in 1971, the network of AHEC organizations across the country was created to improve the distribution, diversity, and supply of the primary care health professions workforce who serve in rural and underserved areas.
WWAMI is a five state collaboration for medical education which takes its name from the first letter of each of the states who partner together: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.
As program centers for University of Washington Medical School's WWAMI AHEC , Idaho AHEC, along with AHEC programs in Wyoming and Washington, receive technical support and core program funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the University of Washington. Although Alaska and Montana now have their own AHEC programs, these two states' AHEC programs remain part of the WWAMI AHEC network through affiliation agreements.
Washington has two AHEC programs:
Wyoming AHEC is housed at the University of Wyoming at Laramie.
Alaska AHEC's program office is funded through the University of Alaska – Anchorage School of Nursing.
There are five AHEC centers throughout the state who work in collaboration with industry partners:
1) Yukon Kuskokwim AHEC (hosted by Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation) 2) Interior Alaska AHEC (hosted by Fairbanks Memorial Hospital) 3) South Central AHEC (hosted by Providence Health & Services Alaska) 4) Southeast Alaska AHEC (hosted by SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) and 5) Northwest AHEC (hosted by Ilisagvik College)
The Montana AHEC also operates multiple centers: South Central Regional AHEC in Dillon under the auspices of the Montana Hospital Association and the Eastern Regional AHEC in Billings at RiverStone Health. The Western Regional AHEC, located in Missoula and hosted by the University of Montana, was established in 2008. In 2010, the fourth and final center, the North Central Regional AHEC, was established in Cut Bank, Montana.
While AHEC programs vary somewhat from state to state, they are all united by the guidance of the National AHEC Organization (NAO) whose mission is: "Connecting students to careers, professionals to communities, and communities to better health."
In Idaho we partner with primary care providers, state agencies, clinics, schools, and other key stakeholders to promote and support programs that will enhance the health careers workforce and/or foster better health for Idaho communities.