Arizona AHEC: Meeting the Needs of Healthcare Professionals


Access to health care is a right, not a privilege, yet millions of Americans receive health care services that prevent, diagnose, and treat disease and address the social determinants that affect their health. lacks ability.

Nearly 100 million Americans live in designated primary care medical professional shortage areas. This area is defined by the Department of Health Resources Services as an area and population with a shortage of primary care physicians relative to the population. In Arizona alone, more than 3.3 million people live in areas with a health worker shortage.Men and women wearing doctor scrubs stand in the clinic

However, in 12 months, more than 1,500 health professional trainees, including future doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, phlebotomists, physician assistants, physiotherapists, public health professionals, etc. Participated in basic training. Launching the University of Arizona Health Sciences Program. Since 1984, the Arizona Community Health Education Center Program has served the state by training, recruiting, and retaining health professionals in rural and underserved communities.

“My rural medical experience was very important in preparing me to become a competent all-round family medicine physician,” he said. Dr. Amanda McKeeth, University of Arizona School of Medicine – Tucson School of Family and Community Medicine Resident. “When communities have limited access to resources and specialists, patients rely on their primary care physicians to provide the care they need. Where else can I learn about baby birth and postnatal tubal formation? [ligation]Are you going to put a patient in the ICU and do a shoulder reduction all in one day?”

The six AzAHEC Regional Centers will improve the supply and placement of health professionals through academic and community educational partnerships in rural and urban underserved areas as part of the Federal Community Health Education Program. strengthens access to quality healthcare, especially primary and preventive healthcare.

History of cultivating diverse medical personnel

Map of Arizona showing areas served by Arizona AHEC Regional Centers in different colors[Almost80yearsafterWorldWarIIendedonSeptember21945thelegacyofthewarlivesonespeciallyinthemedicalfieldThescaleandintensityofthewarfueledmedicalinnovationwhilethepost-warsituationstimulatedtheexpansionofemployer-basedhealthinsurance[1945年9月2日に第二次世界大戦が終結してからほぼ80年が経ちましたが、戦争の遺産は、特に医療の分野で今も生き続けています。戦争の規模と激しさは医療の革新を促進し、一方、戦後の状況は雇用主ベースの健康保険の拡大を刺激しました。

The explosive population growth during the “baby boom” from 1946 to 1964 added 76 million people to the US population. Concerned that there were not enough medical professionals to care for the growing population, Congress recruited a workforce of medical professionals to serve the rural underserved population in 1971, Authorized the Community Health Education Center Program to train and maintain.

Fifty years later, the need still exists. There are currently 56 AHEC programs and 235 regional centers in the United States, 6 of which are in Arizona. Last year, AzAHEC programs and AzAHEC regional centers provided 12% of the community-based health professional training rotations reported by 56 AHEC programs in the United States.

“Improving access to health care for all Arizona residents, especially those living in rural and urban underserved areas, requires cross-professional, community-based, empirical A good training rotation is essential.” Dr. Daniel Dirksen, Senior Advisor and Principal Investigator of the AzAHEC Program and Vice President for Health Equity, Outreach and Interprofessional Activities, Arizona University of Health Sciences. “The first Arizona AHEC Regional Center opened in Nogales in 1984. By 1989, we served all 15 Arizona counties through five Regional Centers. “With the addition of Health AHEC Regional Centers, we have expanded to six.”

Training of culturally appropriate health care providers

Three students are sitting on the ground and tending to the plants in the gardenThe American Indian Health AHEC Regional Center works with San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation and Gila River Health Care to provide education and training to improve the supply and placement of health care professionals in tribal communities. They work with many of the 22 federally recognized tribes in Arizona.

“Tribes in Arizona face a severe shortage of medical professionals compared to other parts of the state,” he said. Leila Barraza, JD, MPH, Director of the AzAHEC Program and Associate Professor of Community, Environment and Policy at the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. “By working closely with tribal health systems and strengthening current workforce strategies, the American Indian Community Health Center can begin to alleviate some of these shortfalls.”

On July 1, 2022, the American Indian Health AHEC Regional Center will join five existing AHEC Regional Centers in Arizona. Colorado Plateau Medical Profession Center. Southern Arizona AHEC. Center for Rural Educational Excellence. and Western Arizona AHEC.

A medical student sits in a classroom while a doctor lectures in front of a projector screen“I had a great experience in a rural medical setting. My preceptor was very knowledgeable and a great teacher,” says Chandler Regional Medical Center, who recently graduated from Arizona State University with a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Ph.D. Allison “Kate” Mathias, M.D., who graduated with a degree in home nursing, said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed caring for patients at this rural, federally qualified health center. The population is unique and requires many resources and comprehensive care. has been reaffirmed by her passion for rural and underserved patients and has given her great experience and knowledge in their care.”

Each year, the AzAHEC Program and Regional Center partners with nine local health professional programs, professional organizations and communities based at three of Arizona’s public universities (University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University) to provide We offer training and educational events. . During the 2021-2022 fiscal year:

  • 1,531 students and residents representing 40 colleges and training programs participated in 3,022 field experiences around Arizona, with 75% increasing their chances of practicing in rural or underserved areas through rotation I answered.
  • 609 students from the University of Arizona, ASU, and NAU received 1,158 trainings through nine rural health professional programs.
  • Nearly 4,500 healthcare professionals attended 136 continuing education events and 90% said they were likely or very likely to implement the material into their practice.
  • 2,749 community members participated in health education activities and events.
  • With 1,376 K-12 students participating in the medical career program, over 97% of high school students reported being very interested in pursuing a medical career.
  • Thirteen undergraduate and 92 graduate students gained advanced community-based experience through the AzAHEC Scholars Program.

“I am proud to be part of this important scholar program. As a future nursing practitioner, I know this opportunity will benefit my practice,” said the AzAHEC scholar Marian Brock Anderson, MSN, RNholds a PhD in Nursing Practice – Home Nurse degree from ASU while working as a Clinical Lecturer at the University of Arizona College of Nursing. “Rural and underserved communities benefit directly from organizations that act as partners in developing and implementing programs that meet their unique needs.”





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