The California AHEC Program, a thirty year old organization of partnerships, brings together community and academic interests to improve access to health care and decrease health disparities. Each AHEC develops, with its partners, a population-based approach to health professions education with a special emphasis on community-based training. Supported by HRSA grant #5U77HP3015-10-00 and the state of California, the AHEC Program accomplishes its mission through a network of ten California AHEC centers, each located in an underserved area and affiliated with, but separate from a health professions school. Each AHEC is an independent organization located in the community and serves a specific region, each run by a community board of directors. Most centers have developed programs and resources in addition to the state and HRSA support provided by the AHEC Program.


The goals of the California AHEC are to improve access to health care services by:


Increasing community based training of health professions students in California

Increasing health workforce diversity

Linking AHEC to community academic and other partners

Expanding California AHEC to areas not presently served


Please also link to our website at http://www.cal-ahec.org




The California Preparedness Education Network (cal-PEN) is a statewide continuing education program that addresses gaps in preparedness education for healthcare providers caring for the state’s most vulnerable populations.


cal-PEN delivers one-hour educational modules on the topic of “Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Emergency Preparedness.” A network of faculty conducts trainings throughout the state including family physician faculty from family medicine residency training programs, pharmacists from the California Poison Control System, first responders, public health nurses and others.


Educational content for the six modules was developed by a team of educators who reviewed existing state educational activities, Department of Defense training tools, and other curriculum resources. The curriculum was also informed by a needs-assessment conducted by local AHEC centers with a sample of target learners. Free category one continuing medical education credits are available through the American Academy of Family Physicians.


CalPEN teaches health professionals to recognize the indications of a terrorist event or other public health emergency and how to respond appropriately. Health professionals are trained to


  • Identify a bioterrorist event or other public health emergency

  • Meet acute care needs of victims, including pediatric and other
    vulnerable populations

  • Alert the public health system at a local, state and national level for a coordinated response

  • Participate in a coordinated, multidisciplinary response to an event. (NIMS)


In addition to the face-to-face trainings, cal-PEN offers synchronous and web-archived trainings education through University of California Television (UCTV). One hour modules have been recorded and are available throughout North America within the Med Ed Hour schedule via satellite downlink, cable systems broadcast and web cast. Free level one continuing medical education credits are available through UC Davis School of Medicine for distance learners. The modules are archived for asynchronous viewing throughout California and the nation and can be downloaded to computers and IPOD.


CalPEN is a project of the California Area Health Education Center (AHEC), funded by HRSA grant T01HP01405.

or more information, please visit our website www.cal-pen.org