To improve access to and the quality of health care for underserved populations of California using academic-community partnerships for health education and workforce training



The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program is 44 years old and is funded by states and the federal government through HRSA’s Bureau of Health  Workforce AHECs bring together local resources and community based organizations with academic institutions to improve access and quality health care for the underserved communities and populations in the state.

AHEC programs and centers are diverse in their activities, each one responding to the needs of the community it serves

Local community AHEC centers develop training programs with academic institutions to provide training experiences within community clinics and health centers, charity hospitals, simulation labs and community organizations for health professions students and residents.

AHECs work with K-12 schools, community college and undergraduate programs to increase the diversity of future health professions workforce through career education, job shadowing, summer camps, internships and health clubs. Some AHECs work with national programs such as AmeriCorps and Vista to provide post baccalaureate and post-secondary students with community health experiences.

AHECs can respond rapidly to changing health priorities such as Bioterrorism, Veterans Mental Health and Health insurance Exchanges




  • Continuing education programs for health professionals practicing in CHCs and other underserved areas
  • Teaching health professionals students and residents to present health information to community members and clinic patients
  • Community based clinical training for health professions students and residents
  • Programs to expose underrepresented high school, community college and undergraduate students to college and career opportunities in the health professions



  • Increase community-based health professions training programs
  • Increase the diversity of California's health workforce
  • Strengthen collaboration and develop partnerships between institutions with similar missions
  • Support communication between community and academic partners
  • Record, study, and document outcomes




  • Health: A skilled, well-distributed health workforce will improve the health of Californians.
  • Education: Education improves individuals and communities.
  • Community: Underserved communities have strengths and needs.
  • Diversity: California's diversity should be reflected in its health workforce.
  • Collaboration: Collaboration of communities and academic institutions is essential to workforce improvement and distribution.
  • Innovation: New ideas contribute to success.




California Statewide AHEC link

California Public Health Training Center link

CDC HPV Vaccination Project link



California Statewide AHEC Centers and Host Organizations


AHEC Center           

Host Organization

North Coast AHEC

North Coast Clinics Network

Northern California AHEC

Health Alliance of Northern CA

San Francisco AHEC

San Francisco Comm. Clinic Consortium

East Bay AHEC

Community Clinic Consortium

South Bay AHEC

Community Health Partnership

Central Coast AHEC

Health Projects Center

San Joaquin Valley AHEC

Fresno Healthy Comm. Access Partners

Inland Empire AHEC

Community Clinic Association San Bernardino  Co.

Los Angeles Harbor AHEC

Los Angeles Biomedical Research

East Los Angeles AHEC

AltaMed Health Services

South Los Angeles AHEC

Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles Co.

Orange County AHEC

Coalition of Orange County Community Clinics

San Diego Border AHEC

Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista