Office of Primary Care and Area Health Education Centers Program (AHEC)
Office of Primary Care
Encouraged by the Vermont Legislature, The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont established the Office of Primary Care (OPC) in 1993 to focus the College of Medicine's commitment to primary care in Vermont. OPC is actively involved in enhancing networks for community faculty, in strengthening teaching and research programs, and in preparing the workforce for the future.
The OPC was awarded federal funding to establish a statewide AHEC program in 1996. There are two regional centers (Northern VT AHEC in St. Johnsbury and Southern VT AHEC in Springfield), each its own 501c-3 non-profit organization. Together, AHECs work to increase the supply, geographic distribution, and education of Vermont's healthcare workforce, and provide a link between UVM's health professions and training programs and Vermont's communities. The Vermont AHEC network is a true academic-community partnership.
Vermont Area Health Education Centers
The Vermont Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program, in collaboration with many partners, improves access to quality healthcare through its focus on workforce development. This includes: pipeline programs in health careers awareness and exploration for youth in communities across the state; support for and engagement of health professions students at the University of Vermont and residents at The University of Vermont Medical Center; and recruitment and retention of the healthcare workforce in Vermont.
AHEC efforts focus on achieving a well-trained healthcare workforce so that all Vermonters have access to quality care, including those who live in Vermont's most rural areas and Vermont's underserved populations. In addition to workforce development, AHEC brings educational and quality improvement programming to Vermont's primary care practitioners and supports community health education across the state.
AHEC believes the success in healthcare innovation, transformation, and reform depends on an adequate supply and distribution of well-trained healthcare professionals.
Where is AHEC in Vermont?
The statewide infrastructure of AHEC consists of a program office located at the University of Vermont in Burlington, and two regional centers: Northern Vermont AHEC in St. Johnsbury, VT and Southern Vermont AHEC in in Springfield, VT. Each AHEC is a separate, non-profit organization capable of providing support for community healthcare systems. AHEC provides a link between the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Vermont communities. AHEC is a dynamic academic-community based partnership.