AHEC Program at TWU: A Bus to Get You Somewhere Else in Your Health Career

North Texas ‘Area Health Education Center’ (AHEC), a nonprofit organization that works in the community to offset health workforce shortages in underserved areas, has recently moved its office to Texas Woman’s University.

“AHEC is big about learn by doing. It’s a bus to get you somewhere else.”

North Texas AHEC moved to TWU on September 1, 2015, and TWU students have now direct access to additional program areas that promote healthcare workforce development through academic-community partnerships.

AHEC Program: A Bus to Get You Somewhere Else in Your Health Career

“TWU […] gives AHEC opportunities to recruit students that are already in the [health workforce] pipeline.”

About the benefits of moving to TWU, North Texas AHEC Director Tom Knight highlights the following. “The fact that TWU is a university of excellence that cares about people and has unique programs including a disable student scholarship, the fact that TWU is moving into being a Hispanic serving institute, the fact that TWU has so many clinical departments and a well-renowned leader in Health Studies, Dr. Roger Shipley, that gives AHEC opportunities to recruit students that are already in the [workforce] pipeline.”

Tom Knight at TWU
Tom Knight speaking with potential interns during TWU Health Studies Intern Fair

“Shortage of public health professionals is an economic issue.”

In a sense, AHEC serves as an economic development agent by supplying talent into the workforce pipeline. “Underserved area hospitals are forced to overpay up to 30 to 40 percent more and still can’t get health professionals to go work for them” explains Tom Knight. “Shortage of public health professionals is an economic issue. Without physicians communities start to dry out. Underserved area hospitals with no tax districts survive only from their own profits. Retirees are starting to move from underserved areas to other communities that have better access to health services and physicians. AHEC seeks to improve the health of these communities and prevent their population shift by giving them access to well-trained health professionals.”

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“We promote health careers and prepare people to advance in their profession.”

North Texas AHEC also helps students with setting up college tours and securing staff to spend time with them. The organization also provides workshops and helps applicants with maximizing acceptance into state and out-of-state universities.

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Students during a college tour with AHEC

“AHEC provides job shadow with health professionals.”

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AHEC’s Health Career Training Camp with health profesionals
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Job shadow during AHEC’s Health Career Training Camp

“AHEC is big about learn by doing. It’s a bus to get you somewhere else. We promote health careers and prepare people to advance in their profession.” explains Tom Knight, who also adds “If a student doesn’t get into nursing and doesn’t know what to do, AHEC helps with career assessment integrating resources such as FAFSA and career services. Then AHEC provides job shadow with health professionals. That helps determine if the student wants to pursue a specific health career pathway.”

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North Texas AHEC also facilitates professional development events offering Continuing Education Units for health professionals. Their office at TWU is located in the Human Development Building, room B008.

Pics: Facebook/Texas AHEC East: North Central Region

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