“What the heck is an AHEC?” is probably the most asked question received by anyone working in an AHEC office. One would think that it should probably be the easiest question to answer. However, the longer I work at the Northeast Area Health Education Center (NE AHEC) the harder this question becomes. The question is difficult because our AHEC goes into a wide array of activities and programs to fulfill our mission of “promoting healthy communities through innovative partnerships.” We do so much to promote our mission that it is just too difficult to describe in one sentence. It was this very reason the NE AHEC adopted our motto, “Bringing Our Best Back Home”. This motto is probably the closest I can come to describing what the heck we do at our AHEC.
What does “Bringing Our Best Back Home” have to do with “promoting healthy communities through innovative partnerships”? Well its simple, in my opinion, the greatest challenge before us as an AHEC is supporting the training, recruitment and retention of health care professionals in our region.