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OSU Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration recently awarded the OSU Center for Health Sciences a five-year grant to establish a new Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program. Oklahoma lost its sole AHEC program over five years ago. The OSU Center for Health Sciences will host the new program office in Oklahoma City with regional offices in Enid, Lawton, and Tahlequah. The host institutions for the regional offices are Rural Health Projects, Inc. in Enid, Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton, and Cherokee Health Partners in Tahlequah.
OSU will receive $228,000 for the first year to plan program activities and curriculum. Funding for years two through five will be approximately $740,000 per year with 75 percent of the funds distributed to the regional center offices.
The program will include inter-professional training in community-based settings to diverse cohorts of students enrolled in various health professions training programs. The anticipated impacts of the project are to increase the diversity and cultural competency of the primary care workforce, improve workforce distribution in rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma, and develop a high-functioning workforce that can thrive in and adapt to new modes of care delivery.
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Nicole Neilson, M.S., RD/LD