Mission and History

Mission Statement

The mission of Arizona AHEC is to enhance access to quality healthcare, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals through academic-community educational partnerships in rural and urban medically underserved areas.


The National AHEC Organization was developed by Congress in 1971. There are 56 AHEC programs and 236 regional centers in 47 states.

Arizona's first regional AHEC center opened in Nogales in 1984. Today, six regional centers are serving Arizona by supporting health professions education, providing continuing education for health professionals, and addressing health disparities and local health workforce issues. Our programs support development of our children, health professions students, and health professions workforce as well as recruitment and retention of a highly skilled health professions workforce. The regional centers also support many health careers programs including students in medicine (both allopathic and osteopathic medical students), nursing, pharmacy, public health, dentistry, and allied health.