The PA AHEC (Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center) Program is committed to becoming a national leader in the effort to enhance the health status of underserved communities. We intend to build on the established solid foundation through the cooperative efforts of regional AHECs by strengthening our partnership with community, government and educational agencies and institutions, and by expanding our collaboration with interdisciplinary health care provider groups throughout the state. The PA AHEC Program’s strategic plan includes demonstrating the value of its unique role in significantly increasing access to health services and resources within currently underserved areas of the state. In so doing, we will be recognized as a National Model and as a source of Best Practices for recruiting and retaining primary care practitioners into underserved areas and developing effective community-based health promotion programs.
In order to achieve this vision, PA AHEC will harness the enthusiasm and energy of its members and stakeholders to carry out the following:
- Strengthen collaborative relationships across the regional AHECs in order to enhance our ability to plan and coordinate creative activities, share quality information and leverage scarce resources.
- Create health promotion initiatives and continuing professional education programs that fully engage the interdisciplinary health care community - students, educators, researchers and providers - in the planning, implementation and evaluation. Gain the trust and active participation of a cross-section of health care consumers, especially from underserved areas of the state in this effort.
- Develop and maintain fully functioning partnerships with governmental agencies, educational institutions and community organizations in order to secure fiscal resources and political support for the AHEC agenda.
- Disseminate what we have learned widely, using both community-based and professional forum, measure the results of our programs through the use of clear objectives, sound methodology and reliable data.
- Promote the design, implementation and evaluation of technology that can foster the connectivity among consumer, academician and health care practitioners.
The mission of the PA AHEC program is to help communities meet their primary health care needs by creating a statewide infrastructure bridging community and academic resources in order to:
- Facilitate the recruitment and retention of primary care providers in underserved communities through educational and training programs.
- Develop an information and communication network to provide consultation, technical assistance, education and other professional support for community-based primary care practitioners.
- Increase the number of individuals from minority and underserved communities and populations who enter primary care and allied health professions.
- Evaluate and assess the public health needs of communities within and among the regions and provide innovative, multi-disciplinary responses to those needs.