What does ARI-AHEC Do?

ARI-AHEC Mission:

To enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals through community/academic educational partnerships.

Health Careers:

  • AHECs are committed to expanding of the health care workforce, while maximizing diversity and facilitating distribution, especially in rural and underserved communities.
  • AHECS offer creative, hands-on and innovative health career curriculums for pre-college level students.

Health Profession Students:

  • AHEC clinical training placements put health professions students in a variety of real-world settings, such as migrant, urban, and rural community health clinics and health departments that provide healthcare to rural and underserved populations.
  • Students who participate in AHEC service-learning programs develop an awareness of the economic and cultural barriers in health care delivery and have a better understanding of the complex needs of rural and underserved communities.
  • AHECs are uniquely qualified to facilitate clinical placements based on their linkages to academic centers, local healthcare resources and community partner organizations.
  • Connecting students to community populations helps facilitate future engagement and network alliance building for health career students to remain in their clinical practice regions and continue providing more sustainable healthcare in rural and underserved areas following their training.
  • AHEC Scholars is a program for health professions students interested in supplementing their education by gaining additional knowledge and experience in rural and/or underserved urban settings. This is a longitudinal program with interdisciplinary curricula to implement a defined set of clinical, didactic, and community-based activities.

Health Professionals:

  • AHECs provide accredited continued education programs and professional support to meet the needs of healthcare professionals, especially those practicing in rural and underserved areas.
  • Development of programs designed to enhance clinical skills and evidence-based practices, while helping support academic progression and development of high-quality certification levels that allow professional development to expand to the full scope of practice.
  • AHECs focus on recruitment, clinical placement and retention activities to address community and state healthcare workforce needs customized to their regions.
  • AHECs provide support services for information dissemination on healthcare issues and participate in collaborative community-based research.


  • AHECs are designed to be responsive to local health needs and serve as an important link between academic training programs and community-based outreach programs.
  • AHECs provide innovative, collaborative and interprofessional responses to current and emerging health issues.
  • AHECs collaboratively develop community health education curriculums, for both online and face-to-face training programs, through unique partnerships that meet the broader range of public health needs of diverse and severely rural and underserved populations.

ARI-AHEC was established in 2010, though the federally-funded AHEC program