The Inland Empire Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is a HRSA-funded program managed by the Community Health Association Inland Southern Region (Association). The Inland Empire AHEC is also a Public Health Training Center (PHTC) and collaborates with the California AHEC Program Office (www.cal-ahec.org) as funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
In addition to the Association’s mission, the Inland Empire AHEC is committed to Cal-AHEC’s mission of improving access to quality healthcare for underserved populations through academic and community partnerships, particularly in the inland southern region encompassing both San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The Inland Empire AHEC utilizes a collaborative approach to increase diversity in the healthcare workforce, increase community-based health professions training programs, develop and strengthen partnerships between multi-disciplinary organizations, contribute to pipeline programs to promote healthcare careers within youth of underserved communities, and support communication amongst health centers/clinics, academic institutions, and community partners.
The Inland Empire AHEC facilitates advanced learning placement, such as internships for undergraduate and graduate students and clinical rotations for healthcare students, with the support of the Association’s membership and other community-based organizations. Furthermore, the Inland Empire AHEC is involved in various partner collaborations that address workforce issues by targeting all levels of students and professionals including the inland counties’ Sling Shot Workforce (addressing the current workforce), Cal-AHEC’s Statewide Program Advisory Committee (SPAC), and the Inland Health Professions Coalition (IHPC; www.inlandcoalition.org).
The Inland Empire AHEC engages in initiatives such as facilitating continued education and training opportunities, participating in the planning of the annual Health Professions Conference lead by IHPC, and establishing a Medical Assistants program in the inland southern region in partnership with the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement.
Iris Garcia, MPH, CHES