What is an AHEC?
The Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program was developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train, and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations. The AHEC program taps the resources of academic medicine to address local community health needs. The strength of the AHEC Network is its ability to creatively adapt national initiatives to help address local and regional healthcare issues.
Nationwide, 54 AHEC programs, with over 200 regional centers work with 120 medical schools and over 600 allied health programs and schools of nursing to attract, train, and retain a workforce committed to underserved populations. Each region has a program director, an advisory council, and works to develop healthcare workforce strategies for their own region.
In 1985, the Montana AHEC was implemented at Montana State University in Bozeman. In September, 2007, the MSU College of Nursing applied and was awarded a grant from the Health Resource Service Administration to establish 4 regional AHEC offices in Montana, in addition to the Bozeman Program Office. A fifth regional office was set up in 2014. Currently, our North Central and South Central AHECs operate in Helena; Eastern AHEC operates in Billings; Northeastern AHEC is in Miles City.
The Western MT AHEC, at the University of Montana, in Missoula, was established in 2008, and the fourth and final office, North Central AHEC was established in Fairfield.WMT-AHEC is located in the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Montana-Missoula, and is closely affiliated with the 13 health professions programs offered through the University of Montana Health & Medicine (UMHM) programs.
WMT-AHEC serves the following Western counties: Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, Mineral, Missoula, Sanders, and Ravalli.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging Commitment
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) are core tenets of the Western Montana Area Health Education Center (WMT-AHEC). We recognize that by actively practicing DEIB methods it strengthens our resolve to recruit, train, and retain a health professions workforce committed to providing the best care possible for rural and underserved populations. WMT-AHEC believes that by engaging in thoughtful and respectful DEIB practices, it will enrich the whole community and promote a culture of education and reflection.
We are dedicated to learning about and incorporating best practices for DEIB within our internal office policies, health education and workforce programming, and community engagement. Our team values the voices and stories from those in our communities with lived experiences. We strive to learn from those experts when guiding our work while aiding our communities through action.
How to Find Us
We are located on the Missoula College campus, rooms 102-110, directly across from the main first floor entrance.