The Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho Area Health Education Center (WWAMI AHEC) Program Office of the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine has collaborated closely since the mid-1980s with its AHEC Centers in Eastern and Western Washington, Wyoming, and Idaho and its affiliated Program Offices in Alaska and Montana. The WWAMI AHEC is an integral part of the larger WWAMI program, a 40+ year old medical education program serving five states (listed above), and shares resources with the WWAMI program to improve the quality and distribution of all health professionals in our mostly rural region.
The WWAMI AHEC program’s objectives are to:
- implement and evaluate primary care education and training activities, including developing and implementing a new WWAMI AHEC Scholars Program (following an initial planning year) that will enroll cohorts of 90-130 interprofessional students each year;
- conduct community-based experiential training through programs including the Rural-Underserved Opportunities Program (R/UOP) that supports field placements, preceptorships and other community based activities for students in health careers’ educational programs to become the next generation of providers who will serve our region’s highest-need populations;
- deliver professional education and support, including continuing clinical education for rural health professionals across the region;
- offer a wide range of community-based health careers promotion and preparation activities to encourage students grades 9-12 and in college, as well as displaced workers, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to enter health careers education and ultimately become healthcare providers who chose to work in rural and underserved communities; and
- conduct evaluation activities to monitor the supply and distribution of the region’s primary care workforce, particularly the workforce to serve rural and underserved communities.
The WWAMI AHEC Program Office at the University of Washington and two affiliated program, the Montana AHEC Program Office at Montana State University and the Alaska Program Office at the University of Alaska, comprise the AHECs in the WWAMI States (see Figure). WWAMI AHEC now has 6 centers across Washington, Idaho and Wyoming (2 new Centers were added in Idaho with the 2017-18 funding award), the Montana AHEC has 5 Centers, and the Alaska AHEC has 6 Centers. The AHECs have locally representative boards of directors or advisory committees, and each Program Office has a regionally representative Advisory Board. The Centers and Program offices regularly meet as a group convened by the WWAMI AHEC Program Office in the Office of the Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Washington.
Discover more about our AHEC activities, programs and products here!