The WWAMI Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program, in the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Office of Rural Programs, works to improve the diversity, distribution, and quality of the healthcare workforce in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. The WWAMI AHEC program relies on partnerships with affiliated AHEC program offices in Montana and Alaska, as well as clinics and communities in the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (the “WWAMI” states). WWAMI AHEC promotes health career pathways, creates healthcare educational opportunities for students from junior high school through professional and post-graduate training, and supports health care providers working with underserved populations.
The Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho Area Health Education Center (WWAMI AHEC) Program Office of the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine (UWSOM) began its collaborative work with AHEC Centers in Eastern and Western Washington, Wyoming and Idaho and its affiliated Program Offices in Alaska and Montana starting in the mid-1980s. The WWAMI AHEC has been, and continues to be, an integral part of the larger UWSOM WWAMI program, a 40+ year old medical education program serving the five states. WWAMI AHEC shares the mission and resources with the UWSOM WWAMI program to improve the quality and distribution of all health professionals in our mostly rural region. In 2018, WWAMI AHEC Centers are AHEC of Western Washington in Bellingham, WA; Eastern Washington AHEC in Spokane, WA; Southwest Idaho AHEC in Boise, ID; Northern Idaho AHEC in Moscow, ID; and Southeast Idaho AHEC in Pocatello, ID.
HOW WE WORK:
The program office is part of the UWSOM Office of Rural Programs and resides on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. In 2018, the WWAMI AHEC regional centers are: AHEC of Western Washington in Bellingham, WA; Eastern Washington AHEC in Spokane, WA; Southwest Idaho AHEC in Boise, ID; Northern Idaho AHEC in Moscow, ID; and Southeast Idaho AHEC in Pocatello, ID.The WWAMI AHEC Program Office at the University of Washington and its two affiliated programs, the Montana AHEC Program Office at Montana State University and the Alaska Program Office at the University of Alaska, comprise the AHEC program offices in the WWAMI States. WWAMI AHEC now has 5 centers across Washington and Idaho (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.