October 2018 

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About Nevada's Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)
Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), nationally developed by Congress in 1971, were created with the purpose to provide assistance and pipeline initiatives to a health professions workforce that is committed to improving the health and meeting the needs of the nation’s most underserved and vulnerable populations. 

Today, more than 200 Centers operate collaboratively with medical, nursing, and allied health schools to provide multi-disciplinary programming, health care career exploration, clinical placement and mentorship for health profession students and provide continuing education to working health professionals, enhancing their clinical skills and ensuring maintenance of professional certificates and licensure. 

Nationwide, AHEC centers provide
support to organizations that implement innovative recruiting, training and retaining programs. The Nevada AHEC Program follows three primary fundamentals to meet the needs of our communities. These include Health Professional Development and Continuing Education, Health Care Career Exploration and community based collaborations that focus on prevention and improvement of overall health and wellness within our communities. Details regarding these programs are highlighted below.
One of the ways NV AHEC pursues its mission is through the provision of quality continuing education (CE) programs. In order for health care professionals to become updated on the most recent advancements and research, continuing education is an essential requirement to ensure quality health care services. All CE programs are designed to meet the education and training needs of health providers in the allied health, dental health, medicine, mental health, nursing, pharmacy, and public health professions. Continuing education allows working health professionals to expand and classify the various principles with which they work on, and as a result, they are able to provide better quality care to their patients.

The state of Nevada is experiencing a significant number of health care industry shortage areas, including, medical, dental, mental health, health care education, substance abuse and all other health-related employment fields. It is projected that the health care industry will generate more than 3 million jobs this decade and nearly 600,000 new jobs for registered nurses alone will be created by 2018. Many of these jobs are good-paying jobs with a median wage for RNs being $62,450 versus $32,000 for all jobs. Job openings in these shortage areas are expected to increase drastically over the next 10 years as the aging population increases and the economy improves. This will result in an increased demand for health care services and health care professionals in Nevada and the US.

The Nevada Area Health Education Center (NV AHEC) is answering this call for health professionals in northwestern and central Nevada through programs that encourage seventh through twelfth grade students to enter a health profession. Emphasis is placed on under-represented minority and disadvantaged students in order to address health workforce disparities. Outreach programs exposing local students to health care careers include: Operation Health Care Bound, Youth Health Service Corps, Project Prevent, Health Care Heroes and Summer of Discovery.
Many programs are implemented in a summer camp format while others provide extracurricular programming in an academic setting, partnering with local schools. Understanding the rapid growth and progression of the health care industry and knowing that we are currently experiencing detrimental shortages, all programs strive to cultivate academically proficient and self-confident future health care professionals. NV AHEC programming provides participating students with resume building opportunities, making them applicable for the job growth that lies ahead.
Programming aimed at improving the health and wellness of our communities serve as extracurricular academic programs partnering with local schools. These programs are designed to teach leadership skills, academic success, career readiness, evaluation of personal and community health, development of health care skills and community service learning projects designed to prepare participating youth for real life experiences within heath care fields of their interest.
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