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AHEC Scholars


AHEC Scholars

The focus of the AHEC Scholars is on "pipeline to practice." This is a two-year, interprofessional certificate program. Our first cohort for CW-AHEC was enrolled in fall 2022 and will run until spring 2024.

Mission statement: To Increase and diversify the healthcare workforce in rural and underserved communities.

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Certificate requirements

Student Requirements for the AHEC Scholars Certificate include:

  • Submission of formal application (through the WA-AHEC website)
  • Must be from a degree or certificate program that is at least two-years
  • Completion of 40 hours of didactics on the eight core topics areas
  • Completion of 40 hours of interdisciplinary community/experiential/clinical learning working in underserved or rural communities a year
  • Commit to two years in the program, and a one-time program follow-up


Didactic learning topics

Didactic learning is in the following eight (8) topic areas:

  • Interprofessional Education: (also known as interdisciplinary training) supports a coordinated patient-centered model of health care that involves an understanding of the contributions of multiple health care professionals.
  • Social Determinants of Health: includes five key (determinants) of economic stability, education, social and community context, health and health care, and neighborhood and built environment, and their impact on health.
  • Practice Transformation: aims to fully support quality improvement and patient-centered care through goal setting, leadership, practice facilitation, workflow changes, measuring outcomes, and adapting organizational tools and processes to support new team-based models of care delivery
  • Behavioral Health Integration: promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral health services to better address the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use conditions.
  • Cultural Humility: seeks to improve individual health and build health communities by training health care providers to recognize and address the unique culture, language and health literacy of diverse consumers and communities
  • Current and Emerging Health Issues: such as the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic
  • Connecting Communities and Supporting Health: through didactics and community-focused events, introduce students to the importance of community health workers (CHWs) as members of the healthcare team, and recruit CHW learners to join the cohort itself.
  • Virtual Learning and Telehealth: Through didactics and clinical opportunities, expose students to the benefits and challenges associated with virtual communication.

Experiential learning

Clinical, community and experiential learning include:

  • Clinical rotations in rural and underserved locations
  • Interprofessional community service-learning activities
  • Field trips, networking events, simulation exercises