The State of Colorado is divided into six regions (Centennial, Central, San Luis Valley, Southeastern Colorado, Southwestern Colorado and Western Colorado) with an Area Health Education Center Office in each region. The six regional AHECs partner with the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy, as well as the Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs to meet the goals of the Model grant. The Colorado Area Health Education Centers Program works to build state-wide network capacity and strengthen academic-community linkages in four core mission areas. The four core mission areas of the AHEC are: Health Careers and Workforce Diversity, Health Professions Student Education, Health Professions Continuing Education and Public Health and Community Education. Specifically, the goals and aims of the proposed three-year program are to:
- Increase the potential for minority/disadvantaged students in elementary and secondary schools from rural and medically underserved areas to pursue career pathways in the health professions;
- Increase the potential for health professions students enrolled in degree programs in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and allied health to practice in rural and urban medically underserved areas in Colorado AHEC Program regions upon graduation;
- Increase access to evidenced-based health information and accredited, high-quality continuing education programs for health professionals serving in rural and urban medically underserved areas; and,
- Increase access to health education for community residents in rural and urban medically underserved areas in Colorado AHEC regions.