The Federal AHEC Program began in the early 70’s and the Louisiana AHEC was activated in 1988 through a grant written by Louisiana State University School of Medicine – New Orleans.
The Louisiana AHEC system began operation in 1989 through the efforts of the LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans which petitioned the federal government for funding. Four centers across the state were opened on a staggered basis with Southeast Louisiana beginning in 1989. The Louisiana Centers completed their six year cycles of federal funding and are now supported through cooperative agreements with the LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans.
The AHEC program activities include:
- Serve as a bridge between Schools of Health Professions, health providers, and communities.
- Conduct “needs assessments” to determine health care manpower needs and help communities fill those through a “grow your own approach”.
- Organize linkages with others to provide clinical training sites for students in medicine, nursing, allied health, and dentistry.
- Facilitate 10% of medical students education outside of the four walls of the medical school.
- Recruit and retain health care professionals in rural and under served areas.
- Educate and attract students, especially those under-represented, to careers in medicine, nursing, dentistry, and allied health fields.
- Sponsor adult and student health career fairs, summer health career camps, and elementary school health education programs.
- Support the Louisiana Health Careers Handbook and www.lahealthcareers.com web site a statewide resource, which describes health care occupations and educational requirements within the state.
- Establish and maintain Learning Resource Centers for electronic access to worldwide medical databases and information retrieval via Library holdings.
- Present affordable, high quality educational seminars and community education on health care issues for professionals and the public.
- Prepare and manage grants related to health and well-being of Louisiana citizens.
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