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AHEC has a mission to recruit and retain primary care providers into underserved areas, where they are in short supply. To do so, we work to develop opportunities and enrich curricula within health professions training programs to provide greater emphasis on communities and primary care.

We partner with the community health centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) as well as with academic institutions who are training students to be physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, and other health professions. We also support pipeline activities for high school students.

Funding for the Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Commonwealth's medical community and communities at large provide additional support.

AHEC History

The national AHEC program was established in 1972 to improve the supply, distribution, retention, quality, utilization, and efficiency of health professionals to provide primary care services in medically underserved areas. The Pennsylvania AHEC program was established by the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in 1994.

The Southeast PA Area Health Education Center (SE PA AHEC) was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 1996. Each Pennsylvania AHEC region has a cooperating medical school which works with the region. Temple University School of Medicine is the cooperating medical school for the Southeast region. Stephen Permut, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine and Assistant Dean for Academic Affiliations, serves as the Medical School liaison.

Meet the team

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Christine Polit, MPH

Executive Director

Elizabeth Kiefer, MPH

Program Manager

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Christian Knox

Middle School and High School Program Coordinator

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