Area health education center program (AHECP) is a program intended for training, recruiting, and retaining a diverse and broad range of health professionals to practice in under served rural and urban communities where the optimal health care is needed in a higher rate. AHECP connects students to careers, professionals to communities and communities to better health. AHECP aims at improving the health of individuals and communities by transforming health care through education, enriching the education of current and future health professionals, facilitating collaboration between providers and communities.
The term "area health education center" is defined under 42 USCS § 295p(12) as a public or nonprofit private organization that has a cooperative agreement or contract in effect with an entity that has received an award under subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) of section 751 [42 USCS § 294a(d)(1)], satisfies the requirements in section 751(d)(1) [42 USCS § 294a(d)(1)], and has as one of its principal functions the operation of an area health education center. Appropriate organizations may include hospitals, health organizations with accredited primary care training programs, accredited physician assistant educational programs associated with a college or university, and universities or colleges not operating a school of medicine or osteopathic medicine.