The Southcentral Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (PA AHEC) was incorporated in 1997 to improve access to healthcare by providing education services particularly for medically underserved communities. It accomplishes this goal by offering health career opportunities, health professional development and public health initiatives for students, health professionals, and the general public.
AHEC is a national program with offices in forty-six states and the District of Columbia. In Pennsylvania the statewide PA AHEC Program is divided into seven regions. The southcentral region covers sixteen counties: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Somerset, and York.
Through the PA AHEC program, the Southcentral office has affiliations with Pennsylvania medical schools and allied health programs to facilitate community-based training and link with telecommunication systems for distance learning and access to health information resources. The Southcentral PA AHEC coordinates continuing professional education programs throughout the sixteen county region in cooperation with local health education departments.
To encourage students to enter health careers, the Southcentral PA AHEC works with schools at health fairs and career days and with academic centers to provide a Health Careers Camp, a Primary Care Day, a Scholars Program, and other extracurricular school activities.
The Southcentral PA AHEC works with communities to support programs such as osteoporosis screening, diabetes education, job/internship recruitment, and rural health and safety education.