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KU Medical Center AHEC has three regional offices, in Hays, Kansas City and Pittsburg, which offer programs, continuing education and services to medicine, nursing and allied health students, as well as to rural providers in their part of the state.
The KU Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is an outreach office of KU Medical Center. We have offices located in Pittsburg, Hays, and Kansas City. The AHEC is uniquely focused on health care in rural Kansas communities. The AHEC staff is particularly in-tune with the needs of rural communities because they live in rural communities.
The AHEC advances its mission of improving the quality of health care in rural Kansas communities through three main areas of focus: continuing health care education, facilitation of medical research, and promotion of health care careers.
The AHEC and its partners hold providerships to award credit for physicians, nurses, emergency medical services, and more. We don't just provide any education, we provide education that is tailored to the needs of our partners with an emphasis on interprofessional education. Interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) is when members from two or more health care professions learn with, from, and about each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes for patients.
Continuing Education programs are available in a variety of formats and may be planned, coordinated, and implemented to best meet each partner’s specific educational needs.
The AHEC works on identifying and connecting preceptors/practitioners to partners on rural health research initiatives through the KU Medical Center. We understand that the health challenges are often unique in rural Kansas, and the solutions may be found in the same communities confronting those health issues.
With the help of Kansas communities, KU Medical Center researchers study where Kansans live, work, and play to find solutions to critical health issues, such as cancer, tobacco use, and obesity. The AHEC works with those researchers in identifying communities, collecting data, and reporting findings.
The AHEC understands that the shortage of health care professionals remains an ongoing challenge, especially in rural communities. Promoting early interest in health care careers among youth from underserved areas is one promising strategy for addressing the health care professional shortage in our communities.
The health care field is rapidly growing and one of the goals of the AHEC is to help introduce some of these many different career opportunities to rural Kansas high school students through our various programs.
When Kansas implemented the requirement that health care professionals participate in continuing education in the 1970s, there was concern that practitioners in rural areas would not be able to easily access these continuing education opportunities. In 1978, the State of Kansas provided money to the University of Kansas Medical Center to establish the Area Health Education Center. Since then, the KU Medical Center Area Health Education Center continues to provide quality, accessible continuing education opportunities for rural Kansas.
Each AHEC extends its programs into approximately one-third of Kansas counties, making programs and services available to citizens, rural providers and students. Quality training experiences in community settings away from the academic medical center expose students to practice opportunities and realities in rural communities, helping to encourage rural practice choices. The AHECs also address the needs of communities and health professionals by offering continuing education programs and strengthening collaboration among providers, educational institutions, hospitals, nursing homes, health organizations and county extensions.
University of Kansas Medical Center
KU Area Health Education Center
1501 S. Joplin
4th Floor, Shirk Hall
Pittsburg, KS 66762