AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program

Community Resources » Health Careers / Workforce Diversity

Community Resources

Health Careers / Workforce Diversity

NC AHEC Award Winning Health Careers ProgramThe NC AHEC mission to improve the supply and distribution of the health care workforce mandates support for statewide initiatives to increase minority representation in health professions. NC AHEC collaborative efforts to provide support at every link of the educational pipeline will ultimately promote workforce diversity while ensuring a profile that more closely reflects the composition of the general population of North Carolina. In 2011-2012, NC AHEC provided educational pipeline services to 4,307 health careers students across the state.

Statistics show that in all health professions, minority populations continue to be under-represented relative to the overall population in the state. While African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic/Latinos account for 10% of North Carolina's healthcare workforce, these same minority groups comprise 24% of the state's population.

Racially, economically, and ethnically diverse students are recruited by AHEC for careers in healthcare for several reasons. First, the population explosion being experienced by most minority groups provides a relatively untapped source of healthcare personnel. Also, a draft of "Healthy People 2010: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives", by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, states, "...increasing the number of minority health professionals is viewed as a partial solution to improving access to care. Several studies have shown that underrepresented minority health profession graduates are more likely to enter primary care specialties and to voluntarily practice in or near designated primary care health workforce shortage areas."

The nation's population demographic outlook for the next century shows the numbers of minorities increasing, and health care issues will remain at the forefront of concerns for those growing populations. Therefore, it is imperative that the NC AHEC Program focus on racially, culturally, and economically diverse populations in efforts to improve the distribution and retention of the state's healthcare workforce.


Regional Activities:


(Nash, Edgecombe, Wilson, Northampton, Halifax)
Area L AHEC provides a health careers awareness program for students and a health careers program for teachers and counselors during the summer.

Charlotte AHEC

(Union, Cleveland, Lincoln, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Stanley, Anson)
The Charlotte AHEC develops initiatives to educate all pre-college youth, with an emphasis on underrepresented minorities, and economically/educationally disadvantaged populations about health careers. We have an elementary, middle, and high school program that exposes students to health career workshops and presentations, summer camps and teen health career clubs.

Eastern AHEC

(Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Greene, Hertford, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne)
Eastern AHEC facilitates health careers exposure and enrichment, job shadowing, and college preparation programs in order to strengthen, diversify and increase the numbers of quality health care providers in the region. Programs include the Ventures into Health Careers Institute, the Rural Health Scholars Internship program, and puppet show programs for elementary school children.

Greensboro AHEC

(Rockingham, Guilford, Randolph, Montgomery, Chatham, Alamance, Caswell, Orange)
Greensboro AHEC is located on the campus of The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. The mission of Greensboro AHEC is to enhance the quality of individual and community lives through ongoing recruitment, education, training, retention, and distribution of health professionals in its region.

Mountain AHEC

(Cherokee, Rutherford, Graham, Clay, Macon, Swain, Jackson, Haywood, Polk, Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, Madison, Yancey, McDowell, Mitchell )
Mountain AHEC offers: MAHEC Health Careers Education Awareness Summer Camp, a one-week residential camp offering academics, personal growth and development, diversity awareness, and health careers exposure for middle school students; shadowing and internship programs; academic enrichment programs; SAT Prep Strategies Course, How to Study and Scholarship programs; Building Bridges, a community-based experience designed to confront and overcome racism through a 9-week process of education, dialog, relationship building and ongoing support; Diversity training and Cultural Competence education designed for WNC healthcare organizations and communities to have an increased capacity to alter behaviors and attitudes that foster racism and prejudice, and to continuously develop and effectively manage a diverse healthcare workforce; forensic science day camp, after-school program and internship programs for high school students in Swain county, Jackson county and Cherokee High School systems.

Northwest AHEC

(Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, Alleghany, Surry, Yadkin, Iredell, Alexander, Davie, Catawba, Rowan, Stokes, Davidson, Forsyth)
Northwest AHEC maintains a database on minority participation in the health professions in their 17-county region. They also offer minority recruitment programs targeting middle and high school students.

South East AHEC

(Columbus, Brunswick, Duplin, New Hanover, Pender)
South East AHEC emphasizes minority workforce development and support by increasing the cultural diversity awareness of area employers, educators, and practitioners and providing students with information and experiences related to health careers. Summer health careers awareness programs are also provided.

Southern Regional AHEC

(Harnett, Hoke, Scotland, Robeson, Cumberland, Bladen, Moore, Richmond, Sampson)
Southern Regional AHEC provides health careers programs for elementary through high school and post secondary education. The programs offered are the Health Careers Puppet Bunch, Project Reaching and Educating Adolescents for a Career in Health (REACH) Math and Science Camp, The Health Academy Summer Experience, Teaching Excellence for a Career in Health (TEACH) Program, and Health Education and Leadership Program (HELP).


(Lee, Wake, Durham, Person, Granville, Vance, Franklin, Johnston, Warren)
Wake AHEC provides educational activities to increase the awareness and interest of students from elementary through high school and post secondary education. The Health Careers Saturday Academy consists of a series of workshops to improve academic performance and increase awareness of health careers and healthcare issues, SAT Prep courses, and Heartsaver AED certification. Other activities include recruitment fairs, summer Clinical Learning Experience, and summer camps.


The Duke AHEC Health Careers Enrichment Program is designed to encourage students to explore a career in health care. The primary focus is on minority students residing in Durham County in grades K-12. This program is part of the NC AHEC Health Careers and Workforce Diversity Program aimed at increasing the minority representation in health professions. Weeklong summer camps are also held including a Latino Medical Interpreters camp for bilingual high school students.

NC AHEC Health Careers:

NC AHEC produces North Carolina Health Careers, a Web site that connects users to detailed information on academic preparation, work environment, and educational programs for 135 different health care professions. This Web site is used by NC middle and high schools, public and college libraries, hospitals, universities, and colleges, and is often used as texts and course materials.



The NC AHEC Health Careers Pipeline -- providing support to individuals in all stages of professional growth

NC AHEC Health Careers Pipeline