North Carolina AHEC Program
fall 2012 newsletter | home

Director's Message

Tom Bacon, DrPHIn September, AHEC staff from around North Carolina, along with many colleagues from our partner institutions, gathered in Raleigh for our 2012 Statewide AHEC Conference. Hosted by the Wake AHEC, the conference gave us an opportunity to hear from several outstanding national health care experts, to share “best practices” being deployed across the state by different AHECs, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of AHEC in North Carolina. Our colleagues at Wake AHEC did an outstanding job in hosting the conference, and as part of the 40th anniversary celebration they put together a slide show of photos going back over the 40 years of the Program. For those of us who have been a part of AHEC for many years, it was a reminder of some of the true giants who have been a part of this Program and who have contributed so much to our success over the years. We are forever indebted to the contributions they made, the leadership they provided, and the partnerships they put in place to assure AHEC’s success.

While we celebrated the history of AHEC in North Carolina, the conference also gave us an opportunity to look forward and to be challenged by the many issues facing the future of health care in North Carolina and beyond. A number of speakers spoke of the changes required in a reformed health care system and the vital importance of preparing a health care workforce to deliver cost-effective high-quality care to all of our communities. (See below for a slideshow of the conference.)

NC AHEC recently completed a new strategic plan, and the plan provides us with a road map for addressing many of the challenges we face, including: the need for health professionals trained to work as members of teams; the need to further expand primary care training at the community level; the need to continue to work to increase the diversity of the health care workforce; and the need to assure that we have the resources in place to support health professionals to be able to deliver high-quality care and respond to changing needs in the population of our state. Through these strategies, NC AHEC will continue to invest in the kinds of educational programs and services required to prepare the workforce needed by our state. It is an exciting time for AHEC and we welcome the challenges of the coming years.

Tom Bacon, DrPH
Director, North Carolina AHEC Program


NC AHEC Statewide Conference 2012 Slideshow