North Carolina AHEC Program
spring 2013 newsletter | home

Director's Message

Tom BaconAHEC is at its best when it is working in partnership with other state agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to address high priority health needs of our population. One of the articles in this issue of the AHEC Review describes an exciting collaboration between the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the North Carolina AHEC Program to reduce strokes and heart attacks in our state.

The North Carolina Community Transformation Grant (CTG) program, funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers a unique opportunity to combine improved clinical care with community interventions to promote healthier lifestyles and reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease. The North Carolina CTG has 10 multi-county collaboratives, each with a local health department that has assumed responsibility for coordinating efforts. AHEC quality improvement coaches are working with these multi-county projects and supporting primary care practices that implement quality improvement strategies regarding prevention, screening, treatment and referral for hypertension, tobacco use, obesity, and other related conditions.

Historically, AHEC has worked closely with the public health community as well as the primary care community, but frequently these collaborations have not been in such a coordinated fashion as represented through the CTG project. We are seeing great promise in this collaboration with the Division of Public Health and local health departments and welcome the opportunity to be an important partner in this multi-faceted approach to reducing cardiovascular disease in the North Carolina population. I am hopeful this will be just the first of many similar projects bringing together the public health and primary care communities to address issues of vital importance to our state.

Thomas J. Bacon, DrPH
Director, North Carolina AHEC Program