AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties

Wilson County | Area L AHEC

Dee Johnson, executive director, Carolina Family Health Centers

Ms. Dee Johnson serves as the executive director of Carolina Family Health Centers (CFHC), headquartered in Wilson, North Carolina.  CFHC provides high quality, affordable medical, dental, pharmacy, and behavioral health services for low-income families in Nash County at the Harvest Family Health Center, Edgecombe County at the Freedom Hill Community Health Center, and Wilson County at the Wilson Community Health Center. Glowing student evaluations are evidence of the fact that the clinics of CFHC serve as a superb learning sites for AHEC nurse practitioner, physician assistant, medical, and pharmacy students. The training and experiences provided in these clinics are of high value to the students who always have nothing but praise for the staff and facilities.

Johnson is a former consultant for the Clinical Advisory and Consultation Network of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region V. "Community Health Centers across the country face many challenges,” she said.  “I have been involved in the community health center mission for over 30 years, witness to the struggle of providing a wide range of desperately needed health care services to families whose resources do not extend to cover the basic care that most of us take for granted. 

“Dr. David Webb and his exemplary staff at Area L AHEC foster partnerships that improve lives.  Most recently, Area L accomplished the monumental feat of pulling together public, private, and local community resources to bring affordable prescription medications to low income residents.  Following months of planning with hospital and health department administrators, private physicians, local government officials, churches, community residents, the community health center; and two of the State’s private foundations, the CORxE [Community Outreach for Prescription Medication and Education] Pharmacy was born.  The pharmacy opened access to affordable medications for residents living below the federal poverty level; improving the health status of the community, one person at a time. 

“Area L has fostered the development of many other liaisons that, to this day, continue to impact the daily lives of our patient population.  Standing alone, the community health center(s) would not have the resources to provide the depth of service made possible through such partnerships. 

“The mission of Carolina Family Health Centers, Inc. is to provide quality health care to the people of Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson Counties with dignity and respect, regardless of financial, medical or cultural status.  Area L AHEC has made our mission, their mission.  We are grateful every day for the ongoing support of our friends at Area L."

Johnson is a former recipient of a citation from the Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Region V, and is the co-author of the management text, “Quality Primary Care Management…Ideas That Work.”