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Western Maryland AHEC Becomes AHEC West

March 7th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Western Maryland Area Health Education Center, the long-standing area not-for-profit whose mission is to improve access to and promote quality in healthcare through educational and other partnerships, is changing its name to Maryland Area Health Education Center West (AHEC West), according to Susan Stewart, the agency’s Executive Director.

The decision was made by AHEC West’s Board of Directors to better reflect the area served by the agency and to help define and differentiate it from other healthcare related entities in the region.

“AHEC West has been serving our community since 1976,” says Ms. Stewart. “This year marks our 40th anniversary. We felt, in conjunction with our longevity, our name should more closely reflect who we are. Our service area has grown over the years, and we have a variety of programs that extend into nearby communities in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Our name needs to reflect that.”

AHEC West is one of three AHECs located in the state of Maryland. The other two agencies are located in Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore, in Cambridge. Over three hundred AHEC agencies are found throughout the United States.

AHEC West’s focus on improving access to quality healthcare has led the agency to approach its mission from a variety of fronts. Programs include coordinating clinical rotations for medical and other health professions students with area physicians and practitioners; providing continuing education opportunities and interdisciplinary training for healthcare providers and students; maintaining Caucuses for healthcare professionals in order to support and encourage professional collaboration among practitioners; creating a pipeline of local students entering healthcare professions; and increasing direct access to oral and behavioral health services throughout a three state, five county region.

 

“We are very active in creating partnerships and supporting educational efforts that assist in keeping students and health professionals engaged and informed,” Ms. Stewart notes.

 

Established in 1976 as a vital link among the academic resources of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, other major academic health centers, and local community organi­zations, AHEC West is the state’s longest running AHEC. Currently, AHEC West serves Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties in Maryland, as well as communities in nearby West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Additional information about AHEC West and its programs may be found at www.ahecwest.org.

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