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Special Programs

Hawai‘i/Pacific Basin Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

The Hawai‘i/Pacific Basin AHEC supports training experiences in rural and under-served areas of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Basin for health professional students. Training experiences can be preceptorships, clerkships, electives, cultural immersion experiences, or interdisciplinary training experiences such as the AHEC Community Based Interdisciplinary Training Program (previously known as Ke Ola). AHEC coordinates a rural training track for students wishing to perform training experiences in a particular rural or under-served area during multiple years of training. AHEC also coordinates use of video teleconferencing for health education purposes, performs health careers recruitment programs across the state, and provides CME/CE to health care providers in rural and under-served areas and health education resources for communities, and is conducting a statewide Hawai‘i health workforce assessment.

AHEC is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. The federal mandate is to improve the diversity, distribution, and quality of the health professions workforce. The mission of Hawai‘i/Pacific Basin AHEC is: To improve the health of the under-served through education. Activities focus on five primary areas: 1) Health education and recruitment to health professions for students across the state from kindergarten through college; 2) Educating health professions students in rural and under-served areas, often in interdisciplinary teams; 3) Recruitment, retention, and continuing education of practicing health professionals in medically under-served areas; 4) Providing community health based and community driven health education in over a dozen community learning centers across the state; and, 5) Providing video connectivity for health education, communication, and other health care services to rural and under-served areas across the state. Contact Dr. Kelley Withy for more information at withyk@hawaii.rr.com, 692-1060, MEB 401J.

Overseas Programs

The school plays an extensive training role at locations outside Hawai‘i and expects that its involvement in the Pacific and Asia will continue. In the scattered islands of Micronesia, the school has trained medical officers (MOs) and physician assistants to bring primary care to a widely dispersed population. The curricula were relevant to the clinical and community health needs of the Pacific Basin. Graduates of the MO program received a Diploma in Community Health, Medicine, and Surgery. Training of other health professionals in the Pacific Basin area continues. On Okinawa, the school conducts a residency training program for graduates of Japanese medical schools. This program is financed by the Okinawa prefectural government. The school conducts a medical student exchange program with medical schools and hospitals in Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan.