Vermont AHEC Network Restructure
The VT AHEC is funded through multiple grants and contracts including: federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), State of Vermont, Vermont Department of Health, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine (UVM LCOM), Vermont’s 14 hospitals, and private foundations. Federal support for health workforce development in Vermont and throughout the nation has been steadily decreasing over the last decade, while state and private support has remained flat. In order to continue meeting its statewide mission, the VT AHEC Network will use a new structure to provide services to Vermonters effective September 1, 2017.
The number of regional AHECs in the state, which provide educational services to health professionals and students in their local communities, will consolidate from three to two. This is the first such redistricting of AHEC regions since the VT AHEC Network was established in 1996.
The Southern VT AHEC (SVTAHEC) will incorporate Addison County into its service area, serving a total of five counties (est. pop. 232,211). The Northern VT AHEC (NVTAHEC) will add Franklin and Grand Isle Counties to its service area, covering eight counties (est. pop. 232,449). The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Office of Primary Care’s AHEC Program will provide services in Chittenden County (est. pop. 161,382). See inset map showing AHEC’s statewide service.
Through a new grant from the Office of Minority Health Partnerships to Achieve Health Equity Program, science enrichment and health career exploration opportunities will be available year-round for 9th through 12th graders in Burlington and Winooski High Schools starting in the fall of 2017. This project is part of the VT AHEC Network’s shared aim to increase the diversity of the health workforce in Vermont.
VT AHEC works across the healthcare pipeline from high school to practicing health professionals (e.g., medical, nursing, dental, social work, public health) on programs such as health careers awareness and exploration, preceptor recruitment for student clinical rotations, interprofessional and community-based projects, workforce recruitment and retention (e.g., educational loan repayment programs, physician recruitment), quality improvement projects, and continuing education for health professionals.