In spring 2017, Whatcom Community College (WCC) was named the site of the Area Health Education Center (AHECWW) for Western Washington. With dual funding from the University of Washington (UW) and the Washington state Department of Health (DOH), the AHEC for Western Washington works to:
- Increase diversity and distribution among health professionals,
- Enhance health care quality,
- Improve health care delivery to rural and underserved areas and populations.
Aligning our work with WWAMI, the Department of Health Rural Care Office, the National AHEC Organization and the National Rural Health Association, AHECWW is working to improve core public health for rural and underserved urban communities.
The federal AHEC program was developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations. The Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI) AHEC Program Office of the UW School of Medicine has collaborated closely since the mid-1980s with its AHEC Centers in Eastern and Western Washington, Wyoming, and Idaho and its affiliated Program Offices in Alaska and Montana.