In 1971, the nationwide AHEC system was developed by Congress to recruit, train and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations. By their very structure, AHECs are able to respond in a flexible and creative manner in adapting national initiatives to help address local and regional healthcare issues and support the nation’s most vulnerable communities. The national AHEC network consists of more than 300 AHEC Program offices and Centers, serving over 85% of the counties in the United States, with close to 50 years of experience.

In partnership with healthcare systems, schools, community-based organizations and more, AHECs employ traditional and innovative approaches to develop and train a diverse healthcare workforce prepared to deliver culturally appropriate, high-quality, team-based care, with an emphasis on primary care for rural and underserved communities. AHECs are embedded in the communities they serve, positioning them to respond rapidly to emergent training needs of healthcare providers and health professions students.

Gulfcoast South AHEC is affiliated with the University of South Florida AHEC Program, part of the Florida AHEC Network, as well as an active member of the National AHEC Organization. The Florida AHEC Network is an extensive statewide system made up of five AHEC Programs and ten Centers. Each Center is supported by an AHEC Program at one of the state’s medical schools. This organizational structure enables the AHECs to draw upon the resources of the academic health centers in addressing local healthcare issues. The Florida AHEC Network was originally established to recruit youth into health careers, support health professions students training and coordinate health professional education. Beginning in 2007, the Florida AHEC Network has facilitated tobacco training and cessation programs as well as a variety of health access, education and workforce development initiatives.

Since 1995, Gulfcoast South AHEC has fostered programs that educate and enhance the well-being of the communities we serve. The rich history of providing education to health professionals and students, training and supporting community health workers, and inspiring and preparing youth to enter any one of the healthcare professions that our communities desperately need, is a source of pride and inspiration for future endeavors. Addressing the health disparities of rural and underserved communities, and providing access to health education and services to Limited English Proficient patients and those who care for them are examples of expanded investments we have made in response to critical needs. Through education, we will strive to fulfill our vision where every person has access to quality care.

GSAHEC’s 25th Anniversary Highlights

25th Anniversary Collage Logo

On June 8, 1995, Gulfcoast South AHEC’s articles of incorporation were filed, formally establishing our organization in Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Gulfcoast South AHEC held a culminating celebration on June 8, 2021, to celebrate its first 25 years of service.

Current and former board members and staff, tobacco cessation facilitators, program participants and students, USF AHEC, local vendors, and community partners were recognized and celebrated for contributing to GSAHEC’s success.

GSAHEC’s team worked hard to celebrate our 25 years of service, and although this was our culminating event, we know the years to come will allow us to connect more students to careers, more professionals to communities, and continue our work of helping to improve access to quality care for all members of our communities.

Gulfcoast South AHEC is an organization to whom you can turn to provide education, support and inspiration for healthier communities. Our tagline, Promoting Community Health through Partnerships & Education, speaks to the importance of partnerships in the work we do. We plan to fortify our partnerships and good work for many years to come. Thanks for being a part of our journey!

Select the buttons below to view the recap of our momentous event!

GSAHEC’s 25th Anniversary Vision

GSAHEC Logo of Envisioning Healthy Communities for 2020-2021

Over the past 25 years, Gulfcoast South AHEC has fostered programs that educate and enhance the well-being of the communities we serve. The rich history of providing education to health professionals and students, training and supporting community health workers, and inspiring and preparing youth to enter any one of the healthcare professions that our communities desperately need, is a source of pride and inspiration for future endeavors. Addressing the health disparities of rural and underserved communities, and providing access to health education and services to Limited English Proficient patients and those who care for them are examples of expanded investments we have made in response to critical needs. Through education, we will strive to fulfill our vision where every person has access to quality care.