3702 Loop 322 • Abilene, TX 79602 • 325-672-8544

Area Health Education Center

Connecting Students To Health Careers – Health Professionals To Communities – Communities To Better Health

About Us

The Big Country Area Health Education Center, provided by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, plays a crucial role in addressing the healthcare needs of rural and medically underserved populations across 28 counties in the region. Through collaborations and initiatives aimed at bridging the gap in healthcare access, BCAHEC serves as a valuable resource for individuals interested in health careers and professionals seeking to enhance the well-being of their communities. With a strong focus on improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals, the center’s programs aim to strategically partner with academic programs, communities, and professional organizations to ensure that a skilled and diverse healthcare workforce is readily available to meet the diverse needs of the region. This commitment underscores BCAHEC’s dedication to advancing overall community health by increasing access to quality healthcare services.

Student Healthcare Pipeline Programs

College Student Opportunities

AHEC Scholars Program

The West Texas AHEC Scholars Program, part of the National AHEC Organization, provides college students in health professions programs with additional training and clinical experiences in rural and underserved areas. The program aims to recruit a diverse cohort from minority, disadvantaged/rural, and first-generation college students, offering a stipend of up to $1,600 over one to two years. Through the program, students gain insight into their roles in promoting health care equity in underserved communities.

The Scholars Program offers a unique curriculum and students walk away with a much better understanding of their roles as a health professional and the need for health care equity amongst medically underserved and rural areas.

The West Texas AHEC program is broken into two parts:

1st – Online Didactic Education
2nd – 40 hours of Rural/Underserved clinical rotations

High School Student Opportunities

Junior Scholars Programs

The Big Country AHEC Jr. Scholars Program offers specialized initiatives for high school students interested in health career pathways, tailored to meet the unique workforce needs of the Big Country Region. The programs may provide a creative, hands-on, and innovative health career curriculum designed specifically for individual high schools and students. Additionally, BCAHEC collaborates with likeminded organizations to offer health career presentations, exploration activities in classrooms, career fairs, or seminars, as well as distributing the Health Opportunities in Texas Job Directory.

Comanche H.S. Jr. Scholars Health Science Students at the Skills USA Competition at Temple College.
Brownwood H.S. CNA students checked off an EpiPen competency with Ranger College during the AHEC Jr. Scholars Student Symposium.
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Health Opportunities in Texas Career Catalog
(HOT Jobs Directory)

The HOT Jobs Directory is intended to serve as a resource for high school & college students, parents, academic and career counselors, and other career seekers. Learn about over 90 health career options and the colleges that offer a corresponding program in Texas, today by clicking the button below.

Community Based Education & Support

The Big Country AHEC offers a wide range of support which is designed to be responsive to local health needs and serve as an important link between academic training programs and community-based outreach programs. The BCAHEC works to provide innovative and collaborate responses to addressing workforce issues, health disparities, and ultimately fill in the gaps where we are needed most. A few ways we accomplish this include:

AHEC Innovation Symposium – Vernon College

Community Health Worker Training

The West Texas AHEC is a certified community health worker (CHW) training institution by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The BCAHEC’s role is to recruit participants to complete the CHW training and to advocate for the CHW model which helps reduce the barriers between medical and social services and community.

There are several ways we work broadly to support regional CHW’s to meet the needs of their communities to improve overall health outcomes.

Continuing Education Support

AHECs provide accredited continued education programs and professional support to meet the needs of healthcare professionals with a focus towards those practicing in rural and underserved areas.

Community Health Needs Assessments

BCAHEC works with communities and hospitals to conduct a CHNA which provides an overview of the public health conditions within a community. It also identifies existing resources and opportunities to enhance them and is often utilized by organizations as a tool to help prioritize and address their counties specified needs.

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Contact Us

AHEC Administration

Terra Moreno


Haley Stuteville

Community Based Education Coordinator