Programs & Initiatives

Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

For the past six years, the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program has been hosted by the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers.  Since then, the Coalition has been committed to AHEC’s mission of improving access to quality health care for underserved populations through academic and community partnerships.

In Orange County, AHEC identifies workforce issues and collaborates with partners to provide continuing education and multi-disciplinary trainings for incumbent staff and clinicians.  By providing hands-on training for medical, nursing and mental health students, as well as other health professionals, AHEC prepares a future workforce that understands the disparities that exist in underserved communities.  Furthermore, the outreach to intermediate and high schools is achieved through health care career promotion via healthcare academies and clubs hosted at these schools.

Much of the work AHEC does is guided by an active Advisory Board that is made up of health professionals, community and academic members.  For more information regarding the California AHEC program, please visit  Additionally, OC AHEC is a proud member of the National AHEC Organization (NAO) which participates in nationwide efforts towards recruiting, training and retention of healthcare professionals in underserved communities.

Health Scholars Program

Established in 2012, the Health Scholars Program (HSP) was founded to provide a quality, individually tailored, clinical experience for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students with a passion to pursue a health career in an underserved community. Only 3 years later, The HSP has 90 members, eight community partner projects, a direct relationship with the UC Irvine School of Medicine with five faculty members providing direct in kind support, a growing pool of over 100 applicants/year, and a reputation for committed, reliable, passionate, and academically competitive student members.

For more information on the Health Scholars Program, please contact