The Area Health Education Center for Western Washington works with the national AHEC movement to support healthcare delivery systems and access to care through activities that strengthen the healthcare workforce in rural and urban-underserved communities.

Our Focus:

  • Identify and promote college healthcare programs, stackable certificates, and initiatives that support community healthcare needs in Western Washington.
  • Promote healthcare education and career pathways to middle and high school students, and non-traditional students.
  • Support recruitment and placement in the Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program.
  • Work with stakeholders to identify a viable structure for a rural online nursing education program including career-ladder development and topical training for complex nursing skills.
  • Assess mental and behavioral health workforce needs, distribution, and formal and innovative delivery programs in Western Washington.
  • Support workforce recruitment and retention efforts relevant to mental and behavioral health.
  • Coordinate and provide continuing education opportunities on the integration of behavioral health with primary care and other emerging topics.


Whatcom Community College is a regionally and nationally accredited college with an accomplished faculty and staff who serve nearly 11,000 students annually. On its 72-acre campus in Bellingham, Wash., and through online courses, Whatcom offers transfer degrees, professional-technical training programs, as well as basic education, job skills, and Community & Continuing Education classes. According to the Aspen Institute (2016), WCC is rated among the top nine community and technical colleges in the state and recognized as one of the leading community colleges in the nation. Established in 1967, Whatcom has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since 1976.