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.


The Area Health Education Center for Western Washington is an innovative center, providing leadership engaged with diverse rural and urban-underserved communities to ensure access to quality healthcare and health workforce education.


  • Health, wellness, and education as the foundation for the vitality and sustainability of communities
  • Balanced mental and physical health, as well as social determinants of health, are important factors in promoting health and wellness
  • Creative and innovative community-centered programs and services
  • Stewardship of equity and the right of all people to access quality healthcare and education
  • Working with intention to make the greatest impact with the resources available
  • Accountability to the rural and urban-underserved communities to listen and serve their needs
  • Strength in diversity – healthcare and educational programs that are inclusive and empowering
  • Strength in partnerships to work towards common goals and use resources efficiently and effectively


In partnership with the University of Washington and Department of Health, objectives are accomplished through collaboration with communities, public health and healthcare agencies, education organizations, providers, and government decision-makers. The Area Health Education Center will improve rural and urban-underserved communities in western Washington by:

Improving Healthcare Education:

  • Providing education and training to healthcare professionals focusing on whole person care (including physical, behavioral, environmental, and social determinants of health)
  • Identifying emerging trends in health care strategies and address training needs for healthcare providers
  • Leveraging resources and funds for training and workforce development
  • Collaborating with communities, healthcare professionals, educators, students, agencies, and organizations to improve the health and education of rural and urban-underserved populations

Improving Healthcare Workforce Distribution:

  • Diversifying the healthcare workforce
  • Promoting innovation that supports the work of healthcare professions and reduces disparities in workforce distribution
  • Recruiting health care professionals for underserved populations and areas
  • Promoting health care professional retention activities

Improving Healthcare Access:

  • Promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals and communities
  • Coordination of physical and behavioral health with social services to improve health outcomes
  • Responding to regional needs to improve access to health care
  • Promoting state and federal policies that support for community needs