Arizona Area Health Education Centers

Arizona Area Health Education Centers

Established in 1987, the Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions, formerly the Northern Arizona Area Health Education Center (NAHEC), is one of five AHECs in the state of Arizona and the only one based at a federally-qualified health center (FQHC), North Country HealthCare. We serve Apache, Coconino, Navajo, and a portion of Yavapai Counties.

AHECs exist across the U.S., and were specifically created to recruit, train and retain a health workforce committed to providing care for underserved populations through extensive academic-community partnerships. All AHECs use three approaches to strengthening the health workforce:

  • Diversity: Recruiting underrepresented minority youth into healthcare careers so they return to serve their communities
  • Distribution: Training healthcare students and residents in the communities where we need them to practice
  • Practice Transformation: Preparing future health practitioners to transform the US healthcare system to improve outcomes, reduce costs, and improve the experience for care providers and patients.

Community Connection

Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions is here to ensure that healthcare is available to all, especially in the rural and under-served communities. Through our Area Health Education Center (AHEC) model and integration with North Country HealthCare, we facilitate academic-community partnerships to connect students with community-based training opportunities.

North Country HealthCare has been a teaching institution for 24 years. We are one of only a handful of Teaching Health Centers for graduate medical education (residency training) in the nation. 

Teaching Health Centers make a big difference for communities. Residents who train in one are much more likely to serve where they are needed most.

Teaching Health Center Outcomes

Graduating Residents Practicing In: Teaching Health Centers Traditional Hospital Training
Primary Care 82% 23%
Underserved Areas 55% 26%
Rural Settings 20% 5%
Community Health Centers 36% 2%

For more information about teaching health centers, visit

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