UAB to help expand healthcare access across Alabama

UAB is doing its part to create better healthcare in Alabama.

UAB has launched aninitiative to expand access to primary care, especially for rural and otherunder-served populations.{} Alabama ranks 49th nationally forhealthcare access.

So how will UAB do this?{} The School of Medicine will use a five-year, $5.25-million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to create anArea Health Education Center program that will work to recruit, support andretain health-care professionals in all 67 Alabama counties.

Cynthia Selleck, DSN, associate dean in the UAB School of Nursing says AHEC will help reduce health disparities by improving the quantity, diversity,distribution and quality of Alabama's health-care workforce. "We inspire, train, recruit and retain a diverse and broad range ofhealth professionals to practice in communities in which the need is greatest,"says Selleck.

The Alabama AHEC will work with UAB's health-profession schools and otherschools and training programs to encourage graduates to consider careers inprimary care in a rural or under-served area.

Theprogram also will reach out to young people in those communities who mayconsider a career in health care beyond their grasp.

Theprogram will create five regional, community-based centers comprising allAlabama counties.{} The locations will be at Alabama A&M University inHuntsville, Quality of Life Health Center in Gadsden, Maude Whately HealthCenter in Greensboro, Central Alabama Veteran's Health Care System in Tuskegeeand Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton.

The AHEC program office willbe housed in the UAB Department of Family and Community Medicine.