DFPM partner program, the Utah Area Health Education Centers (Utah AHEC), was recently informed by the Bureau of Health Workforce of the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) that their funding was renewed for five years, allowing the centers in the program to continue their essential work through August 31, 2027.
The mission of Utah AHEC focuses on providing equitable primary care to Utah’s populations, focusing especially on rural and urban underserved areas in the state. Despite the cutting-edge healthcare provided in Utah’s large urban centers, 26 of Utah’s 29 counties—or 90% of the state—are designated as primary care health professional shortage areas by the Utah Department of Health, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health. Utah AHEC’s dedicated physicians and healthcare administrators work to cover the gap, providing healthcare access to patients in counties where making a trip to the hospital or meeting with a primary care specialist is a significant challenge.
Several DFPM employees are crucial to the success of Utah AHEC’s mission, including public health professor Ivette A. López, PhD, MPH, who serves as director of the program and leads a team that includes DFPM staff members Tatiana Allen-Webb, BS, CCRP, Maisa Gomez, and Sidnee Myers.
The extended funding, which will provide over $2 million during the next five years, will allow this work to continue to bring increased health benefits to Utahans across the state. The renewal of the grant is a testament to the good the program has done and its potential to continue to transform healthcare in Utah.
“Thank you for your commitment to advancing the mission of the AHEC Program by developing and implementing programs that strengthen the health workforce and address the healthcare needs in rural and underserved communities,” said Tammy Mayo-Blake, MEd, in her congratulation notice to Utah AHEC. “We look forward to working with you over the next five years.”