The Oregon Area Health Education Center (AHEC) was established in 1988. The Oregon Healthcare Workforce Institute became a designated regional Oregon AHEC office, for the Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington county region, in 2008. OHWI-AHEC's work increases access to primary care services for rural and underserved communities through practice transformation programming, including the recruitment, education and training of primary care health professionals.
Pacific AHEC Scholars
Over the past six years, Pacific University's scholars from the schools of Physician Assistant Studies, Pharmacy, and Occupational Therapy, represent 40% of the 515 participants in the Oregon AHEC Scholars program. OHWI-AHEC offers support to the statewide AHEC Scholars program through provision of distance didactic instruction. OHWI-AHEC supports our Pacific University Hillsboro campus scholars by offering mental health activities and social networking opportunities.
Pacific University College of Health Professions Health Science Day
OHWI-AHEC coordinates an annual half-day event for metro area secondary students designed to highlight healthcare career pathways. Students attend multiple mini hands-on workshops hosted by Pacific University College of Health Professions faculty and graduate students. Additionally, students receive instruction on college admissions processes and financial aid.
SYNAPSE: Healthcare Career Explorations
SYNAPSE, a healthcare career immersion program for urban underserved, first-generation college, ethnically diverse high school juniors and seniors, is hosted each summer, on Pacific University's Hillsboro campus. The week-long day camp features experiential health science activities, team medical innovation, healthcare job shadows, and a service learning project. Program applications open in January.
Social Media Student Mental Health Promotion
"Where's Squatch?" is a social media campaign begun in 2022. Each month, an 8" plastic Bigfoot model is hidden on the Pacific Hillsboro campus premises and students are challenged to a Sasquatch scavenger hunt; clues and mental health tips are posted on OHWI-AHEC's social media. Prizes are awarded when Squatch is returned to the OHWI-AHEC office.