New Mexico Area Health Education Centers

New Mexico Area Health Education Centers  
Geographic Area Served

Albuquerque, National, New Mexico State-wide, Santa Fe, Tribal / Reservation
Project Description
The New Mexico AHEC includes the Program Office at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque NM, and two Centers: Montanas del Norte AHEC in Las Vegas NM (located at Luna Community College), and Southern AHEC in Las Cruces NM (located at New Mexico State University).

Many established community partnerships, including public educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and professional organizations are key to the success of the New Mexico AHEC.


Thirty-two of the 33 counties have at least one type of Health Professions Shortage Area (HPSA) classification. Specifically, primary care has 39 HPSAs (including 18 entire counties) dental care has 35 HPSAs (21 entire counties), and 29 counties are designated as mental health shortage areas.

Professional shortages also exist for emergency medical personnel, pharmacists, laboratory technicians, behavioral health professionals, nurse practitioners, nurses, and many allied health professionals such as physical and occupational therapists.

Rural, geographically remote Hispanic and Native communities in New Mexico are in areas with the most significant shortage of health professionals in the nation. Studies have shown that students who participate in programs that encourage rural and undeserved community involvement are more likely to eventually work in these communities.


Increase the ethnic diversity of healthcare professionals in New Mexico
Encourage professional practice in under served communities
Encourage students to explore careers in healthcare and provide them with health career information
Provide support for health professions students to gain clinical and life experiences in rural New Mexico
Provide continuing education to health professions residents and practitioners in order to improve the quality of healthcare services to New Mexicans


Capture and maintain interest about health professions careers (especially among students from minority, rural, and disadvantaged backgrounds)
Support clinical rotations for students from various health professional training programs in rural and undeserved communities throughout the state
Establish and maintain collaboration with colleges, universities, and a wide variety of clinical training sites
Prepare health professionals and other health providers (such as promotoras) to provide culturally sensitive and regionally appropriate, quality health care in New Mexican communities
Offer continuing education for health professionals on a variety of regionally relevant topics
Collaborate with the NM Department of Health as well as other private organizations and foundations

Contact Information:
Location Mailing Address
UNM Program Office
FPC 301
1 University of New Mexico
 UNM Program Office
MSC 095040,
1 University of New Mexico
Email Telephone
Robert Rhyne, MD, Director (505) 272-2813
New Mexico Area Health Education Centers

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