About Oregon AHEC

Connecting students to careers, professionals to communities and communities to better health.

Haystack on a farm


Oregon AHEC's mission is to improve the health of individuals in rural and underserved areas through education and workforce development.


J.S. Reinschmidt
J.S. "Dutch" Reinschmidt

The Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program was developed by Congress in 1971 to recruit, train, and retain a health professions workforce committed to underserved populations. An AHEC is a network of regional centers that are coordinated through a central program office. There are more than 300 AHEC programs operating in nearly every state.

The Oregon AHEC story began in 1988 with two physicians from Enterprise, Drs. Lowell Euhus and Scott Siebe, and their grassroots effort to address the crisis in rural health care. Their vision led to legislation to support Oregon’s rural health care providers, and to strengthen the partnership between OHSU and rural and underserved communities. Dr. Julian (Dutch) Reinschmidt, one of Oregon’s original thought leaders for continuing medical education and rural health care, became the founding Director of the Oregon AHEC Program. He helped secure federal funding in 1990. Over three decades later, the Oregon AHEC system has grown to include five regional Centers that serve the entire state.

AHEC timeline