Oregon AHEC's mission is to improve the health of individuals in rural and underserved areas through education and workforce development.
Become a national leader in rural and underserved health education through creativity, collaboration, and scholarship.
Oregon AHEC's history began with the grassroots efforts of two physicians from Enterprise, Dr. Lowell Euhus and Dr. Scott Siebe. They met with State Senator Mike Thorne of Pendleton and Eugene Timms of Burns in 1988 to request help with the "crisis in rural healthcare."
Julian (Dutch) Reinschmidt once known as Oregon’s guru of continuing medical education and rural healthcare, is the founding Director of the Oregon Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program that began in 1988. Born of the notable need to provide support to rural providers, these physicians and legislators from rural communities along with OHSU and Dr. Reinschmidt formed a committee which developed legislation aimed at enhancing rural health care and supporting rural care providers across the State of Oregon while finding ways to strengthen the partnership between OHSU and rural and underserved areas. They hosted a symposium in Joseph, OR, with rural physicians, legislators, OHSU, educators and others interested in rural healthcare across the state.
Once state funding was secured for AHECs, Dr. Reinschmidt began working with others to secure federal funding. In 1990, funding was obtained. Nearly two decades later, AHEC grew to 5 regional centers.
“Dr. Reinschmidt was very quick to attribute success to others or to a team effort. It was one of his endearing qualities.” – John Benson, M.D.