Area Health Education Centers

The Maryland State Rural Health Grant provides funding to the Maryland Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) through University of Maryland Baltimore. Funding is distributed among the AHEC sites in the rural counties; AHEC West serving Western Maryland and Eastern shore Area Health Education center (ESAHEC) serving the Eastern shore. SORH’s funding supports the AHEC mission to improve health through recruitment, training, and retention of a diverse health workforce for rural and underserved communities.


The AHEC Program began in the early 1970s when many areas of the United States were faced with severe shortages of health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and public health workers. Recommendations issued by the Carnegie Commission addressed how colleges and universities could help ease these shortages. One of the Commission’s recommendations led to the development of Area Health Education Centers (known as AHECs). In 1972, Congress awarded funds to establish AHEC programs in 11 states. Today, there are 56 programs and over 235 centers in almost every state and the District of Columbia.

Maryland Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Program

The MAHEC Program and its first center, AHEC West were established in 1976. The Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center was the second center established in 1995. The third was the Baltimore Area Health Education Center (BAHEC) in 2002. The Mission of the Maryland AHEC is to improve the health status of Marylanders through community educational partnerships that foster a commitment to enhancing health care access in the rural and urban under-served areas of the state.

For More Information:

MAHEC: Richard Colgan:

Maryland State Rural Health Grant: Temi Oshiyoye:

AHEC West : Susan Stewart:

Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center: Jake Frego:​