Frontier AHEC

Frontier Area Health Education Center (AHEC) was implemented to provide better access to healthcare to rural communities. In addition, the organization is committed to building healthcare partnerships between the community and academic professionals. Frontier AHEC’S primary focus is training for medical students, residents, and other health professions students.  The current major teaching initiative is the Nevada AHEC Scholars program, which focuses on inter-professional education to train the next generation of health care leaders for rural Nevada. 

Learn more about the Nevada AHEC Scholars Program

Frontier AHEC Services

  • Teaching Students

    Placing students in community-based clinical practice settings

    History has shown that students who experience medical practice in rural and underserved areas are much more likely to work in these settings after their formal education is complete. This is why placing students in rural community-based clinical practice settings is advocated by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and is Frontier AHEC's first primary focus.

    In order to place medical students in rural clinics, high quality rural physicians (preceptors) are first needed to mentor and teach students in an appropriate clinical practice setting.

    To realize this objective, Frontier AHEC, in collaboration with other University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine faculty members, facilitate the recruiting and retention of preceptors throughout rural Nevada. In addition, Frontier AHEC team members coordinate the rural rotations to these sites. The rural-rotation map illustrates some of the areas of Nevada where community-based practice settings have been established.

    In 2015, Frontier AHEC staff were able to coordinate housing and provide ongoing support to 26 internal medicine residents and 40 students from six schools in four states which included: BS-M.D. students, medical and dental residents, physician assistant students, third-year dental students, nurse anesthetist students and other allied health profession students serving rotations in rural Nevada.

    Internal Medicine Residency Rotation

    • 1 plus 2 (1 year in Reno, 2 years in Elko) residency for two residents each year
    • Orientation and support for resident and family
    • Coordinator on staff to assist with transition

    Medical Student Clerkship Rotation

    • 4th year Medical Students can do a 4-week rural rotation
    • 3rd year Medical Students to complete an 11-week internship
    • Apartment housing available
    • Coordinator on staff to assist with rural transition

    BS-MD Rural Observational Experiences

    • After completion of their 2nd year of undergraduate education, BS-MD Students can participate in 2-3 weeks of observational experiences
    • Student participant numbers are dependent upon available housing
    • Apartment housing available
    • Coordinator on staff to assist with rural transition
  • Community Education

    Promote inter-professional education and collaborative teams to improve quality of care

    In rural and underserved communities, collaboration and education is imperative if healthcare resources are to be fully optimized. Many healthcare resources throughout the country are marginally spread and are especially thin in rural communities, particularly in Nevada. As a result, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration tasked AHEC organizations with the objective of promoting inter-professional education and collaborative teams.

  • Continuing Education

    Facilitate continuing education resources and programs for health professionals - particularly in rural and underserved areas

    Frontier AHEC utilizes Project ECHO to provide continuing education resources for rural Nevada healthcare professionals while at the same time improving healthcare access for rural Nevadans.

    Project ECHO is a simple tele-health linkage connecting university-based faculty specialists to primary care providers in rural and under-served areas to extend specialty care to patients with chronic, costly and complex medical illnesses.

    The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine works with Project ECHO to provide training to healthcare professionals located in rural communities all over Nevada. Innovative tele-health technology allows better access to medical resources to assist medical professionals in providing better healthcare to rural communities.

    Continuing education is not only important for Nevada's rural physicians but also for emergency medical personnel who are not always able to travel the long distances between medical facilities around Nevada. One of the ways Frontier AHEC is able to provide continuing education is through its collaboration with the Nevada State Office of Rural Health to facilitate an annual statewide EMS conference.

    Rural Nevada EMS Conference at a Glance

    • Held annually in September
    • 2 ½ days to 3 days
    • National-level speakers invited
    • University medical advancement training provided to rural EMTs
    • EMTs get critical feedback on skills
    • Continuing education units (CEUs) offered