TAHEC's mission is to increase the number of health care professionals and to improve access to health care in rural and underserved communities in Central Alabama. TAHEC's catchments area includes nineteen (19) counties in Alabama's Black Belt. TAHEC was incorporated in 1972, as a part of a system of AHEC's to address the problems related to health resource shortages prevalent in rural areas of Alabama. In order to most effectively meet the needs of the local community; the agency has enlisted a Board of Directors consisting of 8 health care providers and 10 consumers from the region. The Board is comprised of seven males and 11 females, including thirteen minority representatives. Presently, TAHEC is the only AHEC in Alabama existing as a Model AHEC in cooperation with the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Tuskegee Area Health Education, Inc. (TAHEC) has had a 36-year history of successful grant management experience. Since its inception, TAHEC's core funding has been derived from the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions.
TAHEC also receives funding from numerous grants and contracts. Among the funding sources with which TAHEC has contracted are: VA Medical Center, WK Kellogg Foundation (Elderly Services), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Alcohol and Tobacco Risk Reduction), the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Morehouse School of Medicine -Model AHEC Project, the University of South Alabama, Black Belt Medical Reserve Corps, Delta Rural Access Program (DRAP), Citizens Corps Councils, REACH US, STEPS to a Healthier Alabama and Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER).
Fundamental to the success enjoyed by the agency is its proficiency in data collection on and evaluation of the educational and health service programs it implements. During fiscal year 1998-99, TAHEC's staff monitored programs for the purpose of responding to the health resource service needs of the residents of its 19-county target area. Among the most noteworthy of the programs monitored/conducted are:
- Medical clerkships for fourth-year medical students
- The Health College Connection program in which rural students who have an interest in health care were paired with a rural health care preceptor for a summer educational experience. (This program is on-going)
- Serve in a primary role in the coordination of interdisciplinary training for health care professions students.
- More than 250 continuing education programs for Health Care ProvidersParticipate in six Community Health Fairs and seventy-five Community Health Education Programs for the lay public.
- Basic Life Support classes weekly for health care providers and the community Advanced Cardiac Life Support classes quarterly for health care providers.
- HIV/AIDS Education for Maxwell Federal Prison Pre-release program (quarterly).
- HIV/AIDS Education for the Bullock County Correctional facility on a monthly basis.
- HIV/AIDS Education for CAVHCS on a bi-monthly basis
- Promote Breast and Cervical Cancer Education that includes the college community
- Basic Trauma Life Support Classes quarterly for health care providers and others
- Provide Recruitment and Retention leadership for 19 counties in Alabama's Black Belt
- Provide community education awareness through community-wide conferences
As a community leader since 1972, TAHEC has the oldest HIV/AIDS Education Program in the state. Moreover, TAHEC provides health education in the areas of diabetes, and hypertension to the community at-large and for the benefit of health care professionals.