Area Health Education Centers

In 1972 the UNC School of Medicine received federal funding to open Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) as part of an effort to improve health care across North Carolina by providing training and access to information for health care providers in rural areas. In 1974 the program was expanded with support from the North Carolina General Assembly. AHEC doctors and staff have been able to reach all parts of the state quickly through the university's Medical Air Service, which operated out of the Horace Williams Airport. The flight service moved to Raleigh-Durham International Airport in 2007. The program also includes librarians at UNC's Health Sciences Library who provide support for health professionals seeking information and access to the latest medical research and information.


Date Established: 1972

Date Range: 1972 –

The Area Health Education Center airplanes were an important way for UNC doctors to reach communities around the state. In the foreground is an AHEC plane at the Horace Williams Airport, ca. 1980s. News Services Photo Collection, University Archives, Wilson Library.