to enhancing access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by growing and supporting Missouri's healthcare workforce.
“I've been involved with AHEC since high school. The shadowing experiences in high school helped me to stay motivated to work hard in school. I have been constantly surrounded by mentors willing to teach me and encourage me to choose a career that will be both fulfilling to me and the community. I absolutely loved my Rural Track experience. The physicians I worked with were awesome and allowed me to get to know their patients.”
Alexis Simon, medical student University of Missouri School of Medicine
“I began participating with AHEC my junior year of high school and continued through my undergraduate studies. From the beginning, AHEC helped to guide me towards my future goal of becoming a primary care physician with shadowing opportunities, workshops on various medical topics, campus tours of Missouri medical schools, internships at a Federally Qualified Health Center, and mock interviews with an admissions representative at my top choice medical school. These opportunities fueled my desire to stay in Missouri and become a family physician.”
Ben Reine, medical student, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
“Being in AHEC gave me exposure to the medical field and helped me make connections that will be useful throughout my life. When I feel overwhelmed I remember all of the connections with physicians that I have made and all of the experience that the workshops and shadowing brought me and it reminds me of why I am working so hard to reach my goal. Thanks so much for all of your help because I wouldn't be where I am without AHEC!”
Laura Armstrong, medical student, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
AHEC has helped me decide where I want to go to college, what I want to be after school, and has helped prepare me in so many ways, … I would LOVE to be a dentist. And without this program I wouldn't have known it ...”
Ashley Mazurek, ACES student
"I feel that the ACES program has helped me to narrow my interests in the medical field by exposing me to many specialties of medicine. More importantly I understand what is required to achieve my career goals. Being a member of the ACES program has encouraged me to be involved in community service projects and various other organizations."
Alex Cooke, ACES student
"I joined the program to gain knowledge and skills in the field of nursing that would complement the program I was in. Although I am an older student, I have never worked in the field of nursing. I have gained an immense amount of knowledge through the hands on workshops”
Lisa Valenti, ACES+ student
"I was interested in a nursing degree, but did not have any hands-on experience or very much college information. I had been told that the ACES program would be really helpful in giving me both of these things, plus workshop opportunities that would look great on a college application! I find it most helpful that the program provides you with a "counselor" who can work with you on researching colleges, local career options, etc. ACES is also great because it gives you lots of scholarship opportunities!"
Ashley Reifer, ACES student
"My son has been enrolled in the AHEC program for 2 ½ years now and has been able to experience healthcare professions in a variety of ways that he otherwise would not have the opportunity to do. He has had the opportunity to job shadow health care professionals in a hospital setting to explore his career options. He has participated in many hands on activities such as pig uterus/fetal pig, mink, pig heart dissections, learning how to suture and many other activities that help him explore the health care profession. He received information and help with the college and med school application process. The staff at our AHEC office have been so helpful, and I am so thankful for the opportunities my son has been able to experience through the AHEC program."
Debra Miller, ACES parent
"I have had the privilege of having my son, Alec, be an ACES student now for 3 years in the Southwest Missouri Area Health Education Center. Because the program is so well run and the requirements to remain in the program require excellence, I have seen my son grow in many ways.”
Linda Zimmer, ACES parent
"If every child had access to a program like ACES in his/her chosen field, our society would be better off. Our child was able to connect her school goals to a post-secondary path, shadow some amazing professionals, engage in a leadership program that blew us all away, gain maturity, and gain deeper insight into healthcare as a career path."
Tom and Laura Nelson, Parents of ACES scholar, Class of 2012
"AHEC provided many opportunities and workshops with which to familiarize myself with different health careers and the need for rural primary care, and further my interest in medicine. Through AHEC, I was able to apply for and obtain the PRIMO loan, which has helped provide my education thus far without staggering amounts of loans. Upon graduation from medical school, my goal is to become a pediatrician in a small town in Cass County, Missouri, 15 miles from where I grew up. I have always wanted to return to my roots to practice medicine, and AHEC and the PRIMO loan has helped make that a reality."
Erin Jewell Burks, medical student Kansas City University Medical and Biosciences
"AHEC has prepared me for a medical career in every aspect. From science workshops to interview preparation, I really do feel as if AHEC has helped me in every area. I especially love how everyone at AHEC is so caring and they all genuinely care about your success. It's very hard to get individualized career-focused attention like one gets at AHEC. Also, AHEC really raises awareness on the importance of community health care. I'm so glad I was in AHEC for all four years and I believe that it was an important reason as to why I was accepted to the medical program I applied to."
Susamita Kesh, ACES student