Message from the Director


Greetings. Welcome to the website for the Tennessee Area Health Education Center. The Tennessee Model Area Health Education Center (TN AHEC) Program was established at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1984 through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The mission of the TN AHEC is to meet the needs of the medically underserved communities through robust community-academic partnerships, with a focus on exposure, education, and training of the current and future health care workforce, such as the development of an AHEC Scholars program.   

Our mission is closely aligned with the missions both of Meharry Medical College and of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA’s) Bureau of Health Workforce, which is to increase diversity and distribution of health care professionals, enhance health care equity, and improve health care delivery to rural and underserved areas and populations. 

The TN AHEC program is comprised of four areas:  

  1. AHEC Scholars program  
  2. Workforce development 
  3. Middle School to Practice Pathways  
  4. Continuing education 

Many of our activities are based on the principles of the patient centered medical home (PCMH) approach to the delivery of primary care, that is:  

  • Patient Centered 
  • Comprehensive/Inter-professional team based care 
  • Coordinated/integrated services across the health care system and community 
  • Accessible/Expanded office hours/telehealth 
  • Committed to Quality and Safety/Data driven decisions/value 

These principles provide the foundation of our activities to prepare a health professions workforce to better address the needs of medically underserved communities.  We invite you to explore the different programs offered by the TN AHEC on this website and join us in our efforts to transform medical education and clinical practice to address the needs of vulnerable and medically underserved populations. We look forward to hearing from you! 


Paul D. Juarez, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair 
Department of Family and Community Medicine 
Director TN AHEC program 
Meharry Medical College 
Nashville, TN