Med school announces new partnership with Area Health Education Centers

group photo of AHEC signees and representatives

FAYETTEVILLE — Officials from regional Area Health Education Centers, Duke Area Health Education Center and Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine gathered Wednesday to sign off on a new partnership that will bring more doctors to underserved areas.

The program creates long-term field work opportunities for Campbell medical students at the Southern Regional Area Health Education Center in Fayetteville, just under an hour’s drive from the medical school. North Carolina operates a network of these centers to train medical professionals and introduce them to the area. Their hope is to retain doctors in these areas in order to provide easier access to care in underserved parts of the state.  

three men seated at the Campbell AHEC ceremony, signing documents

“When we announced that we were opening a medical school at Campbell University, one of the first calls we received was from Mike Nagowski, CEO of Cape Fear Valley Health in Fayetteville,” said Britt Davis, vice president for advancement at Campbell. “It was from that conversation that new medical residency programs have been launched at Cape Fear and a new partnership with North Carolina AHEC, Southern Regional AHEC, and Duke AHEC has developed for Campbell University. We’re deeply grateful for our friends in this area and we’re honored to bring new healthcare opportunities to the citizens of North Carolina.”

Campbell medical students have been doing month-long rotations at Southern Regional AHEC for the past four years. But this formal agreement will bring rotation opportunities to more students, improving the geographic distribution, retention and quality of health care providers.

“We have had a long-standing relationship with Campbell’s pharmacy school and other programs,” said Dr. Sushma Kapoor, president of the Southern Regional AHEC. “Building on this framework, we have shared goals to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes in our community.”

Campbell’s proximity to the center will allow for even more students to find opportunities through AHEC, serving their medical residences there and later joining the faculty or practicing medicine in the area.

“AHEC is always looking for new opportunities to partner with the people who are doing the right kind of work the right way and in the right places,” said Hugh Tilson, Director of North Carolina AHEC. “I can think of no better than Campbell University School of Medicine. They are checking all of those boxes.”