South East Area Health Education Center was established in 1973 and is one of nine AHECs under the North Carolina statewide AHEC Program. The nine AHECs link the four university health science centers, the community hospitals, and health agencies of North Carolina. With state and local funding, the network helps attract, retain, and maintain high quality health care professionals in all areas of the state. SEAHEC is administered by the Health Sciences Foundation, Inc., an educational non-profit organization governed by a board of directors. The Foundation, in affiliation with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, conducts health education programs in a five-county region. SEAHEC and New Hanover Regional Medical Center work together through an affiliation agreement to conduct residency training programs and student rotations.
Health Care Facilities
SEAHEC has developed close working relationships with area hospitals, county health departments, and mental health centers. These health care facilities are utilized as training centers for health professions students and medical residents, as well as sites for continuing education programs developed by AHEC faculty for the health professions in the surrounding area. Facilities include seven hospitals, five public health departments, and three mental health centers.
For practicing health professionals, SEAHEC offers continuing education programs which are developed according to the needs of the region, a specific agency or health care discipline. The health care educators of SEAHEC conduct a variety of health education and training programs.
The Nursing Department provides continuing education for RNs and LPNs in hospitals and long-term care agencies. At various times, projects are undertaken to collect nursing manpower data, to improve the recruitment and retention of nurses, to provide educational and advanced skill opportunities, and to stimulate professional interest in health care trends.
Dental education serves the continuing education needs of dental practitioners throughout the region. This includes dentists, dental specialists, hygienists, assistants, dental laboratory personnel and dental office managers.
The Department of Allied Health education works with health professionals to provide local educational opportunities. Advisory boards meet routinely to assist in the identification and development of continuing education programs for allied health professions such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical record administration, medical technology, speech and hearing, nutrition, radiological sciences and respiratory therapy and laboratory science.
Mental Health education serves professionals in the fields of mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. Consultation and technical assistance services are also available to assist professionals in planning in-service programs and annual training calendars.
Public Health is actively involved in a statewide continuing education network that includes collaboration with the UNC-CH School of Public Health, NC Department of Health & Human Services and others. Continuing education programs, technical assistance consultation are provided for health directors, public health nurses, home health nurses, environmental health specialists, management support personnel, health educators and others who work in community health settings. Off-campus graduate education opportunities are also provided for health and human service professionals
The faculty of the Pharmacotherapy Department teach in the professional doctoral degree program of the UNC-CH School of Pharmacy. They also hold faculty appointments with the UNC-CH School of Medicine as they participate in the clinical teaching of medical students and residents. Each faculty member maintains an active clinical practice associated with the physician residency programs of the AHEC, and serves as both a role model and a resource for area health professionals. In addition, the faculty coordinate pharmacy continuing education programming within the region.
The Continuing Medical Education Department plans and coordinates educational programs designed by and for physicians and mid-level practitioners in Southeast North Carolina.
The program's mission is to provide a broad spectrum of continuing medical education, which will improve the medical practice environment and ultimately patient care. In affiliation with the UNC-CH School of Medicine, SEAHEC is accredited to designate programs for Category 1 credit by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.
Student Services and Health Careers Education
Cardiac Life Support coordinates and provides Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Basic Cardiac Life Support classes for all healthcare providers in the SEAHEC region as well as serving as an American Heart Association approved Community Training Center. The CTC serves as a liaison for approximately 250 ACLS, PALS, and BCLS instructors. In addition the faculty monitors new instructors, recertifies providers and current instructors, and ensures compliance with AHA guidelines by all CTC affiliates.
SEAHEC established the Office of Regional Primary Care Education in November of 1993. AHEC faculty work with the state's health science schools to place medical students as well as Pharm.D., nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, and physician assistant students with primary care community practices.
This is an effort to increase the number of students choosing to practice primary care in rural North Carolina. Students shadow the preceptors, interview patients and work in the community for a well-rounded primary care experience. In order to facilitate this process, we have begun offering preceptor development activities. These include, but are not limited to: preceptor site visits, regular feedback, and training opportunities. These activities are designed to assist preceptors in delivering a consistent and quality learning experience without adding additional burden to their practice.
Health Careers Workforce Diversity, through partnerships with local schools and businesses, has become a resource center for information about health careers and information about cultural diversity. SEAHEC provides programs and resources which are designed to increase the number of students pursuing healthcare and medical professions. A regional advisory board provides guidance for the various camps, workshops, and resource purchases.