About the Evaluation
The mission of the Arizona Area Health Education Centers is to improve the recruitment, diversity, distribution, and retention of culturally competent personnel providing health services in Arizona’s rural and medically underserved communities. The Center for Rural Health has taken on the task of evaluating the many programs funded through the Arizona AHEC.
The best method to ensure that important AHEC programs remain well-funded during the current fiscal uncertainties is to show the programs’ effectiveness through evaluative findings. In other words, the way to make a strong case for continued funding or increases is to definitively answer the question, “What are we getting for the dollars?” It is important to answer this question with the results from scientifically sound evaluative research. To do this, the Center for Rural Health evaluation team will address both the short-and-long term effectiveness of the programs.
The short-term evaluation considers:
- Whether the trainings were held
- That interns received rural placement
- The other nuts-and-bolts items required for the programs to work as intended
The long-term evaluation examines the program outcomes of the programs, such as whether health professionals are choosing to work in rural areas and if rural health professionals are remaining in rural areas during their careers.