Desert Meadows AHEC

Posted by Tom Axtell on
Tom Axtell
Tom Axtell, General Manager

Among the many concerns confronted in the recent legislative session was the shortage of physicians and related medical services in Southern Nevada. Nevada lawmakers secured funding for a medical school at UNLV that will begin to address this shortage.

You might be surprised to learn that Vegas PBS is already working to educate health care professionals through our Desert Meadows Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided funding through UNR to launch this program with three primary objectives: develop a pipeline of qualified local health care workers; provide continuing education training for licensed health professionals; and provide health and wellness information for the communities we serve.

Vegas PBS is uniquely qualified to meet these objectives by leveraging our PBS health and wellness programing, extensive online adult education materials, and local video production capabilities. In our first year, we presented information on health careers to 2,600 high school science students and provided several workshops for professionals and caregivers on Providing Care for Patients with Dementia, Falls Prevention and Management, and Boosting Brain Power through Nutrition.

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certified our computer lab as a high stakes exam center for Clinical Medical Assistants, Electronic Health Specialists, EKG Technicians, Medical Administration Assistants, Phlebotomy Assistants, and Patient Care Technicians. We also provide online courses for 27 Health Care Occupational Certification programs including Advanced Hospital Coding, Pharmacy Technician, Medical Transcription, Geriatric Aide, and Clinical Dental Assistant. Additional online continuing education programs such as Advanced Life Support, Chronic Pain Management, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or Sleep and Aging allow current health care providers to maintain their certifications.

"…essential to
national defense and
economic prosperity.”

In the last few months alone,Vegas PBS has presented dozens of informative television programs on brain health, yoga and personal exercise, improved diets, advances in cancer research, treatment for video game addiction, Ebola, vaccinations, and Parkinson’s disease.

President Eisenhower’s vision for educational television in the 1950s was focused on reading, science and math education for children, and technology skills for adults. He viewed both as essential to national defense and economic prosperity. While Sesame Street and other children’s programs are more celebrated, Vegas PBS has never abandoned its commitment to adult education. Our children’s TV and Internet programming relies on you, but our Desert Meadows AHEC programming is self-sustaining through grants and tuition.We look forward to working with all the medical schools serving our state, including UNR, UNLV, Touro and Roseman Universities, to educate and support the health care professionals our community desperately needs.

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