Vegas PBS Launches Desert Meadows Area Health Education Center, in Partnership with the University of Nevada School of Medicine, to Expand Health Education Opportunities in Southern Nevada/Cary Huddleston Joins Vegas PBS as Healthcare Training Coordinator

Posted by Tammy McMahan on

(Las Vegas) – Vegas PBS is launching the Desert Meadows Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in partnership with the University of Nevada School of Medicine. AHECs are federally funded educational service organizations chartered for the purposes of recruiting and retaining healthcare providers and promoting health and wellness. Southern Nevada was one of the most populous regions in the U.S. without a local AHEC.

Desert Meadows Area Health Education Center
Nevada AHEC was established by the Nevada Legislature in 1987. It follows the model of the national network of AHEC programs to enhance access to quality healthcare, particularly primary and preventive care, by increasing the number of healthcare professionals and through extensive continuing education training facilitated by community and academic partnerships. Three offices in Reno, Elko and Las Vegas have been set up to provide service in northern, central and southern Nevada. Desert Meadows AHEC covers the counties of Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral and Nye. The three regional centers, the University of Nevada School of Medicine, the Nevada Geriatric Education Consortium and other healthcare-affiliated entities will collaborate to carry out the AHEC mission.

The Desert Meadows AHEC is a service of Vegas PBS. The Center primarily functions as a conduit to recruit current and future qualified healthcare workers for Southern Nevada; retain healthcare providers by furnishing professional, convenient continuing education; and promote health and wellness in the Southern Nevada community. The state program will utilize the online education infrastructure built by Vegas PBS for K–12 instruction and adult education.

“Vegas PBS is pleased to be involved in an effort to grow and support the number of Nevada’s healthcare professionals in cooperation with institutions of higher education, hospitals and healthcare professional associations. Our strong partnerships with K–12 school districts will assist AHEC to introduce middle and high school students to lifelong career opportunities in healthcare professions,” said Vegas PBS General Manager Tom Axtell.

“Vegas PBS has managed the Nevada AHEC Online Training Portal since 2012. We are truly excited to have them join the Nevada AHEC System as Desert Meadows AHEC. Vegas PBS brings technical distribution capacity to medical education that will assist healthcare professionals regardless of their location. Their unique ability to use television and internet resources to serve healthcare professionals is a great benefit to the state and new to the AHEC System,” said Nevada AHEC Program Director Gerald Ackerman.

Cary Huddleston, Workforce Training & Economic Development Coordinator
Cary Huddleston will serve as a Workforce Training & Economic Development Coordinator focusing on healthcare and as the Desert Meadows AHEC Coordinator. In this capacity, he will build strategic partnerships with representatives of hospitals, clinics and healthcare-affiliated businesses to help identify and assist in meeting their training needs; connect students and established professionals to healthcare-related careers and job opportunities; and develop individual learning plans and continuing education curriculums that may include Vegas PBS’ Global Online Advanced Learning courses. Additionally, Huddleston will work with community partners to promote health initiatives in Southern Nevada, including health-related Vegas PBS programming such as the upcoming series from Ken Burns, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” airing March 30, March 31 and April 1 at 9 p.m.

Prior to joining Vegas PBS, Huddleston served more than twenty years in various roles in post-secondary education for the United States Air Force (USAF) and the Clark County Fire Department. His workforce training skill set includes employment as an instructor at the Professional Military Education Academy in the USAF and for the Fire Officer Certification Program in Southern Nevada. Also, Huddleston was as an adjunct professor for the Fire Science Program at the College of Southern Nevada and the National Fire Academy.

Huddleston is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a degree in Post-Secondary Education. He is an active UNLV Alumni member. He also volunteers in the community as a Boys and Girls Club mentor and as a speaker for the Clark County School District’s PAYBAC partnership program.

“We are pleased to welcome Cary Huddleston to our Vegas PBS team. We truly appreciate his service to our country and believe that his role as a workforce and AHEC coordinator will greatly benefit all of Nevada,” said Vegas PBS Director of Workforce Training & Economic Development and Desert Meadows AHEC Debra Solt.

About Vegas PBS
Dedicated to enriching the lives of those who call Southern Nevada home, Vegas PBS Channel 10 is one of America’s most watched PBS stations on a per capita basis. Five additional channels are available over the air or on cable and satellite including Create, Vme, Worldview, Rewind and Jackpot!

Vegas PBS expands its television broadcast impact through supplemental materials on Vegas,,,, and Vegas PBS also offers extensive online distance education for workforce training and economic development through Global Online Advanced Learning (GOAL).

Vegas PBS provides K–12 educational resources to teachers and students in public, private, charter and home schools including professional development courses; One Place, a curriculum-correlated online media service; the Described and Captioned Media Center (DCMC) containing materials for deaf, hard of hearing, blind and vision impaired individuals and those who assist them; and Ready To Learn literacy and health community workshops based on curriculum materials in daytime children’s programs.

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About University of Nevada School of Medicine
The University of Nevada School of Medicine, a research-intensive, community-based, statewide medical school, has served Nevada for more than 40 years as its only public medical school. Our mission is improving the health of Nevada’s diverse population through world-class biomedical research, an innovative curriculum integrating basic and clinical sciences, and highly competitive residency and fellowship programs that complement a statewide network of urban and rural clinical facilities. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services and education, we are a resource for improving health care regionally and across the country.




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Contact Information:

Shauna Lemieux
Communications & Promotion
Vegas PBS
3050 E. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas NV 89121
702-799-1010 ext. 5352