Executive Director, SEAHEC
Thursday, October 3, 2:00-3:00 (note special time)
Arizona Senior Academy Building
Health issues do not recognize geographic boundaries. Dealing with disease and promoting healthy living in the border region of Southeastern Arizona and Mexico requires line-crossing partnerships. The Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC) has been working to improve the well-being of people living in this border region by collaborating with communities to enhance disease prevention and access to quality health care. SEAHEC accomplishes its mission to improve the recruitment, placement and retention of culturally competent health professionals in rural and under-served communities of Southeast Arizona through its Border Binational Health Initiatives and cross-border networking.
SEAHEC was established in 1985 as Arizona’s first Area Health Education Center (AHEC). AHECs are charged by Congress with addressing the health disparities between urban centers and rural areas and, in particular, the lack of health professionals in rural communities in the United States. SEAHEC is now part of a state-wide network of five regional AHECs. Each regional center operates independently, receiving funding and support from the Arizona Health Education Center at the University of Arizona’s Health Sciences Center in Tucson.
Gail Emrick, a native Tucsonan, has worked in the field for more than 25 years and has been SEAHEC’s Executive Director since 2008. She has dedicated her professional life to promote the well-being of individuals, families, and communities in Central America and the U.S.-Mexico border regions. Under her direction, SEAHEC has forged strategic alliances throughout Arizona for improving Arizona’s health care workforce development. Emrick holds a joint master’s degree in public health and international affairs from Columbia University, with a concentration in Latin American economic and political development.
Written by Carol and Donald Gilzinger, Arizona Senior Academy Volunteers