Big Country AHEC

3702 Loop 322 Abilene, TX 79602

Big Country AHEC (BCAHEC) is the Abilene regional office of the West Texas Area Health Education Center program. BCAHEC is locally hosted by the West Central Texas Council of Governments (COG). Ensuring a healthy Big Country region, BCAHEC is part of the COG’s Community & Economic Development Department.

Community & Economic Development Department Mission:

To effectively administer the WCTCOG services that provide resources for the community to use in building and maintaining the health services needed by their citizens and economic resources those communities need to build and maintain the economic structure as it provides for the general welfare of its citizens.

The Community & Economic Development Department will use two strategic avenues to carry out its mission:

  • To serve as the Big Country regional division of the Texas Tech University’s Health Services Center West Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) through its programs to Introduce youth, K-12, to health careers, support rural clinical training for students who are in the health professions, provide practice support to existing health care professionals, and to promote healthy living
  • To develop and administer WCTCOG initiatives with communities in support of the local human services programs that address the health, safety and general welfare needs of their citizens; to link small businesses and local healthcare entities with financial support provided through State and Federal funding programs.


Junior Scholars

Through the Junior Scholars’ program BCAHEC provides supplemental education opportunities for high school students seeking careers in the healthcare system. We offer in school presentations about the various careers related to health care and distribute Health Occupations in Texas (H.O.T.) Jobs directory to high schools and students to enhance their interest in becoming a future healthcare professional. BCAHEC provides supplemental education materials to interested school districts to enhance the student’s education experience.

AHEC Scholars

AHEC Scholars is a program for undergraduate and graduate health professions students interested in enhancing their education and experiences beyond the classroom. Students will gain knowledge and experiences in patient centered team-based care and learn about unique challenges that face underserved rural and/or urban communities. Students should have a current interest in rural or underserved healthcare, be currently enrolled in an approved health professions degree or certificate program, be two years from degree completion, and commit to two years in the program and a one-time program follow-up. BCAHEC will award AHEC scholars an $800 stipend upon completion of the first year of the program. AHEC scholars can receive an additional $800 for the completion of the second year, for a total of $1600.

Community Health Worker (CHW) Certification

In collaboration with the West Texas AHEC Program Office, training is offered to become a Certified Community Health Worker (CHW). The Community Health Worker Certification Course provides 160 contact training hours on the following 8 core competencies: Communication, Teaching, Interpersonal Skills, Service Coordination, Capacity Building, Advocacy, Organization, and Knowledge Base and is certified by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Continuing Education Support

We partner with local community organizations to provide accredited, no cost or low-cost continuing education opportunities for health care professionals.

Research and Planning

BCAHEC offers communities, clinics, and hospitals with community assessments, program evaluation, and data collection to help them better understand emerging health care trends, identify needs and gaps in services, strengths and resources as a source to guide planning and implementation efforts.