Waco Region

Bell  *  Bosque  *  Brazos  *  Burleson  *  Coryell  *  Ellis  *  Falls  *  Hamilton  *  Hill  *  Hood  *  Johnson  *  Lampasas  *  Limestone  *  Milam  *  McLennan  *  Navarro*  Robertson  *  Somervell

Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) East – Waco Region is committed to improving the health of rural and underserved communities in its 18 county service area. Waco AHEC works collaboratively with medical schools, nursing and allied health schools to improve health for underserved and under-represented populations. Through health education and collaborating with the local health workforce, Waco AHEC works with the community and community partners to bridge the gap in care among the underserved. Waco AHEC is hosted at Waco Family Medicine which is a champion in educating current health professionals boasting its family medicine residency program and taking on more students in preceptorships in hopes of filling the lack of providers for those in rural and underserved communities. Waco Family Medicine is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in central Waco. The mission of Waco Family Medicine is to increase access to high quality, comprehensive primary and preventative health care for the vulnerable of the Heart of Texas and to provide an excellent educational, training, and research environment in the medical, dental, and behavioral health fields. As the only FQHC in McLennan and Bell counties, Waco Family Medicine provides high-quality healthcare to all of the Waco community. Texas AHEC East - Waco Region is thrilled to have Waco Family Medicine as the host organization and primary health education partner.


Please visit the Waco AHEC website for more information and to keep up with us!


Clinical Placements

Texas AHEC East - Waco Region places Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner students with a preceptor during fall, spring, or summer semesters. We work closely with our host, Waco Family Medicine, to place students in various rotations with a focus on an underserved population. We can place students in family, women’s health, internal, and pediatric medicine rotations.

To be eligible for placement, you must be enrolled in an affiliated institution. Texas AHEC East - Waco Region only affiliates with institutions in Texas. Check with our program coordinator to determine whether your institution is affiliated. If your institution is not affiliated, we cannot guarantee placement.


Please visit our clinical placement landing page to apply for placement or get more information.




Students who intern with Texas AHEC East - Waco region receive firsthand experiences with health education, community engagement, and social advocacy. Our interns are involved in planning for major events and programs, developing educational resources, making connections with community partners, and much more. We would love to have you join the Texas AHEC East - Waco Region team as an intern!


If interested please visit our website for more information.




Texas AHEC East - Waco Region offers shadowing placements for healthcare students who are looking to gain experience observing physicians and learning about the medical process.  This is a strictly non-medical capacity (i.e., this is a one-way experience with absolutely no physical contact with the patients). Although Texas AHEC East - Waco Region does NOT offer any academic credit for students who complete shadowing placements, individuals who complete this type of placement will receive valuable experience and first-hand training.


Shadowing students can be high school, undergraduate, or graduate students. Students currently enrolled in medical school should not apply for a shadowing placement for academic credit. Those rotations are handled through the Waco Family Medicine Residency programs. Students should be 18 years or older and able to pass a background check.


For more information or to apply please visit our website.


AHEC Scholars


The Texas AHEC East (TAE) AHEC Scholars Program recruits and trains a diverse group of health professions students from across the TAE service region, creating an interprofessional team of health professionals committed to serving rural and/or underserved communities and the transformation of health care in Texas. Waco AHEC recruits from colleges and universities in our 18 county service area. Waco AHEC provides various opportunities and activities for our students to obtain their didactic and experiential hours while also connecting students for networking.


Careers in Health and Medicine Program (CHAMPS)

The Careers in Health and Medicine Program, better known as CHAMPS, is a 5 day healthcare summer camp for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are interested in healthcare.

This CHAMPS program engages students of color, first generation students, and students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds with opportunities to gain experience in the medical field. This program allows students to explore various possibilities of working in a healthcare setting while learning from experienced physicians, providers, and health professionals about their work. CHAMPs is focused on creating a pipeline of diverse and knowledgeable students who will pursue the medical field. This is an experience that students will not want to miss!

Please visit our CHAMPS landing page for more information.


All of UsResearch Program

Waco AHEC is a proud engagement partner for the All of Us Research Program. Research plays an integral role in our mission to improve the supply, distribution, retention, and training of varied health professionals in medically underserved areas.

At Waco AHEC, we believe that representation and diversity are fundamental in research and improving health equity. When research data sets are not representative, it affects everyone. Through our partnership with All of US, we host events and educate our community about the program. Our goal is to  increase participation among community members and ensure that Wacoans are adequately represented.

If you would like to learn more about the program or learn more about enrolling, please contact us! We would love to have you come and join us at an engagement event!


Housing Assistance Placement Program

The Waco Region has a network of housing sponsors that take on students that are too far from home to travel to and from their rotations. When a student is taken on by one of our housing sponsors they are guaranteed a free, private room with a quiet place to study, access to a kitchen, and private restroom. Housing sponsors can be found in the Waco area, Glen Rose, and the Bryan/College Station areas. The Waco Region is currently looking for more housing sponsors.

Rural Health Book Club

  • Hosted on Zoom the last Wednesday of the month, from 12-1pm
  • Registration for each book club is at https://www.wacoahec.org/rural-health-book-club or can be found on our social media
  • Scholars can receive didactic hours for both the discussion and reading of the book (up to region discretion)
  • All of the books are available at local libraries, college campus libraries, or ILL. If a Scholar is having trouble accessing a book, they can reach out to their director or my email. The books we chose are all fairly short and shouldn't add a huge burden to the average student's schedule
  • Scholars will answer and submit entry questions in the first few minutes of book club to get credit for reading. The rest will be determined by their participation in small group discussions. Entry questions are on the events page and social media!
Ashley Bearden Waco 300x420

Ashley Bearden


1722 Colcord Ave.
Waco, TX 76707

Phone: 254/313-5108
Email: Ashley.Bearden@txaheceast.org

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