Workforce Development

San Francisco Area Health Education Center (AHEC)


The Need

The United States is experiencing a primary care workforce shortage and the demand for safety net providers with multiple cultural competencies is predicted to keep increasing. With expensive living costs and competition for primary care providers.

This shortage of primary health care providers is due to a wave of aging baby boomers, epidemics of diabetes and obesity, and the Affordable Care Act, which brought health care coverage to millions more Americans. This shortage is acutely experienced in community health centers (CHCs) which are a key part of the health care safety net. On the local level, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most expensive places in the country to live, while the salaries of primary care providers are low compared to physicians of other health specialties, and even lower for those serving vulnerable populations in CHCs. The demand for primary providers with multiple cultural competencies far exceeds the supply. A 2017 point in time snapshot among seven San Francisco CHCs showed a collective need for close to 40 MDs/DOs, NPs, and RNs, with additional shortages in LCSWs and MAs.

How SFCCC and the SF AHEC are Making a Difference

Since 2004, SFCCC has served as the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-designated SF Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The San Francisco AHEC’s mission is to promote workforce development in our member CHCs and Street Outreach Services (SOS) mobile clinic, through training of future health care professionals and continuing education for current CHC staff.

The goals of SFCCC and the SF AHEC programs are:

  • Increase community-based health professions training

  • Support pipeline training programs to promote future health care professionals working in community health with vulnerable communities

  • Increase diversity of San Francisco’s health workforce

  • Strengthen collaboration and develop partnerships with workforce-promoting institutions

  • Support communication between community and academic partners

  • Record, study, and document outcomes

We partner with UCSF School of Medicine and primary care residency programs, USF School of Nursing; Kaiser Permanente; The CA Endowment; Blue Shield of CA Foundation; CA Health Care Foundation; SF Dept. of Public Health; Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), among many others.


Attention Health Professions Students Interested in Caring for Underserved Vulnerable Populations:

Apply to our new AHEC Scholars Program to gain additional knowledge and skills focused on community health. Click here to apply!

Select Two-Year SFCCC and SF AHEC Achievements in Workforce Development

  • 130+ future multi-disciplinary health providers trained via Street Outreach Services (SOS) in the successful care of homeless and other vulnerable populations in its mobile urgent care clinic

  • 50 AmeriCorps (“Community Health Corps) members received 10 months’ on-the-job training in community health and provided health education and outreach to underserved SF residents

  • 500+ UC San Francisco Nurse Practitioner students trained using simulated patient manikins

  • 4 full-time SFCCC/SOS staff participate in the “SFCCC Health Professionals Trainees” program to receive ongoing inter-disciplinary training in care for vulnerable communities

  • 1000+ CHC staff trained in a variety of topics including:

    • Motivational Interviewing and Patient Engagement

    • Outreach and Education/Certified Enrollment Counselor training for Covered California

    • Customer service skills training

    • FQHC Program Requirements and Compliance

    • SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) approach for identification and intervention with alcohol and/or drug use

    • Many additional trainings including: Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Resources, Human Trafficking: What Can We Do from a Clinical Setting?, Intro to “Value-Based” Purchasing, CMS Emergency Preparedness Requirements, Preparing for Encounters with Immigration Agents, Colorectal Cancer Screening Tips and Resources, Colorectal Cancer Screening Tips and Resources, and Pregnancy Options Counseling

This website and the work of SFCCC and the SF AHEC is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,339,000 with 50 percent financed with non­governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

national health corps san francisco - americorps

In May 2019, SFCCC was selected to be a new National Health Corps (NHC) operating site under the AmeriCorps program administered by Health Federation of Philadelphia.

This partnership means San Francisco will once again have a community health-focused AmeriCorps program, with a corps of 18 members beginning this fall for 10.5 months of service. NHC members will gain invaluable experience while supporting the health care safety net by serving at host sites such as community health centers and Department of Public Health sites to provide health education and care to vulnerable and underserved SF residents. 

Click here to learn more.