December 05, 2018

Faircloth to lead Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Centers program

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michael faircloth joomla stream useMichael Faircloth, M.D.Michael Faircloth, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the medical and lab director of Student Health Service at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will serve as the director of the Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program. Faircloth will take over for Cindy Selleck, Ph.D., professor and associate dean in the UAB School of Nursing, who has served as the director since the Alabama AHEC was established in 2012. 

The mission of the Alabama AHEC program is to reduce health disparities by improving the quantity, diversity, distribution and quality of Alabama’s health care workforce. Faircloth says he hopes to increase the number of primary care health professionals in rural areas.  

“Our mission is to expand the health care workforce in Alabama, especially in rural and underserved areas,” Faircloth said. “I want to continue the work of Dr. Selleck and others by developing, implementing and evaluating training programs that encompass all of primary care — not just for physicians, but also for nurses, pharmacists and social workers. I want to connect students to rural areas and give them the tools they need to succeed once they return to practice.”

“The state is in need of more health professionals, particularly in primary care in our rural and underserved areas,” Selleck said. “We need to identify our young people in our rural and underserved areas, and we need to encourage them to go into health care careers. I think Dr. Faircloth’s commitment to this goal will enable the Alabama AHEC to continue to succeed in helping others.” 

Faircloth will oversee the five AHEC locations in Alabama. The purpose of the centers is to influence the training of health professions students and residents toward primary care through rotations in rural and underserved Alabama communities; provide continuing education and support for targeted health providers; implement programs, services and activities that target underrepresented minorities, rural and other disadvantaged Alabamians for careers in the health professions; and provide innovative, collaborative, interprofessional responses to community needs. 

Faircloth will become the director Jan. 1. Visit the Alabama Statewide AHEC website to learn more about the program and centers.