Member Highlights

Meet, Michael Faircloth, M.D., Alabama program office director

Presented by the NAO membership committee

Dr. Michael Faircloth assumed the role of Program Director of the Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Center Program upon the retirement of Dr. Selleck in January, 2019. As a Family Medicine Physician from rural Alabama, he served on the Board of the Southern Alabama AHEC, as well as on the UAB AHEC Leadership Group. Dr. Faircloth acted as Interim Department Chair of the UAB Department of Family and Community Medicine and continues to serve as the Director of the UAB Student Health Services.

The Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Center Program Office’s mission is to recruit, train and retain a healthcare workforce for Alabama. Something unique about the Alabama Program is the fact that all of their centers are also members of NAO! In 2012, as a new program, former Program Office Director Dr. Cynthia Selleck knew that it was important for the centers to have the support and guidance from mature AHEC Programs. Dr. Selleck included membership in NAO as part of the work plan for the first center and they have continued to include NAO membership ever since.

The Alabama Statewide AHEC Program does traditional AHEC work. The five centers did an excellent job recruiting a diverse first cohort of AHEC Scholars. Every Center provides residential or day Summer Health Career Camps. Alabama Statewide AHEC has also continued to work with the Veterans Administration to provide Community Mental Health Summits.

They target rural providers as the audience in order to meet the special healthcare needs of their rural warriors. As with all AHECs, their community partnerships allow them to address the specific needs of the regions they serve.

Additionally, they are succeeding in collecting and analyzing state healthcare data to help strategically address the needs of counties with poor health outcomes. With this data, they identify AHEC Scholars that will help create IPE teams across Alabama to address the social determinants of health including nutrition, housing, behavioral and oral health.

There are several NAO membership benefits that Dr. Faircloth values, including the biennial meetings. They provide a chance to learn new information, to meet leaders of other national organizations, including HRSA representatives, and to stay connected to the political landscape. He believes that all AHEC Programs are stronger together than operating alone. NAO provides a platform to share best practices, innovative ideas, and resources.

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Past Member Highlights
Steven Zucker- November 2018
Krista Loney- December 2018
Susan Anderson- March 2019

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