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Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center

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2023 Annual Report

Happy New Year from our team at Northeast Oregon Area Health Education Center (NEOAHEC). Each new year brings about something a little different for all of us. It can be a time of resolution, transformation, reflection, or aspiration.

Many things have changed in a short time at NEOAHEC, and yet our consistent and resolute approach to achieving our mission of growing our own healthcare professionals remains our priority. I believe that anyone acquainted with NEOAHEC during this past year felt the purpose, excitement, and hope for the future radiating from our team.

The NEOAHEC staff team transformed in 2023. Hailey Hulse took her next step in achieving her dream of becoming a doctor as a first-year medical student, right after she delivered multiple MedQuest camps for the first time in our history. Two new employees were hired and jumped in with both feet to learn and grow with NEOAHEC. And in 2024, another member of our team, Sarah Florig, will move onto her program to become a physician-scientist.

Reflecting on the year has come with moments of pinching myself to make sure it wasn’t all a dream. In 2023, NEOAHEC was honored with a National Center of Excellence Award by the National AHEC Organization for our health career pathway work that remained uninterrupted during the pandemic, and the Investigators of Science program won a ChemLuminary Award for the Most Creative National Chemistry Week Celebration Using the Yearly Theme. These awards highlight the accumulation of many little things that have been done over and over again for more than three decades to build an enduring organization with a strong connection to our purpose and values.

As I think ahead to the future and what it holds for NEOAHEC, the aspiration to connect our work longitudinally and illustrate the impact of the long-term investment is coming closer to reality. As we continue to persist and enjoy short-term rewards as they come, we also strive to develop data-informed metrics that can move the needle on healthcare workforce development in eastern Oregon.

The best is yet to come!

Meredith Lair

Click here for a downloadable PDF