• Improving Lives

    Since 1978

  • Unique Strategies

    For 40 years, the San Luis Valley Health Education Center (SLV AHEC) has addressed the health and wellness needs of Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Rio Grande, Mineral, and Saguache counties of south-central Colorado.


    We help provide health education to youth and families, to community members, to governments, to medical field students, and to medical professionals.


    We currently operate 24 distinct health education programs.

    Shaping Careers

    From youth, to medical students, to medical professionals, SLV AHEC programs encourage medical excellence. The organization increases the potential for students from the San Luis Valley to pursue career pathways in the health professions, and increases the potential for health field students enrolled in degree programs to serve in medically underserved areas of the San Luis Valley upon graduation.

    Supporting Healthcare

    In addition to helping to attract health professionals to the San Luis Valley, the SLV AHEC increases access to evidence-based health information and high-quality education programs for health professionals serving in the San Luis Valley, and increases access to health education for community residents of the San Luis Valley. We also act as an impartial convener among various health systems.

    Saving Lives

    Through health education efforts, the SLV AHEC has spearheaded dozens of important health-improving projects. Recently, the organization has educated first responders and community members on opioid overdose reversal, and coordinated the wide dispersement of naloxone (overdose reversal medication) throughout the San Luis Valley. We also serve individuals and families by providing health screenings and resources.

  • Housing for Medical Field Students on Clinical Rotation

    Come experience the beautiful and unique San Luis Valley!

    The SLV AHEC provides affordable housing options for health professional students who are placed in the beautiful San Luis Valley for rural clinical rotations. There are various housing options that are quite cozy and in close proximity to most preceptors.


    Spanning 8,000 square miles, the San Luis Valley is the world's largest alpine valley. The average altitude is 7,500 feet. Everywhere you go here, majestic mountains surround the many attractions and provide the ultimate environment for the outdoor enthusiast. With attractions like the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Alamosa, Monte Vista and Baca National Wildlife Refuges, the Gold Medal fishing waters of the Rio Grande, Penitente Canyon, Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Narrow Gauge Railroad, and numerous natural hot springs (including the Colorado Gator Farm), the San Luis Valley has a bit of something for everyone.

    The San Luis Valley is a very interesting place to do a clinical rotation. With an old and unique cultural fabric that cannot be experienced anywhere else, and a peaceful and slow-paced environment, many medical professionals have decided to leave the stress of the city and relocate to the valley after graduation.


    Your time in the SLV will give you opportunity to help people. About 23% of residents are in poverty, and the area is health professional shortage area (HPSA) and a medically underserved community. Without question, your clinical rotation in the San Luis Valley will generate valuable memories.


    Please fill out the form below or contact us to find out more about your future clinical rotation in the San Luis Valley!

    Please fill out and submit the form below to learn more information about housing

  • The Grow Your Own Summer Institute

    Helping to shape the health field careers of high school students in the San Luis Valley

    The Grow Your Own Summer Health Careers Institute and Student Health Careers Guild is an established, results-driven program that identifies, enrolls, educates, and tracks high school students in the pursuit of health careers. It has been an important part of SLV AHEC programming since 1979.


    A study of this program was completed in 2008 that surveyed 25 years of program participants. Significantly, the study found that 44% of high school students who have participated in this program are today employed in a health careers occupation! Additionally, 94% of students who completed the program went on to obtain a college education.


    Please contact us to learn more.


  • Opioid Response

    Leading the San Luis Valley's Concerted Opioid Response Efforts

    The SLV AHEC is leading the concerted efforts to battle the current opioid epidemic. Efforts include coordinating interagency cooperation, anti-overdose education and naloxone distribution, the creation of a robust harm reduction program, and various other programs designed to help educate individuals who are addicted and their families on various treatment options.

  • Community Education

    Opportunities to Learn

    Mini-Med School

    Bringing Interesting Topics to the SLV

    The popular lecture series is a community service offered by the CU School of Medicine. Classes are held on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and are seen by live video feed to many sites around the state of Colorado. Registration is required in order to attend.


    The CU Mini Med School was founded in 1989 by J. John Cohen, MD,
    PhD, and Professor of Immunology & Medicine. With more than 27,000
    graduates to date, the program continues to be the most popular and anticipated event offered by the University of Colorado School of Medicine. CU Mini Med School is taught by experts in their fields, who are chosen for their ability to make the technical language of medicine understandable.


    Talks take place on Wednesday evenings in the fall, and it's necessary to register so we can make sure you get all the updates and information.


    Please contact the SLV AHEC and mention the Mini Med School to find out a schedule or to register for classes.

  • Nightingale Awards

    Honoring Nurses

    The Nightingale Awards event was founded in 1985 to honor nurses who best exemplify the philosophy and practice of Florence Nightingale. Registered Nurses throughout the state are nominated by solicitation from the Colorado Area Health Education Centers in the fall of each year. Each region hosts a local event for the nominees. Finalists are selected by the regions and forwarded to the State Selection Committee, who determines the recipients. Nurses are nominated by their peers, supervisors and people they have cared for in our community.

    The Nightingale Luminaries represent the best of more than 60,000 registered nurses in Colorado and are recognized for their leadership, advocacy, and innovation. What the nurses have in common is their commitment to actions and outcomes in caring for their patients, their profession, and their communities.


    Please contact us for more information.

  • Community Health Workers

    Providing Screenings & Links to Resources

    Colorado Heart Healthy Solutions is a statewide program that aims to prevent, detect and control cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The SLV AHEC is proud to have Community Health Workers (CHWs) provide screenings, referrals, and ongoing support to members of their communities at no cost. Screening includes a brief health history, height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. For those at-risk, referrals are made to local healthcare clinics and healthy living programs. CHWs also help participants set and achieve realistic health goals. They offer participants the opportunity to engage in the community resources such as walking groups and nutrition programs. To demonstrate improvements in health and reinforce behavior change, CHWs provide retesting once a year.


    Please contact us to set up an appointment to meet with a Community Health Worker.

  • Other SLV AHEC Programs

    A Long History of Service

    40 Years of Health Education Programs

    The SLV AHEC is a Staple of the Community

    The programs designed to improve the health of the San Luis Valley have included:

    • Opioid Prescription and Treatment work with health care providers, first responders and community to respond to the current opioid crisis; 
    • The 2015-2016 Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal HRSA grant that allowed for naloxone education and distribution; 
    • Continuing Education Activities for health care providers and the community; 
    • UPSTREAM Together collaboration propelled by the SLV AHEC and High Plains Research Network aiming to prevent Mental Emotional Behavioral problems in the San Luis Valley; 
    • The Colorado Heart Healthy Solutions, an ongoing cardiac risk assessment program using community health workers in three San Luis Valley counties; 
    • HIV/AIDS Education through the Colorado AIDS Education and Training Center, providing education to health care providers and the community on HIV prevention and treatment; 
    • Colleagues in Caring, a nursing group supporting the development and implementation of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Adams State University; 
    • The Wounded Warrior Project, which educated health care providers and the community on Traumatic Brain Injury and behavioral health issues of soldiers returning from war; 
    • The In-Home Chores Program, which assigned eligible elderly clients with home care workers; 
    • The BNICE/SWCPHC Colorado Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical and Explosive (BNICE) statewide training program to educate Colorado’s health care and public safety workforce on the principles of preparing for, and responding to, a weapons of mass destruction event; 
    • The Healthy Aging Network, a collaboration with the University of Colorado School of Public Health to conduct research on San Luis Valley healthy aging issues and needs; 
    • The Senior Olympics, and SLV regional competition for seniors in a variety of events; 
    • The Women’s Conference, an annual event focusing on women’s and women’s health issues at a low cost for participation; 
    • And we continue with a wide variety of other programming!
  • Donate to the SLV AHEC

    Help improve the health and wellness of the people in the San Luis Valley.

    We are a 501(c)(3), and your donation is tax-exempt.