Academic Health Centers: Defined
An academic health center encompasses all the health-related components of universities, including their health professions schools, patient care operations, and research enterprise. Thus, an academic health center consists of an allopathic or osteopathic medical school; one or more other health profession schools or programs such as
- Allied Health
- Graduate Studies
- Public Health
- Veterinary Medicine
and one or more owned or affiliated teaching hospitals or health systems.
Academic Health Centers: Impact
AAHC member institutions are deeply imbedded in their communities, often serving as safety-net providers and standing on the country’s frontline of defense in response to public health outbreaks, natural disasters, local crises, and potential terrorist attacks. In addition, academic health centers provide tertiary and quaternary healthcare services, specializing in the most complex and difficult diagnoses and treatments while educating the next generation of health professionals. Their research provides important new knowledge leading to advances in understanding and treatment of diseases. Academic health centers also have a significant economic impact both locally and globally; they employ thousands of professionals and staff, while often producing original products and technologies that benefit millions of people worldwide.