Southwestern Colorado Area Health Education Center

Southwestern Colorado Area Health Education Center

701 Camino Del Rio, Suite 316
Durango, CO 81301


The vision of SWCAHEC is for health to be constantly improving in the region. The mission is to improve quality and accessibility of health-related education and community and public health programming for students, professionals and community members. SWCAHEC has a special emphasis on serving underserved populations and on promoting collaboration with existing health resources while filling gaps that affect the health of the community.

AHEC has identified suicide as one of the top three biggest health problems facing the region.

SWCAHEC is a nonprofit that supports access to quality healthcare in the eight Southwest Colorado counties we serve. We have a strong emphasis on supporting rural primary care and community health, and on developing a pipeline of students who will eventually be our region’s health professionals. As a trusted neutral convener, we have spearheaded the Southwest Colorado Healthcare Partners Alliance, providing a single table for healthcare representatives to identify and develop solutions for issues in our region. In addition, we offer educational opportunities for health professionals, post-secondary and high school students, and the community. We coordinate housing for medical students doing rural rotations in the Southwest. 


Our goal is to identify and develop solutions for and address relevant issues that are impacting our eight-county service area, like reduction of substance abuse and lowering suicide rates. In addition, the University of Colorado College of Nursing (CU) and Pueblo Community College (PCC) have collaborated with AHEC to introduce two exciting opportunities for Southwest Colorado residents who want to get their Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN). For those seeking the two-year degree through PCC’s local campuses, Southwest Colorado Community College (SCCC), located in Durango and Mancos, a dual-enrollment option now exists: get your ADN in 2 years, and, by taking CU’s online option, get your BSN in as little as 1-2 more semesters.

What’s up next:
We are working to provide a variety of educational opportunities, grow our apprenticeship programs, raise awareness about suicide prevention and substance abuse opportunities and continue our scholarship program.