Communities to Better Health

  • AHECs are designed to be responsive to local health needs and serve as an important link between academic training programs and community-based outreach programs.
  • AHECs provide innovative, collaborative, multi-disciplinary responses to community health issues including:  diabetes, obesity, asthma, and traumatic brain injury.
  • AHECs develop community health education and health provider training programs to meet the needs of diverse and severely undeserved populations.

Lupus Initiative

The Lupus Initiative is a project of the American College of Rheumatology. Cascades East AHEC is partnering with the project here in the Pacific Northwest to increase community and provider awareness on Lupus, early detection, and treatment.

Why you want to help:

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that dis-proportionally affects African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives and women of every race. It may be the MOST chronic disease among young African American women- more than diabetes- and mortality rates are highest among American Indian/Alaska Native populations. It is a disease that is affecting our region.

How you can help:

Please take a few minutes to complete this online survey, . We encourage everyone to take this short survey regarding their current knowledge of Lupus. Survey results are very important because from the results of the survey, the Lupus Initiative will create specific materials for increasing community awareness of Lupus.


Part of the Lupus Initiative is provider education. This online training provides information on early detection and treatment. Providers completing the Virtual Education Series on Lupus and Patient Care training will be eligible for CME credit and a $1,000 stipend. For more information or to enroll in the provider education series, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Ferucci, Rheumatologist, Alaska Tribal Health Consortium,,


Questions –  contact Jeff Papke at or call 541-706-2603


The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is an ethically-driven, professional membership organization committed to improving the care of patients with rheumatic disease and advancing the rheumatology sub-specialty. Founded in 1934, we are a not-for-profit, global medical society that serves over 9,500 physicians, health professionals and scientists worldwide.