Area Health Education Center Director Named to Prestigious Rural Fellowship

Chris Felton, associate director of the West Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and principle of the Double T Health Service Corps, was named to the National Rural Health Association’s (NRHA) Rural Health Fellows Program. Felton is the only Texan chosen for this 2013 honor.

“I am proud of Chris and that his great potential has been recognized by his peers,” said Billy U. Philips, Ph.D., director and executive vice president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health. “He will be among the next generation of leaders in rural health and I am confident the future is in good hands.”

Felton will be involved in a yearlong, intensive training and development program through the NRHA’s Health Policy Institute. The goal of program is to educate, develop and inspire a network of rural health leaders who will step forward to serve in key positions in the NRHA, affiliated rural health advocacy groups and local and state legislative bodies.

In addition, fellows take part in monthly conference calls to supplement their training, receive updates on legislative and regulatory concerns that impact rural health, and participate in a mentorship program with current members of the NRHA Board of Trustees.

West Texas AHEC, a program of the TTUHSC F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, facilitates health care workforce development and supports existing rural health providers in the western half of Texas. These services are carried out in five regional centers located in Canyon, Plainview, Midland, Abilene and El Paso.

Each center implements programming to inform, engage and prepare rural and other underserved youth to pursue health professions education; encourage and engage current health profession students to gain exposure to rural and underserved populations; impact community development through health needs assessments; and provide community health education to assist in addressing priority health needs.

For more information about the West Texas AHEC, visit

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