New Director for West Texas AHEC Named

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Debra Flores, Ph.D., as the Director of the West Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program. Dr. Flores will oversee five regional offices located in Canyon (Panhandle AHEC), Plainview (Plains AHEC), Abilene (Big Country AHEC), Midland (Permian Basin AHEC), and El Paso (Desert Mountain AHEC), and a new office developing in San Angelo (Concho Valley AHEC).

“We are delighted that Dr. Debra Flores emerged as the sole finalist for this position from a national search process,” Billy Philips, Ph.D., MPH, Executive Vice President for Rural and Community Health and Director of the F. Marie Hall Institute said. “Dr. Flores is someone we have admired and worked with as we strive to improve the health of communities through workforce development and other innovations, including a greater recognition and involvement of Community Health Workers, which are vital to the transformation of health care that comes along with the Affordable Care Act. She is pioneer in that and will bring fresh energy and new ideas to our senior leadership team.”

Flores joins us from University Medical Center (UMC) Health System where she served as the program manager for the Regional Health Care Partnership program. She brings with her more than 25 years of experience and knowledge in the healthcare field. Prior to her role at UMC, she was with Covenant Health and the TTUHSC School of Nursing. Flores holds her Doctorate in education from Texas Tech University, as well as a Master of Arts in organizational management from Wayland Baptist University.

The West Texas AHEC program is state and federally funded and has four main principles - to introduce youth, K-12, to health careers; to support rural clinical training for students who are in the health professions; to provide practice support to existing healthcare professionals; and to promote healthy communities.

Flores is originally from Hale Center and resides in Lubbock with her husband. She has three daughters and five grandchildren.

For more information about West Texas AHEC, visit, or contact Briana Vela, communications coordinator for the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health, at