The Greater Valley Area Health Education Center or GVAHEC, is one of five health education centers across Arizona. Funded primarily through Arizona State lottery funds. GVAHEC’s mission is: Advancing the healthcare workforce by inspiring students to enter health careers, empowering health professionals, and engaging communities in health education. The Greater Valley AHEC region includes Maricopa, lower Yavapai, and western Pinal Counties. Other regional AHECS can be found by clicking on the links below.




What we do

The Greater Valley Area Health Education Center focuses its efforts on advancing the healthcare workforce by recruiting and retaining culturally competent health professionals to meet the growing needs in urban underserved and rural areas. We accomplish this by providing opportunities in four core areas.


Health Careers Students (Jr High and High School)

GVAHEC works to increase students interest in health careers, whether it is a career as a medical assistant or as a biotechnologist, it begins at an early age. GVAHEC provides support for health career clubs in high schools as well as being a resource for speakers to come in and share about their careers. Off school campuses GVAHEC provides a Future Health Leader Camp once a year and quarterly events to support students on their journey to a health career.



Health Profession Students (College Students)

Students who have already decided on a career pathway and are enrolled in an accredited health training program may often require additional support to help them overcome obstacles that they may encounter. Whether it is providing a stipend to offset travel costs to and from a clinical rotation, providing support for textbooks when financial aid is not available, or offering a community health education internship, the GVAHEC is committed to helping students in all health professions programs as long as they commit to “pay it forward” by giving of their time and talent in the future.



Professional Development

The GVAHEC welcomes collaboration with a number of local, state, and organizations to develop and deliver continuing education opportunities. For more information on Continuing Education services or to find our professional development offerings click read more below.



Community Health Education

Another aspect of the GVAHEC mission includes not only making sure there are healthcare providers in these communities but helping community members connect and make use of existing resources. Our approach to being a “connector” in the community is achieved by developing student led community health education centers and co-locating them with other health and human service providers.


Martha McNair-c

Martha McNair


 Marissa Starks-Banh

Marissa Starks-Banh

 Program Coordinator


Renee Ruby

Renee A Ruby

Program Assistant

Karsten Nash

Karsten Nash

Program Coordinator


Advisory Board Members


Julie Stiak, M.Ed.–Immediate Past Board Chair
Interim District Director of Health Care Education
Maricopa Community Colleges

Rick Hall, PHD, RDN, FAND – Chair
Clinical Professor, Director of Health Innovation Programs
Arizona State University, College of Nursing and Health Innovation

Lawrence Sands, D.O., M.P.H.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine & Public Health Midwestern University-Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine

Mike Welsh

Associate Director Northern Arizona VA Healthcare System

Kim Bentley, M.Ed., NDTR

Instructional Specialist

Central Arizona College

Chris Morgan, EdD, CHES

Assistant Professor, Residency Development Manager

A.T. Still University

Mary Busch, RDH, M.Ed. 
Associate Director of Community Partnership
Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health

Shawn Burr, MBA


Cariann Dehiya 

Early Outreach Program Advisor, Hoop of Learning-ACE Plus

Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Julie Robbins

Mark Wooden, Ph.D

Dean and Professor

College of science, engineering and technology

Grand Canyon University








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Contact Us

map2066 W. Apache Trail, Suite 116
Apache Junction, AZ 85120

map2730 W. Orangewood Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85051