“It has been a distinct privilege for me to be a part of the AHEC Program for nearly 35 years,” said Dr. Bacon. “I believe the mission of AHEC is as relevant today as it was when we were founded in 1972, which is to train a health care workforce to serve the needs of the people of North Carolina, with a special focus on serving vulnerable populations.” The AHEC Program celebrates 40 years of service this year. Since becoming director, Dr. Bacon has led the program through a series of strategic plans in order to better target resources during a time of reduced state and federal budgets.
“Dr. Tom Bacon has very ably led the NC AHEC Program the past sixteen years,” said Dr. William Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine. “We are all deeply grateful to him for his many contributions, as are the people of North Carolina.”
In recent years, N.C. AHEC has strengthened its diversity programs, developed a new statewide electronic library, and is now transforming its traditional continuing education efforts to a stronger focus on quality and patient safety.
Dr. Bacon also is a UNC alumnus, earning his Doctorate of Public Health from UNC. He received a master’s degree in demography from the University of Chicago, and completed his undergraduate degree at Eckerd College (which was then Florida Presbyterian College).
“The thing that has been most rewarding is the opportunity I’ve had to work with a remarkably talented and dedicated group of people at all levels in this program. I have also valued working with a terrific group of partners, both within the university system and in health care agencies and organizations throughout North Carolina,” he said.
“I believe the time is right to step down and give someone else the opportunity to lead the North Carolina AHEC Program,” said Dr. Bacon, who will retire December 31, 2012. A search committee has been created to recruit a new director. Read more about the search here.