Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority

The purpose of the VHWDA is to facilitate the development of a statewide health professions pipeline that identifies, educates, recruits and retains a diverse, geographically distributed and culturally competent quality workforce for all Virginians.

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Discover Virginia’s Capital Region and AHEC Richmond Metro and surrounding areas

Richmond Metro and surrounding areas - Includes: Charles City, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan and Richmond City

Includes: Charles City, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan and Richmond City

Healthcare Workforce in the Capital Region

The Capital region, including Charles City, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, and Richmond City, is home to hospitals, health systems, Community Health Centers (CHC), community colleges and universities that offer health professions career studies, internships, training and job opportunities.

Capital Area Health Education Center (CapAHEC)

CapAHEC’s mission is to optimize access to quality health care through community-academic educational partnerships that emphasize primary health care in underserved communities. The mission is achieved by: developing health careers recruitment programs for underrepresented and disadvantaged students; supporting the training of primary care health professions students and residents in community based settings; providing educational and practice support systems for primary care health professionals; and, collaborating with health, education and human services organization to achieve the shared goal of improved health and disease prevention.

Health care workers are in short supply in several urban and rural communities throughout the CapAHEC region, despite growing demand for their services. To help these underserved communities attract and produce more health care professionals, the CapAHEC engages in a wide array of education-based activities with the following goals:

Health Career Pipeline and Promotion: Develop health careers recruitment programs for Virginia's students, especially under-represented and disadvantaged students.

  • Health Career Promotion: A partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). VCU’s School of Medicine is expanding its current Project ACEe (Academic, Career and Educational experiences) program by implementing a book club (a pilot program).  Project ACEe is designed to expose disadvantaged high school students within the Richmond Public School system to the medical profession by providing them with monthly educational, academic workshops and mentoring opportunities.  While preference is given to Richmond Public School students, this program is also extended to the Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover county school systems. This program runs in the Spring semester of every year for a total of ten weeks.  Each workshop runs for at least 2 hours (20 instructional hours).
  • Back-to-School Health Fair: A partnership with Capital Area Health Network (CAHN), a federally qualified health center in Richmond, VA. In August, 2014, 500 individuals attended the Health Fair. 100 students received back packs filled with supplies, a Health Career Manual and CD, and the students received free physicals by a voluteer primary care physician.
  • Barber and Beauty Health Career Awareness: Two minority-owned barber/beauty shops partner with CapAHEC to distribute health career materials. Interested individuals sign up to receive electronic newsletters and health career promotional information from CapAHEC.
  • Project StEPP (Students Exploring Professions Programs in Health): Utilizing technology, Project StEPP engages students and health professionals via webinars to introduce specific health careers to students. Professionals volunteering time include: Family Medicine Physicians, Critical Care Nurse, NICU Nurse, Physician Assistant, Pediatrician, Orthopedic Surgeon, OB/GYN, Optometrist, Dentist, and a Pharmacist.
  • Medical Interpreters: A partnership with Northern Virginia AHEC. CapAHEC is recruiting 10 new medical interpreters for education and training through the Northern Virginia Medical Interpreter Training Program to serve the capital region.
  • Lay Health Promoter Program: A partnership with the CrossOver Clinic in Richmond. The goal is to recruit and train 25 individuals who complete the Lay Health Promoter Program to pursue health careers in the capital region.

Community-Based Student Education: Support the community-based training of primary care health professions students, residents, and other health professions students in Virginia's underserved communities.

  • CapAHEC partners with Capital Area Health Network (CAHN) and VCU's Department of Family Medicine & Population Health to support student clinical rotation experiences in the CapAHEC region. 


Aileen Edwards Harris, Executive Director

Aileen Edwards Harris

Prior to her position with CapAHEC, Ms. Aileen Edwards Harris worked in the Office of Health Innovations and Primary Care & Workforce Strategies at Virginia Commonwealth University. At VCU, Ms. Harris was in charge of the development of health care workforce strategies that enhance access to health care, and she served as the liaison between the VCU Health System and Health Professions Schools. Ms. Harris maintains her own non-profit, AEH Advising Health Professions, LLC, where she provides consulting and advising services to post-baccalaureate and high school students interested in pursuing a health professions career.  She has over fourteen years of health workforce related professional experiences including serving as: Health Care Workforce Manager and Rural Health Manager at the Virginia Department of Heatlh; Assistant Dean of Diversity and Minority Affairs at Jefferson Medical College; and, Pre-Medical Advisor at the University of Maryland, College Park campus. Ms. Harris has a strong desire to improve access to healthcare in medically underserved areas and she is a native of Millsboro, Virginia. She received her bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and her Masters of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.

Live, Work and Play in the Capital Region

National Battlefield Park
Pocahontas State Park
Virginia Museum of Fine Art
Edgar Allan Poe Museum
The Valentine Richmond History Center
James River Park
Historic Tredegar Iron Works
Kings Dominion
Gray Haven Winery
James River Cellars

Counties and Cities in the Capital Region

The Capital region includes Charles City, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan and Richmond City.

District Health Organizations and Hospitals

Bon Secours Health System
Chesterfield Health Department
Chesterfield Health District
Chippenham Hospital
Colonial Heights Health Department
Henrico County Health Department
Johnston-Willis Hospital
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Powhatan Health Department
Retreat Hospital
Richmond City Health District

Community Health Centers (CHC)

Broad Street Center
107 S. 5th Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 615-4923 x231

Daily Planet Healthcare for the Homeless Program
517 W. Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: (804) 615-4923 x231

Glenwood Medical Center
2711 Byron Street
Richmond, VA 23223
Phone: (804) 525-1818

Greater Richmond Central Intake
1400 Oliver Hill Way
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 783-2505

Main Street Primary Care
2025 E. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23223
Phone: (804) 591-2890

Northside Medical Center
2809 North Avenue
Suite 206
Richmond, VA 23222
Phone: (804) 525-1800

Saint Joseph's Villa Clinic
8000 Brook Road
Richmond, VA 23227
Phone: (804) 783-2505

South Side Medical Center
101 Cowardin Avenue
Suite 102
Richmond, VA 23224
Phone: (804) 780-0840

The Healing Place
700 Dinwiddie Avenue
Richmond, VA 23224
Phone: (804) 783-2505 x231

The Marshall Center
4303 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23230
Phone: (804) 615-4923 x231

Vernon J. Harris East End CHC
719 N 25th Street
Richmond, VA 23223
Phone: (804) 780-0840

Vernon J. Harris Medical Center
2601 Kensington Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: (804) 780-0840

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