Tilson, Jr. Named Director of NC Area Health Education Centers

Hugh Tilson, Jr., JD, MPH, has been named Director of the North Carolina Health Education Centers (NC AHEC).

NC AHEC is a statewide network founded in 1972 to improve the supply, distribution, quality, diversity, and retention of the states health workforce, with a focus on addressing the needs of underserved populations, promoting primary care and prevention and improving the quality of health care.

Tilson brings extensive experience in health care to the position, including particular expertise in hospital and provider issues, health policy development, and NCs Medicaid Transformation.

Over the course of more than 20 years, Tilson served in roles of increasing responsibility at the North Carolina Hospital Association. He first joined the organization in 1996 as Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, eventually becoming the groups Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He also served as Interim President of the organization, which promotes improved delivery of quality and affordable healthcare in North Carolina.

Tilson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the UNC School of Law. He also holds a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard.


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AHEC is an institution that all North Carolinians should be proud of, serving as an invaluable educational and operational support resource for medical providers in all stages of their careers “ from students to veteran community doctors, said William L. Roper, MD, MPH, CEO of UNC Health Care and Dean of the UNC School of Medicine. Hughs expertise in healthcare leadership and coalition building will position the organization for continued success and I look forward to working with him in his new role.

Most recently, Tilson has operated Tilson Solutions, offering strategic planning, public affairs, and other consulting services to a range of clients. He has also worked with Cansler Collaborative Resources as a consultant.

NC AHEC is a gem. I am excited to help build and educate North Carolinas health care workforce. As health care continues to change, I look forward to working with AHEC partners across the state to assure high quality health care and health, especially for vulnerable populations and under-served communities, said Tilson.

Each regional AHEC provides continuing professional development, support for community preceptors, health careers exposure, library services, and practice support to primary care providers in their regions; six of the nine regions sponsor residency programs in primary care or needed specialties. AHECs overall vision is to help transform health education and services, working across professions, across the continuum of care and across the state.

The primary responsibilities of the Program Director include providing overall direction for NC AHEC, overseeing the organizations budget and program office, managing health workforce planning and development initiatives across a range of health professions, fostering collaboration among academic programs and organizations across the state, and representing the organization on the state and national level.

About UNC School of Medicine

The UNC School of Medicine (SOM) is North Carolinas largest medical school graduating approximately 180 new physicians each year. It is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the US and is among the most well-funded for its research efforts. More than half of the schools 1,700 faculty members served as principal investigators on active research awards in 2017. Two UNC SOM faculty members have earned Nobel Prize awards.


NC AHECs mission is to meet the states health and health workforce needs and to provide education programs and services that bridge academic institutions and communities to improve the health of the people of North Carolina, with a focus on underserved populations. Its vision is to lead the transformation of health care education and services in North Carolina.