One of nine North Carolina area health education centers, Coastal Area Health Education Center was established to attract, retain and maintain high quality health care professionals. It was established in 1973 and is administered by the Health Sciences Foundation, Inc., an educational non-profit organization governed by a board of directors. Coastal AHEC and New Hanover Regional Medical Center work together through an affiliation agreement to conduct residency training programs and student rotations. Coastal has developed close working relationships with area hospitals, county health departments, and mental health centers. These health care facilities are utilized as training centers for health professions students and medical residents, as well as sites for continuing education programs developed by AHEC faculty for the health professions in the surrounding area. Facilities include six hospitals, five public health departments, and three mental health centers. Coastal Center Health Education Center is in Wilmington, N.C.