Innovations in Health Professional Training at CHCs

If you are a health professional looking to advance your career by taking the next step toward a more advanced degree or certification, Community Health Centers (CHCs) in Colorado may have a training program that meets your needs, and could lead you to a fulfilling career in community health care. Many CHCs across the state are taking innovative leaps in developing training programs, either in-house or in partnership with local universities and health professional schools, in order to promote awareness for CHCs among health professional students and encourage them to pursue careers in community health care upon graduation.

For those looking to begin their clinical careers as a medical assistant (MA), consider a MA training and certification program that incorporates principles of community-based health care into its curriculum, and offers opportunities for students to complete clinical rotations at CHCs.

Salud Family Health Centers, serving Weld, Adams, Boulder, Larimer, Logan, Morgan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington, and Yuma counties, is partnering with The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA) to offer an innovative MA training program that prepares students for careers in community health care. Based out of Salud’s Fort Lupton clinic site, the NIMAA training program combines an online learning platform and experiential team based model of practice at host clinic sites for students to graduate in seven months. The student requirements consist of 20 hours per week onsite experiential learning and up to 12 hours per week of online curriculum work, allowing a student to work part-time. The total cost of the program is $6,600 (includes incidental costs). To learn more about the NIMAA and to sign up to receive information about how to apply for the second MA training program beginning in September 2017, visit here.

For those interested in becoming an MA and working in a rural area, River Valley Family Health Center, serving Montrose and Delta counties, is offering a “Clinical Medical Assistant” classroom course for the Summer of 2017. It will be held at Delta Montrose Vo-Tech. The classroom course will begin on May 9th and end on August 8th. Any students that River Valley hires will be reimbursed half the cost of this course by River Valley. The total cost of the course is $2,599, so River Valley would reimburse $1,299 upon graduation and the start of the graduate’s career at River Valley Family Health Center.

If you are a nurse practitioner or a physician, a number of CHCs in Colorado offer residency and fellowship programs to recently graduated providers. Peak Vista Community Health Centers based out of Colorado Springs offers a Family Medicine Residency Program for physicians and an APRN Primary Care Fellowship for advanced practice registered nurses. In Denver, Metro Community Provider Network offers a Post Doctoral Fellowship for psychologists. Doing your residency or fellowship at a CHC is a great opportunity for clinical providers to learn what practicing community-based medicine in underserved areas is all about. In addition, other CHCs work with existing residency programs in Colorado to host rotations, including Denver Health’s Community Health Services, Sunrise Community Health, and Valley-Wide Health Systems.


Are you interested in a mission driven career that helps make a difference in patients’ lives? Check out the Mission Driven Careers Job Board or the CHAMPS Job Opportunity Bank for more information about rewarding careers with a Colorado CHC. To learn more about Colorado’s CHCs and other great work they are doing, visit CCHN’s website.