Salud Family Health Centers (Fort Lupton, Colorado).

PROJECT NAME: Salud Medical Staff College (SMSC) Project

Project Overview:

Salud Family Health Centers will design, develop and implement a structured high quality training program to recruit, educate and retain medical staff for three standard entry‐level Federally Qualified Health Centers clinical roles: medical assistants, medical front-desk representatives, and community health navigators. Curriculum strands will meet the unique and numerous program demands of FQHCs, including Meaningful Use measures, Patient Centered Medical Home, HRSA’s UDS Clinical and Financial Measures, Joint Commission, along with OSHA as well as other Quality Assurance goals and measures adopted internally by the health center.

The center will seek accreditation as a Professional Occupational School, thereby increasing the affordable vocational education opportunities for the surrounding rural community of low‐income, uninsured, and vulnerable populations.

Project Objectives:

  • Design and implement structured MA, MFR, and CHN training programs to recruit, educate and train entry‐level staff to serve in federally qualified health care clinics. This effort will lead to application as a Professional Occupational School recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
  • Develop tiered career paths for retention of entry‐level positions to attain professional advancement within Salud and identifying employee’s professional goals through annual review.
  • Expand, enhance and develop relationships for recruitment of workforce‐ready staff.

Key Grant Activities:

Salud finalized the design of a 24 week entry-level staff training program. The curriculum meets the learning objectives required by the accrediting bureau for health education. The program consisted of face-to-face learning, on-site supervision and on-line learning. Further, project staff continue to develop the supervised internship component of the program, with revised position descriptions and accompanying evaluation tools.

Clearly defined career paths were developed for entry-level employees. The center used focus groups with current entry-level employees to ensure their voices and opinions were noted and contributed to the development of the project.  Further, relationships were developed or extended with other organizations such as the local high school where staff participated in guest lectures, as well as the county workforce investment programs to make recruitment and education connections, and gain a deeper understanding of workforce issues and needs in Northern Colorado.

Project Outcomes:

  • The grant resulted in two significant accomplishments: the establishment of the career ladder and the submission of an application to become a professional occupational school.
  • Salud witnessed better communication with entry-level employees and developed clear pathways that employees might take to advance their careers.
  • The center developed a specialized curriculum that is used for training.
  • Hired an RN to assist in implementing the new training program and continue its development.

About the Grantee:

Plan de Salud del Valle, Inc. (Salud Family Health Centers) was founded in 1970 in response to critical health needs of the migrant farmworker population in the Fort Lupton, Colorado area. Today, 42 years later, Salud has evolved into an extensive primary health care delivery system that provides integrated primary care services which reduce emergency use, improves the health of communities and provides access to quality, affordable health care services to populations in need. Salud provides care to all people and does not turn patients away based on finances, insurance coverage or ability to pay. Salud is the second largest health center operating in the six‐state Health Resources Services

Administration (HRSA) Region 8, employing 520 FTE employees and serving a catchment area spanning over 10,000 square miles. In the 2011 Salud provided health care services to 73,127 unduplicated patients through the provision of 286,802 unique visits (per UDS). In addition to its nine clinics, Salud also operates a mobile health clinic. Website: