Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions is creating healthier communities in northern Arizona by building, training, and strengthening the healthcare workforce.
From the Director
There’s a lot to love about living in Arizona. Those of us lucky enough to call it home know that its natural beauty and frontier landscape is unmatched anywhere in the country. But living in a frontier brings with it some unique challenges. When you live in rural or remote areas, you don’t always have access to the things that some may take for granted. Like seeing a doctor.
The truth is, a lot of families in northern Arizona experience poorer health outcomes, decreased life expectancy, and higher mortality rates than those who live in urban areas. Much of the reason for this is the shortage of primary care physicians and other essential healthcare personnel.
Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions is here to help. Our programs support students every step of the way down their health career pathway, to create a conduit for recruiting and retaining healthcare throughout the region. More than three hundred health professions students are trained by Colorado Plateau every year, helping ensure future doctors, nurses, pharmacists and public health officials choose to work in northern Arizona’s underserved communities where they are needed most.
At Colorado Plateau, we don’t wait for medical professionals to choose our community. We grow them.
From NAHEC to CPCHP
The Northern Arizona Area Health Education Center (NAHEC) was founded in 1987 to support the rural and underserved health workforce in the region. While the AHEC name is recognizable in certain circles, it doesn’t fully capture the depth and breadth of our work across this beautiful and vast geographic area.
In 2021, we re-branded to be the Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions, a community leader building the health workforce throughout the Colorado Plateau region.
Mission & Purpose
The Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions (CPCHP) exists to improve the health of rural and underserved communities in northern Arizona by building, training, and strengthening the health workforce.
Those who live or provide healthcare in northern Arizona are painfully aware of the current health workforce shortages, especially in rural and underserved locations.
At the Colorado Plateau, we know that there are two proven ways to fill this gap:
When we train students in the community, they’ll practice in the community. So that’s what we do.
The Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions offers a career pathway from high school, through graduate studies, and into clinical practice in a diverse field of health professions in rural and underserved communities.
The Colorado Plateau has been serving northern Arizona since 1987 and is a member of the nationwide network of Area Health Education Centers, building the healthcare workforce across the country.
Our programs include:
We can't do it alone
Partnerships are central to this important work. The Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions is part of North Country HealthCare, a Teaching Health Center serving twelve communities in northern Arizona from the eastern to the western state lines. We are also one of the five Arizona Area Health Education Centers.
The AzAHEC mission is to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals via strategic partnerships with academic programs, communities, and professional organizations.
The mission of North Country HealthCare, our Teaching Health Center partner, is to provide affordable, accessible, quality primary care in an atmosphere of dignity and respect where the health and well-being of patients and community are promoted through direct services, education, outreach, and advocacy.
Core Topic Areas
The Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions integrates the following six Core Topic Areas into all of our work, so that current and future health professionals are equipped to meet community needs.