The Plateau Post

Education Moves the Mission Moment of the Month – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Promoting DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) is at the heart of our Teaching Health Center.

The healthcare workforce doesn’t reflect the people we serve. People of color and those from other disadvantaged backgrounds tend to be under-represented, particularly as clinicians. At the Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions at North Country HealthCare, we facilitate programs that support under-represented students to prepare for and succeed in a health career. This year we started two new programs: Future Faces of Family Medicine andTuba City Regional Health Care (TCRHCC) High School Exploration Program.

Future Faces of Family Medicine connects high school students from minority, lower income, or first-generation college backgrounds with family medicine resident physicians every week for 9-weeks. The students learn about different careers in healthcare, participate in hands-on workshops, and learn valuable skills to add to their college applications. Some topics included splinting and casting, heart dissection, and social determinants of health. Eight students completed this brand-new program in spring 2023.

Dr. Erinn Gallagher, Family Medicine Resident, helps a student in the Future Faces of Family Medicine program with a heart dissection

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​TCRHCC High School Exploration Program (HSEP) is a replication of a successful 20-year-running collaboration with Hopi Health Care Center called Indigenous Pride Health Workers (IPHW). Both programs combine a residential summer camp at Northern Arizona University (NAU) with a multi-week shadowing experience with clinicians and staff in multiple disciplines at TCRHCC or HCCC. Twelve (12) students participated across both communities in summer 2023.

Students from the TCRHCC High School Exploration Program and Indigenous Pride Health Workers program line up for the Northern Arizona University ropes course.

​​​​​​​Practicing Cultural Humility

Another priority for DEI is training our students, clinicians, and support teams to practice cultural humility and meet our patients and families where they’re at. One example is the Community Medicine rotation for first year Family & Community Medicine Residents. Residents spend time learning about NCHC community outreach programs, rotating through integrated care programs, and visiting Coconino County Health and Human Services. Rotation highlights include:

  • Visiting patients on the Navajo Nation with HIV Medical Case Managers
  • Spending two days serving patient experiencing homelessness with the Mobile Medical Unit
  • Shadowing behavioral health, clinical pharmacy, and care management

Plus much more!

To learn more, visit

“Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions exists to improve the health of rural and underserved communities in northern Arizona by building, training and strengthening the health workforce.”

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Thanks for stopping by The Plateau Post, a blog where we share news, organization updates, and student & alumni stories focused on training, building, and strengthening the health workforce in northern Arizona.

Together we can ensure that we have enough quality healthcare practitioners to care for all our communities today and in the future.

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