presented by the Colorado Plateau Center for Health Professions in honor of
National Health Center Week, August 7-13, 2022
North Country HealthCare is a Teaching Health Center, and education moves our mission. We build, train, and strengthen the health workforce every day, in every corner of our organization, to secure a healthy future for rural and underserved communities. Here’s how!
We know that it takes time and energy from every one of us at North Country to develop the next generation of health professionals to serve our communities.
We appreciate you! Thank you for moving our mission with education!
Meet Anthony Blackhorse, a certified medical assistant at North Country HealthCare in Flagstaff. Anthony shares how a family connection to healthcare led him to the medical field, first as an emergency medical technician on the Navajo Reservation, then as a medical assistant at a community health center.
Being a Teaching Health Center brings so many benefits to our staff, patients, and communities. There is a severe shortage of primary care, dental, and mental health providers in northern Arizona, and when we train students in the community they are much more likely to return here to practice. It’s also a recruitment mechanism—in the last three years, we have hired 19 providers are staff who completed a portion of their training at North Country. Learners who train here also gain a better understanding the unique needs of rural, underserved northern Arizona.
Depending on your role, there are many benefits to being a preceptor, including medical library access, CME, teaching incentive pay, adjunct faculty status at local universities, and more. But most of our long-time preceptors report that giving back to the profession, seeing a student progress, and staying up to date in their field are what motivates them to keep teaching. Being a mentor is so rewarding, and our learners need mentors in the community to help them succeed on their journey.
Did you know? Being a Teaching Health Center helps us continuously improve care for our patients. Many of our clinical services and community programs were initiated through student research and quality improvement projects, such as:
Teaching also helps our clinicians stay up to date on the most recent clinical guidance for patient care. Students and residents are always learning the most recent research, and through teaching we can apply that knowledge to give our patients the best care available.
Our staff are life-long learners. Regional Conferences, Provider Mentoring Workshop, Employee Tuition Reimbursement, Leadership Development Institutes, and Continuing Medical Education are only a few of the ways we continually educate our workforce to move our mission forward. Many professional development opportunities are available to staff each year.
Education advances diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversifying the healthcare workforce so it is better prepared to serve diverse communities is at the heart of our Teaching Health Center. We conduct youth programs throughout the year to recruit underrepresented minorities into health careers, knowing they are likely to return to the area when they graduate.
We also review all research projects for cultural sensitivity. It’s important that as we improve healthcare, we close the gap in health disparities for underserved communities, and unfortunately, some healthcare research is conducted in a way that can perpetuate bias and discrimination. We are careful that projects we support are culturally attuned and contribute to closing the health disparity gap.
How can we inspire the next generation of health professionals? We are always looking for ways to connect the dots for young people who want to start a health career and serve their communities. Send your ideas to email@example.com.