Title: RRCC Physician Assistant Rural Immersion Program Applicant: Red Rocks Community College Address: 13300 W. 6th Ave., Lakewood, CO 80228 Project Director: Christa Dobbs, MPAS, PA-C, DHSc, RRCC PA Program Director / (303) 914-6046 / Christa.Dobbs@rrcc.edu Contact: Allison Dumas, Director of Grant Development / (303) 914-6363 / Allison.Dumas@rrcc.edu Web Address: https://www.rrcc.edu Funds Requested: $951,247 Funding Preference: #1: High MUC Placement Rate Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) requests a $951,247 grant (over five years) to provide 18-week longitudinal clinical rotations to Physician Assistant (PA) students throughout rural regions of Colorado with a goal to increase the numbers of PAs who practice primary care in rural communities post-graduation. Additionally, the RRCC PA Program will support the training and professional development of preceptors in rural areas. Both key activities will strengthen the primary care workforce by promoting primary care practice and enhancing training for both future and current primary care providers. Anticipated results include the expansion of the number of qualified PAs who practice primary care after graduation, which will address the statewide shortage of primary care providers and the urgent community need for primary care providers who are well-trained to meet the needs of rural Medically Underserved Communities (MUCs). The RRCC PA Program is the only Master’s degree-granting community college program in the United States, one of only four programs in Colorado preparing physician assistants, and the only program dedicated to preparing PAs for primary care practice. Annually, the program trains 32 PA students. Funding from HRSA will support eight (8) PA students annually (40 total) in completing 18-week longitudinal clinical rotations in primary care settings. The Rural Immersion Program will partner with four critical access hospitals/rural health clinics located in MUCs to provide stud
ent training. Further, the PA Program will partner with Colorado Rural Health Center, Colorado’s nonprofit State Office of Rural Health, to provide education and training to the partner rural clinics and preceptors. Objectives include: 1) Increase the number of PAs who practice in rural primary care areas; 2) Enhance PA students’ knowledge and skills to provide culturally responsive and inclusive medicine and represent demographics reflective of the communities they serve; and 3) Strengthen the RRCC PA Program’s partnership with the Colorado Rural Health Center and rural primary care clinics across the state. The Rural Immersion Program project activities will address the following HRSA clinical priorities: 1) Ending the crisis of opioid addiction and overdose in America; 2) Improving mental health access and care; 3) Transforming the health care system through value-based care delivery and quality improvement initiatives; 4) Transforming the workforce –by targeting the need; and 5) Strengthening health care access through telehealth. The Program requests a funding preference under “Qualification 1: High MUC Placement Rate,” as 51% of PA graduates over the prior two academic years have been placed in practice settings serving an MUC post-graduation.