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OEDIT Awards Grant To Family Health West

Grant Creates New Program To Infuse Healthcare Workforce

Of the 46 grant awardees from across the state of Colorado today, Family Health West was one of the winners announced by Gov. Jared Polis. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) had three tracks for their Opportunity Now Grant. Family Health West applied for and received $1,590,000 to create and operate FHW Career Connections.

In alignment with the OEDIT Opportunity Now grant requirements, the FHW Career Connections program, funded by the grant dollars received, will address systematic and regulatory barriers related to nursing and healthcare pathways. To achieve the greatest success for students within the FHW Career Connections program, we have partnered with the Western Colorado Area Health Education Center, Western Colorado Community College, Colorado Mesa University, Fruita Chamber of Commerce, Community Hospital, Intermountain Health – St. Mary’s Hospital, and Colorado Institute of Family Medicine.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis talked about the Opportunity Now grant at the news conference held in Denver on June 22, 2023. FHW was 1 of 46 recipients of the grant.

“This grant enables us to partner with educational institutions and other health providers to benefit the healthcare students of today and tomorrow,” Dr. Korrey Klein, FHW President and CEO said. “We are already part of the process of teaching various healthcare students and this grant is formalizing and expanding those opportunities for all.”

FHW Career Connections program will host 50 students during the first 12 months of the implementation of the new program and then plans to host 120 students in the second phase (of 12 months). Current FHW employees will have the opportunity to ladder up with additional training and/or education through this program, as well as local students who can receive training and education for various positions in healthcare. The graduates of this program will go on to improve their earned income and be available to the healthcare industry workforce, improving the overall rural and western Colorado communities.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis (left) stands with FHW Vice-President of Business Development, Bill Cummins following the press conference announcing the OEDIT Opportunity Now grant.

“Across the state, employers are looking to hire the top talent that Colorado is known for. The Opportunity Now Colorado grant recipients announced today will help Coloradans develop the skills and experience our growing industry partners need and unlock access to good paying jobs,” said Governor Polis, during the news conference in Denver held yesterday.

The first class funded under this grant is slated to begin on August 1, 2023. There are many moving parts to creating the infrastructure of this new program, FHW Career Connections, but the Family Health West team is excited to make it happen.

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