Skip to main content
The official hub for news and stories from Colorado Mesa University
Solutions to Healthcare Workforce Gaps Begin with Partnerships

Colorado Mesa University and Technical College of the Rockies work together to provide more opportunities for medical assistants  

On October 26, Colorado Mesa University President John Marshall traveled to Delta, Colorado, with CMU Faculty Trustee Tim Casey, PhD, to meet with Technical College of the Rockies (TRC) Director Randal Palmer for the betterment of healthcare in western Colorado.

Rural towns across the country are seeing significant shortages in primary and specialty care physicians and staff, making it challenging for healthcare workers to provide the services needed. At the same time, the gap is limiting access for patients. After hearing from their communities that there is a need for more high-quality healthcare providers, Marshall and Palmer are answering the call, together.

“This partnership between CMU and TCR is critical for strengthening healthcare in rural Colorado,” said CMU President John Marshall. “When businesses and industries in our backyard are struggling to find high-quality employees to meet regional needs, it’s our responsibility to find a way to fill that gap. This partnership with TCR opens up the doors for many who are interested in serving in healthcare fields, and what’s even more remarkable is right now, they can do it for free. This agreement between the two institutions couldn’t have come at a better time.”

The higher education institutions, CMU and its community college division, Western Colorado Community College, are working in partnership with TCR to expand medical assisting in rural Colorado through an articulation agreement.

“At Technical College of the Rockies, we’re training students in our service area and are preparing them for a vital career that touches every household,” said TCR Director Randal Palmer. “As medical assistants, students learn how to properly register patients, schedule appointments, and file and transcribe medical records. It’s an important position in the industry and with this partnership, our students are able to go further in their educational journey to make a difference their community.”

Now, students who have earned medical assistant credits at TCR can transfer those credits to Western Colorado Community College and earn their associate of applied science in the field at no cost to them. Thanks to WCCC’s Learn for Less initiative and the Care Forward Colorado program, students can earn their certificate/degree for free.

By working together, CMU and TCR are offering zero-cost, short-term healthcare training at a time when it’s needed the most. This articulate agreement and the various financial assistant programs available today are revitalizing Colorado’s healthcare workforce. They say it takes a village. In this case, it takes a region bounded by partnerships.

Students interested in learning more about how to enroll in these programs at no cost can call the Student Services information desk at 970.255.2670.


Written by Kelsey Coleman