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University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

Creating Futures

Rural Community Health

Kaiser Permanent Contributes to University’s Health Outreach in Rural Communities


In rural Colorado, no one takes health care for granted. With 47 out of 64 counties designated as health professional deficient, getting better can be a long journey. But the Salud Family Health Center in Ft. Lupton provides full service, thanks to a dental student, medical student and pharmacy student—all from the Anschutz Medical Campus.

“We’ve been about interdisciplinary education, collaborative practice and comprehensive care since forever,” said Mark Deutchman, MD, Professor, School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine. “And Kaiser gets that.”

Kaiser Permanent has recognized that there may be a shortage of health care professionals in the coming years. So they have made a substantial gift to the Anschutz Medical Campus to train students to work together in rural areas.

Janel Allen-Davis, MD, VP of Government and External Relations, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, said, “The beauty of a team-based approach is that it allows us to work at the top of our license, that is, to work at the full scope of our practice.”

That is exactly what happens at the Salud clinic on a daily basis. Whether a patient comes in with a problem that appears to be dental, then, through further investigation, an underlying medical cause is revealed; or whether a patient needs to better understand how to manage several drugs to treat their changing physical condition, the collaborative atmosphere and shared knowledge of the students from Anschutz Medical Campus make this all possible. 

“We could not do the interdisciplinary programs that we’re doing without the Kaiser gift, “ said Deutchman.

Allen-Davis responds, “This is about true partnership as a funder with an institution that truly is focused on education.”

Learn more about the Rural Track.

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