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Maribel Cifuentes, RN, BSN

Instructor, Deputy Director, Advancing Care Together

12631 East 17th Avenue

Aurora, CO 80045


303-724-9772 Office






Maribel Cifuentes is the current deputy director of Advancing Care Together, a practice redesign initiative seeking proper integration of primary and behavioral care for people with emotional and behavioral problems in primary care and community mental health center settings.

She is the past deputy director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Prescription for Health national program. Under this initiative, 22 primary care practice-based research networks developed, tested, and evaluated 27 practical, evidence-based strategies to improve the delivery and effectiveness of health behavior change services in frontline primary care practice. The strategies targeted four health risk behaviors: Tobacco use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, risky alcohol use.

Ms. Cifuentes has extensive knowledge in the management and functions necessary to carry out large research initiatives. She is a nationally recognized figure in both the operation and expansion of research networks and in the management and coordination of multi-year nationally based research initiatives. She has also conducted qualitative research on a delivery model that marries elements of the PCMH and ACO into a unique Primary Care-Based Accountable Care Organization, the implementation of a government-sponsored health literacy toolkit in primary care practices, perspectives of older African American women on a community-based weight loss program, and perspectives of parents and healthcare providers on factors associated with pediatric readmission.

She is a member of the department's Communications Committee working on various initiatives to enhance and create new vehicles for better internal communication and to represent the department and its activities to strategic partners inside and outside of Colorado. She is also a member of the department's Triple Aim Team, an advisory group that seeks to better integrate work accross departmental mission areas and programs to tackle important problems and seize emerging opportunities to achieve better health and more affordable heatchcare for individuals and communities.

Prior to joining the University, she was a neonatal nurse at Denver Health and Hospitals. She received her BSN from the University of Colorado Denver, School of Nursing. Ms. Cifuentes is a Guatemalan native who has made Colorado her home for the last 23 years. Her favorite activity is hiking in the Colorado mountains with her husband and two children.


Research interests include primary care practice redesign and reform of delivery and payment systems to optimize the delivery of  integrated care and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. She is also interested in multidisciplinary team-based care and culturally appropriate care that is patient-centered.

Ms. Cifuentes is a member of an international team of investigators working in Basque Country, Spain on a national initiative to create systems of care to promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles within the Basque primary care delivery system.


Collaborative Family Healthcare Association: 2014 CFHA Conference Co-Chair

Academy Health: Advisory Committee Member, Translation and Dissemination Institute

North American Primary Care Research Group

  1. Phillips RL, Bronnikov S, Petterson S, Cifuentes M, Teevan B, Dodoo MS, Pace WD, West DR. Case Study of a Primary Care-Based Accountable Care System Approach to Medical Home Transformation. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, 2011;34(1):67-77.
  2. Krist AH, Cifuentes M, Dodoo MS, Green LA. Measuring Primary Care Expenses. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 23 (3): 376-383 (2010).
  3. Pace WD, Cifuentes M, Valuck RJ, Staton EW, Brandt EC, West DR. “An Electronic Practice-Based Network for Observational Comparative Effectiveness Research.” Annals of Internal Medicine, Sep 2009; 151(5).
  4. Green LA, Cifuentes M, Glasgow RE, Stange KC. “Redesigning Primary Care Practice to Incorporate Health Behavior Change: Prescription for Health Round-2 Results.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Nov 2008; 35(5 Suppl):S347-349.
  5. Dodoo MS, Krist AH, Cifuentes M, Green LA. “Start Up and Incremental Practice Expenses for Behavior Change Interventions in Primary Care.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Nov 2008; 35(5 Suppl):S423-430.
  6. Cifuentes M, Fernald DH, Green LA, Niebauer LJ, Crabtree BF, Stange KC, Hassmiller SB. “Prescription for Health: Changing Primary Care Practice to Foster Healthy Behaviors.” Annals of Family Medicine, 2005 3(S2): S4-S11.
  7. Glasgow RE, Ory MG, Klesges LM, Cifuentes M, Fernald DH, Green LA. “Practical and Relevant Self-Report Measures of Health Behaviors for Primary Care Research.” Annals of Family Medicine, 2005 3 (1): 73-81.
  8. Cifuentes M, Green LA. Obesity trial: knowledge without systems. British Medical Journal, 2004; 328(7438):E272-4.
  9. Lin CT, Barley GB, Cifuentes M. Personalized remedial intensive training of one medical student in communication and interview skills. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. 2001; 13(4):232-9.
  10. Plomer K, Schneider L, Barley G, Cifuentes M, Dignan M. Improving medical students’ communication with limited-literacy patients: project development and implementation. Journal of Cancer Education. 2001:16(2):68-71.
  11. O’Brien-Gonzales A, Cifuentes M, Paranka J. Integrating the care of Hispanic patients into a third-year clerkship. Academic Medicine. 2000; 75(5):514-5.