Skip to main content
Sign In

Morgan County Rural Training Program

A Message From Dan Burke, MD

Dan Burke

Program Director

I believe in a better tomorrow, a better healthcare system for America with a stronger primary care foundation, healthier individuals, a healthier population and stronger communities. There are a lot of forces that want to keep things the way they are which provide barriers to this better tomorrow. Am I naïve to have this belief?  

No, I’m not naïve, because I get to work every day with the residents, faculty and staff of the University of Colorado Family Medicine Residency along with the huge pool of talent and dedication at the University’s Department of Family Medicine. This is an inspiring group of people with an endless spirit of inquiry and a willingness to grapple with barriers. They ask (and then roll up their sleeves and get to work on) tons of questions like: “how do we integrate behavioral health and primary care?”, “how do we integrate with communities to effectively address the social determinants of health?”, “how do we more effectively engage medical students to assure them that they can have a future in Family Medicine?” , “How do we take this thing called the PCMH and really make it work for both patients and the entire primary care team?” … and on and on and on. At the root of all these questions is “how do we make things better?”

One of the nagging questions that has been a challenge for decades is “how do we stabilize the healthcare workforce in America’s rural areas?”  Many strategies have been tried but clearly the best method is to train family doctors in rural areas. That’s why we’re thrilled to team up with the Family Physicians and others in Fort Morgan Colorado to create the University of Colorado’s Morgan County Rural Training Track. Fort Morgan has all of the right ingredients for training family docs to be great rural physicians.

The continuity clinic for this program is Salud Family Health Center, an FQHC serving patients from a wide range of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The Salud Family Health Centers ( ) have been a long-time leader in bringing high quality, team based, integrated care to underserved communities in North-Central Colorado. Aline Hansen-Guzman and Elias Hernandez are the two key Family Medicine faculty at the Fort Morgan Salud clinic. Both have a full scope practice including c-sections and both have been involved in medical student and resident training for years. Elias is the 2015 Colorado Academy of Family Physicians Family Physican of the Year ( )

Another key family physician core faculty member is Shaun Thompson. Shaun is a third generation family physician in Fort Morgan and currently focusses his practice on Geriatrics. The teaching hospital for the RTT is Colorado Plains Medical Center  ( ), a 50 bed full service hospital with a wide array of services and physicians from a variety of specialties eager to participate in training family doctors. The local economy is diverse with agriculture, food processing, telecommunications and manufacturing as well as a Community College. Fort Morgan is ninety minutes from Denver on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, one hour’s drive to Denver International Airport and two hour’s drive to our local playground – the Rocky Mountains.

Thank you for visiting our website. Your interest in our program has the future looking brighter already.

Dan Burke