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CHA/PA Doors

Mission, Vision and Goals for the CHA/PA Program


The Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant (CHA/PA) Program has a long history of educational excellence, preparing physician assistants for practice in all areas of medicine.  The PA program has had continuous ARC-PA accreditation since 1972 and is currently accredited through September 2026.

The PA Program has gained national recognition for its curriculum in primary care medicine. The Program confers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS). In accordance with the mission of the program, the curriculum provides comprehensive physician assistant education in primary care medicine with expanded training in pediatrics and care to disadvantaged, at risk and medically underserved populations.  There are specialized tracks with exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary education and clinical experiences, integrating students with others in the School of Medicine and across the campus with similar interests.

Mission Statement


The mission of the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program is to provide comprehensive physician assistant education in primary care across the lifespan, with expanded training in pediatrics and care of the medically underserved.


Vision Statement


The University of Colorado, School of Medicine, Physician Assistant Program will be a leading educational program with a national reputation for excellence in innovative curriculum, research and scholarship, community engagement and clinical care.



Goal 1: Recruit qualified applicants who are prepared to be successful in a rigorous medical training program.


​Class Year Total Applications​ Applicants Accepted​ ​Avg Age Avg Cum GPA​ ​Avg Science GPA
​2018 ​1277 ​44 ​27 ​3.69 ​3.64
2019​ ​1570 ​44 ​25 ​3.73 ​3.68
2020​ ​1604 ​44 ​25 ​3.74 ​3.69
​2021 ​1601 ​44 ​26 ​3.75 ​3.71
​2022 ​1593 ​44 ​26 ​3.67 ​3.62


Goal 2: Maintain a level of PANCE pass rates above the national average.

NCCPA Pance Report 5 Year Summary

Goal 3: Prepare graduates to practice in rural and underserved areas.

100% of students complete rotations in rural and underserved settings.

Goal 4: Maintain a student attrition rate that is below the national average.

The program has an attrition rate of 1% (2 out of 220) over the last 5 class year cohorts. This is well below the national average of 6.2% (PAEA 28th Annual Report).


Goal 5: Prepare graduates to practice in primary care settings.

3pic grad spec survey.jpg
* Results of a survey taken in 2017.

History and Future


Dr. Henry Silver, CHA/PA Founder

Established in 1968 by Dr. Henry K. Silver, the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant (CHA/PA) is a master’s level, primary care PA program preparing graduates to provide comprehensive medical care for patients of all ages with specialized education in the care of infants, children and adolescents. Although the program continues to provide expanded training in pediatrics, the PA program’s primary care curriculum prepares graduates to diagnose and treat illness in patients of all ages.  The program graduated the first class in 1972 and was the first PA program to award master’s degrees in 1973. The program has maintained continuous ARC-PA accreditation since 1972. In 2019, the program will celebrate its 50th Anniversary.

 Functioning within the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the program has gained national recognition for its innovative curriculum. Problem-based learning, evidence-based medicine, the flipped classroom model, and an extensive psychosocial medicine curriculum are successful components of the curriculum. Clinical experience across all three years of training has been an integral part of the program since its inception. The program awards a professional master's degree (MPAS) to all students upon successful completion of the curriculum.  Our standard of excellence is demonstrated by our PANCE board scores and pass rates of >98% for first-time takers and the quality of care provided to the patients served by our graduates.

Graduate PAs have functioned as colleagues of physicians and other health professionals, providing comprehensive health services, including the evaluation and treatment of disease, but also patient education and counseling, anticipatory guidance, and management of behavioral, psychosocial and developmental disorders. Program graduates are employed in all areas of primary and subspecialty areas of practice including pediatrics, family medicine, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, urgent care, otolaryngology, allergy and asthma, neurology, neonatology, child protection and advocacy, and many more.

Anschutz Medical Campus

The Denver Metro Area is privileged to have two University of Colorado campuses – the Denver campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus. The Anschutz Medical Campus fosters collaboration among students, researchers and clinicians. Campus architecture and state-of-the-art technology bridge education and research with three world-class hospitals: University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the Veterans Affairs Hospital. The Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora is the world's only completely new education, research and patient care facility and the largest academic health center between Chicago, Texas and the West Coast. Built as state-of-the-art, the campus consists of three zones that promote collaboration and innovation: an education zone with remarkable facilities for training future physicians and other health professionals; a research zone with ground-breaking, internationally renowned research; and a clinical care zone.