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.
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.
- Deliver an outstanding and innovative educational experience in primary care across the lifespan
- Train health care providers who excel in collaborative multidisciplinary inter-professional health care teams
- Educate health care professionals who will serve as leaders within the community at all levels -locally, nationally and globally with a commitment to the underserved
- Develop a community of scholars who will be life-long learners and teachers
- Enhance program-wide diversity and foster a culture of inclusion
- Conduct educational research and scholarship
- Responsibly secure the resources to achieve our vision
- Maximize the opportunities of our consolidated university and health science center to achieve our vision
- Engage in community service for the public good
- Grow strong, mutually beneficial partnerships that engage our local, national and global communities
- Achieve recognition as a leading PA Program educating for excellence
History and Future
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. 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 and continuous funding from the Health Resources Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions for more than 25 years. In 2002, the CHA/PA Program became the first degree granting program with expanded facilities at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
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. 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 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 masters degree (MPAS) to all students upon 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 not only 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 Downtown campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus. The nation’s newest health care campus fosters collaboration among students, researchers and clinicians. Campus architecture and state-of-the-art technology bridge education and research with two world-class hospitals: University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado.
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 with the University of Colorado Hospital and the Children's Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado School of Medicine's primary adult and pediatric hospital partners, nearby.
Physician Assistants are skilled members of the health care team qualified to provide a broad range of health care services in practice with a licensed physician. PAs perform medical interviews and physical examinations, screening and interpreting results of diagnostic studies, diagnosing patients, implementing treatment plans, counseling patients regarding illness and preventative medicine, monitoring patients, and facilitating access to appropriate health care resources. These services may be provided to individuals of any age in various settings.
Physician Assistants must graduate from programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission for Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), be certified by the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants, and be licensed or registered by the individual’s state board of medical examiners. Continued certification requires 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and passing the recertification examination every ten years. The proficiency and cost effectiveness of the physician assistant demonstrate PAs are an important source of health care within the state of Colorado, nationally and internationally.
Physician Assistants work in a variety of clinical practice settings with physicians. PAs may work in any setting from large academic institutions to remote rural areas. PAs work in hospitals, single and multi-specialty practice groups, public and private clinics, armed services and many other settings. PAs work in every area of medicine including primary care and specialty and subspecialty practice. More information on the work setting and salaries of PAs may be found through the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).