Rural Primary Care Workforce Solutions

Funding Overview

This funding opportunity will support partnerships between workforce-focused capacity-building organizations and major health care employers to advance efforts to attract, recruit and retain primary care providers in rural communities.

The goal of this funding opportunity is to improve access to high quality primary care providers serving the needs of low-income, publicly insured and uninsured rural Colorado patients. Primary care providers must practice in clinical settings that deliver high-quality, comprehensive and integrated primary care. These may include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dentists and licensed behavioral health clinicians.

The funding opportunity will include a learning evaluation that will answer key questions about the impact and effectiveness of different evidence-informed approaches to improve efforts to attract, recruit and retain primary care providers in rural communities. Grantees will be required to work with an external evaluator, report on project outcomes and participate in learning community activities. 

This funding opportunity will support projects with grant terms of up to two years and up to $600,000 total.

Grant Deadlines

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Criteria

To be considered for funding, applicants must demonstrate within the online grant application that they meet the following criteria:

  • Established partnerships between the capacity-building organization (e.g., rural health centers, membership associations, state agencies) and one or more major health care employers (e.g., federally qualified health centers, hospitals, community mental health centers) serving the needs of low-income, publically insured and uninsured rural Colorado patients.
  • Capacity-building organizations with past experience and a track record of success implementing workforce-related projects with a demonstrated ability to attract, recruit and retain primary care providers in rural communities. 
  • Health care employers must have a demonstrated need for additional primary care providers and an established care delivery model that provides high-quality, comprehensive, integrated primary care services.
  • The proposed project must demonstrate how it will improve access to culturally responsive primary care services and sustain efforts past this one-time funding.

Examples of project components we are looking for:

The evidence suggests that using a combination of strategies for recruitment and retention can be effective. As such, we seek projects that propose a “package of solutions” that include a number of evidence-informed approaches tailored to meet individual rural community needs. The following are examples of different approaches that will be considered for funding. However, this list is not exhaustive and the Foundation encourages the use of other innovative approaches that directly align with the goals of the funding opportunity.

  • Marketing and recruitment efforts
  • Competitive compensation packages
  • Personal and professional supports (e.g., autonomy, flexible scheduling, practice customization, recognition, job satisfaction, working and living conditions, supervision and professional development opportunities)
  • Spousal and family supports
  • Professional connectedness and supportive networks
  • Succession planning
  • Unallowable uses of grant funds include, salary support or bonuses for new providers, loan repayment, training/pipeline programs and telehealth.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Demonstrate existing community successes and collaborations to address workforce shortages with the potential to be strengthened
  • Demonstrate community leadership and engagement in both the development and implementation of the proposed project

Associated Measurable Results

Applicants will be asked to indicate how their work will numerically:

  • Increase the number of primary care health professionals who serve rural Coloradans.

We often partner with third-party evaluators, contractors and other organizations over the course of our work with applicants and grantees. Your application and its attachments may be shared with these individuals or entities during the review process and grant cycle. All third-party organizations partnering with the Foundation have signed a confidentiality agreement and will not use or share the information for purposes outside of the scope of work specific to the grant application or grant award. If you have any concerns or would like additional information, please email grants@coloradohealth.org or call our senior director of Grantmaking Operations at 303-953-3600.