Support Staff Pathway Resources

Health workforce pathways seek to expose interested individuals to health fields and to train staff throughout their careers. Support staff pathway programs are typically those that prepare individuals working toward (or with) high school diplomas/GEDs, associate’s degrees, or bachelor’s degrees to work in health settings as medical assistants, dental assistants, nurses, pharmacy technicians, administrative front desk roles, and more. Other programs provide advancement opportunities for already working staff through career-ladders and additional training. These resources have been designed to help health centers and Primary Care Associations implement and improve programs for these staff, e.g., offering shadowing and apprenticeship programs for students interested in joining the health workforce in the future, developing pathways for advancement for those already at their health centers, etc.

Please click or scroll down for:
Region VIII Program Examples
Additional Program Examples
Additional Online Resources


Ag Worker Health & Services
Work with Us
A health center that offers volunteer opportunities for students in Montana and Wyoming.

Creek Valley Health Clinic
This health center offers internship opportunities in Arizona and Utah.

Family HealthCare
Medical Students and Educational Opportunities
A health center in North Dakota that offers educational opportunities for nursing (and other) students.

Fourth Street Clinic
For Student Clinical Rotations
Fourth Street Clinic hosts student clinical rotations in Utah.

Inner City Health Center
Support Us: Medical Assistant Externships
A Colorado health center that hosts one bilingual student at a time for a medical assistant externship. Scroll down the webpage to “Volunteer Positions” section to review “Medical Assistant Externships.”

Midtown Community Health Center
Internships and Employment Opportunities
This Utah health center offers a dental hygiene program through Weber State University.

Northwest Colorado Health
A Colorado health center that offers volunteer opportunities, particularly with hospice care.

Salud Family Health Centers
Contact Us
This Colorado health center offers internships and training opportunities, including medical assistant externships through NIMAA.

Southwest Montana Community Health Center
Healthcare Student Training Opportunities
Southwest Montana Community Health Center offers training for medical assistant and registered nursing students.

STRIDE Community Health Center
A Colorado health center that offers internship opportunities through their professional development team.

Summit Community Care Clinic
Residents, Volunteers, Interns and Job Shadows
This Colorado health center offers medical assistant externship training in association with NIMAA and a six-week training program for dental assistants. Scroll down the webpage to the “Residents, Volunteers, Interns & Job Shadows” section.

Tepeyac Community Health Center
Volunteer Opportunities
Tepeyac Community Health Center offers volunteer opportunities in Colorado.

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus College of Nursing
Sheridan Health Services
A nurse-managed health center that is connected to a College of Nursing in Colorado.


California Primary Care Association (CPCA)
MedicalAssistant+ Training and Retention Program for Medical Assistants
A six-month course for currently working MAs, focusing on effective care teams, cultural competency, and quality improvement and data. Learn more through their comprehensive curriculum learning objective handout.

Online Training Solutions: Moving Careers Forward
An online training platform for medical assistants, dental assistants, and more that also offers upskill courses on medical Spanish, healthcare leadership, etc. CareerStep is potentially expanding its services to health centers in the future.

Casa de Salud
Health Apprentice Program
A health center apprentice program for medical assistants in the state of New Mexico that provides clinical training as well as training in cultural humility and anti-racism values.

Centura Health
Apprenticeship Programs
Six immersive training and coursework programs that prepare students for success in a professional role, including for medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, and more.

Colorado Community College System
Colorado Healthcare Experiential Pathways to Success (CO-HELPS) Healthcare Apprenticeship Program
The CO-HELPS program will create 5,000 adult healthcare apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships targeting twenty-eight occupations across Colorado by July 2023.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program
A loan repayment program through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) that supports the recruitment and retention of health professionals, including registered nurses and counselors, needed in underserved areas to expand access to Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment.

Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program
The Nurse Corps is a loan repayment program that provides up to 85% of unpaid nursing education debt for registered nurses and nurse faculty.

MPH Salud
Training and Consulting
A multi-tiered Community Health Worker (CHW) training program that also offers trainings for CHW supervisors and managers.

National Environmental Health Association
National Environmental Public Health Internship Program (NEPHIP)
NEPHIP internships allow undergraduate and graduate students to learn more about the responsibilities of environmental health professionals.

National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA)
NIMAA Trains Medical Assistants for Primary Care
A 29-week program to train new medical assistants, which includes hands-on in-clinic experience within health centers; health centers that are interested in acting as an externship site are encouraged to contact NIMAA.

An online career ladder advancement program for currently working health center MAs, which includes courses on interprofessional team-based care, immunizations, quality improvement and making data count, and more.

North Dakota Dental Foundation
Bright Futures in Dentistry
A North Dakota program that encourages high school students to explore dental careers and supports individuals with dental assistant certification preparation, reimbursement, and chairside training.

Washington Association for Community Health
Registered Medical Assistant Apprenticeship Program
A 12-month program that prepares students to take the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) test through on-the-job training in Washington health centers.


American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA)
Education and Research
An association that supports dental hygienists offering education and research resources and career path information.

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
Clinical to Community Connections: Community Health Workers (CHWs)
Resources making the case for CHWs, addressing financing, training, certification, and licensure for CHWs, and examples of work undertaken by state and territorial health agencies to support CHWs.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development: Strategic Workforce Activities
Tools, education opportunities, training resources, and publications addressing public health workforce development.

Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence
Transforming Healthcare Through Workforce Innovation
A network of programs, events, and workshops centered on ensuring a strong healthcare workforce.

National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
National Student Nurses’ Association
An association dedicated to fostering the professional development of nursing students that offers annual informational meetings and scholarship opportunities.

Rural Health Information Hub
Community Health Workers (CHWs) Toolkit
This virtual toolkit compiles promising practices and resources to support rural communities seeking to develop CHW programs.

The University of Arizona Rural health Office and College of Public Health
Community Health Worker Evaluation Toolkit
A toolkit that provides guidance and resources for evaluating a Community Health Worker program, provides program framework, case study examples, and grant-writing tips.

The University of Utah Public Health
Welcome to the Utah Learning Management System
The University of Utah Public Health Professional Education program hosts a Learning Management System (UUPHN LMS) of online trainings and webcasts.