Education Health Center Initiative

Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) and Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA) work in partnership on the Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI). EHCI’s mission is to develop training and workforce solutions for the provision of quality primary care to underserved populations through support and transformation of primary care health workforce training partnerships.

In order to better understand the EHCI, please click or scroll down for:
Definition of an Education Health Center (EHC)
Introduction to the Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI)
EHCI Consulting Services
EHC Trainings
Research Resources
Other Online Resources


An Education Health Center (EHC) is a community health center which serves as a training site for health professions students and residents. There are multiple pathways to becoming an Education Health Center–a much broader approach than just the limited number of federally-funded Teaching Health Centers.

Read the Education Health Center Guide (update released March 2020), intended to assist health centers (CHCs) and primary care residency programs (PCRPs) with utilizing both traditional Graduate Medical Education (GME) and the more recent Teaching Health Center GME (THCGME) funding. This 84-page electronic document provides an overview of Education Health Center models and addresses issues related to governance, administration and operations, and finance, as well as legal considerations.

Visit HRSA’s Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education webpage to learn more about Teaching Health Centers.

View Developing an Education Health Center to read a Q&A with Kiki Nocella, Ph.D., Consultant, Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI) and CEO, Believe Health, LLC.

Visit the CHAMPS Resources for Healthcare Career Pathways webpages to learn more about training programs and resources related to health professions career pathways for students, residents, and current professionals.


The Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI) provides consulting services, educational materials, and information about developing relationships between health centers and residency programs. The EHCI partnership has conducted research, developed informational resources, and sponsored trainings at both the regional and national levels on the Education Health Center model. EHCI staff and partners can conduct an initial feasibility assessment to determine a member’s organizational capacity and to recommend next steps. This innovative program seeks to educate physicians while contributing to the stability of the primary care safety net.

Read Models of Education Health Centers by Kiki Nocella, PhD, MHA to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of health centers as sponsoring institutions, consortium partners, and outpatient training centers.

Visit the Education Health Center Initiative or download the EHCI brochure to learn more.


The Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI) offers a variety of consulting services for family medicine residencies and health centers to develop education health centers. Their consulting services include feasibility analysis, which can identify capacity, strengths, weaknesses, and resources. This analysis can also develop the strategy and steps for program implementation. Other consulting services include technical assistance to assist in grant applications, forms, and identifying possible collaborations.

To learn more about feasibility analysis and technical assistance, visit EHCI’s Consulting Services webpages.


Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Alaska Primary Care Association, and Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence
2017 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Workforce Innovations in Pipeline Development

  • Slides: Apprenticeship Program Overview
  • Slides: Recruiting Rural Nurses to Become AP RNs in Rural Colorado

BelieveHealth, LLC and Community Health of Central Washington
2013 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Becoming an Education Health Center: Strategies for Success

Clinica Family Health Services
2010 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials

Colorado Commission on Family Medicine, Community Health Center, Inc., and WIPFLi
2019 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Experienced Experts Share Best Practices for Growing Your Own

Community Health Center, Inc.
2014 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Nurse Practitioner Residency Training Program: Training to Complexity; Training to a Model, Training for the Future

Community Health Center, Inc.
2018 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Workforce Pipeline: Effectively Train Health Professions Students

Duke University School of Medicine and WIPFLi
2017 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Economic and Social Impact of Graduate Medical Education

  • Slides: The Social and Economic Impact of GME
  • Slides: Partners in Building and Sustaining Primary Care

Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI)
2010 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Becoming a Teaching Health Center

  • Slides: Administration and Operations
  • Slides: Becoming a Teaching Health Center
  • Slides: Finance Toolkit
  • Slides: Mission and Governance Toolkit
  • Slides: Teaching Health Centers
  • Slides: What is an Education Health Center

Visit the EHCI Resources webpage for podcasts, PDFs of presentations and other resources.

Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI) and WIPFLi
2020 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Residencies & Beyond: Developing a Grow-Your-Own Workforce Strategy

Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP
2010 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Collaborations between Federally Qualified Health Centers and Residency Programs

Highline College, Northwest Primary Care Association, and WA State Health Center of Excellence
2016 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Activating Partnerships Between Community Health Centers and Colleges for the Regional Health Workforce Benefit

Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc.
2021 CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Conference Materials
Teach, Inspire, Hire – A Preceptorship Program for Recruitment & Retention


Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
October 2010
Survey evaluates family physician training occurring in community health centers
Family medicine residency training in community health centers: a national survey

American Family Physician
November 2015
Study that discusses evidence that training in community-based underserved settings is associated with higher likelihood of practicing in those settings
Graduates of Teaching Health Centers Are More Likely to Enter Practice in the Primary Care Safety Net

Annals of Family Medicine
November 2009
Study that describes the facilitators and barriers to creating partnerships between community health centers and family medicine residencies
Training Residents in Community Health Centers: Facilitators and Barriers

Family Medicine
April 2010
Survey to identify barriers to training family medicine residents at community health centers
Barriers to Training Family Medicine Residents in Community Health Centers

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
August 2010
Case studies of FQHC-Board Residency Programs and policy recommendations for the implementation of the Teaching Health Centers Programs
Health Centers’ Contributions to Training Tomorrow’s Physicians

New England Journal of Medicine
June 2016
Article regarding Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI) research into the cost of training residents in the Teaching Health Center (THC) setting
The Cost of Residency Training in Teaching Health Centers


Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU)
Proposal for increased participation in teaching health centers
Training Team Players to Provide Better Health Care to the Underserved

Education Health Center Initiative (EHCI)
84 page electronic document providing an overview of Education Health Center models and addresses issues related to governance, administration and operations, and finance, as well as legal considerations
Education Health Center Guide

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Information on Teaching Health Centers, including Q&A and grant information
Teaching Health Centers

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
Publication offering tips and a case study for boards considering becoming a teaching health center
Becoming a Teaching Health Center: Tips for Health Center Boards
Executive Summary, 2015
Educational Health Centers: Teaching and Learning in the Community
The Policy Shop Blog article on teaching health centers
Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program (THCGME)

Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program (THCGME)
HRSA-funded Teaching Health Center Planning and Development (THCPD) technical assistance program which supports the development of newly accredited or expanded community-based primary care residency programs located at the UNC School of Medicine
Information sheet about THCGME and THCPD that contains an overview of the programs
THCGME and THCPD Fact Sheet