Bringing new career opportunities to underserved communities.
The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s Healthcare Ute Project (HCUTE) serves low-income Native Americans on the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal reservation. Their program goal is to break the cycle of under-employment and poverty with education for healthcare jobs.
Ute Mountain’s rural landscape leads to uncertainty and turnover within the region’s institutions. Lack of stable job offerings combined with unreliable technology resources causes challenges with career advancement. HCUTE collaborates with San Juan College for the Medical Assistant (MA) program. This is an accelerated 10-month certification course with a presence in Towaoc and also allows at-home learning. MA positions are appealing because the position earns better pay and working conditions than other entry level health positions such as certified nursing assistants (CNA) or emergency medical technicians.
HCUTE CNA graduates who met certain education and work requirements qualified for the accelerated MA program. HCUTE aimed to create a strong and resilient cohort of MA students who know their value and understood this opportunity. To help eliminate the digital divide, HCUTE provides participants with trackable laptops. Learning barriers, time commitment, and resources are ongoing obstacles for participants. To lessen these barriers, HCUTE provides students with personalized case management, technological resources, and localized training on the reservation. Having on-site training allows HCUTE to integrate the tribe’s cultural values into the MA course.
Despite major COVID-19 challenges, participant retention is high. The HCUTE staff believes they can empower participants to work toward healthcare career advancements.
This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.