Community health centers in need of doctors, nurses
There's a growing labor shortage problem in primary health care in Colorado that could become much worse in the next few years with the full implementation of the federal health care reform act.
But Denver-based Colorado Community Health Centers - through its Colorado Community Health Network - is taking on the challenge of recruiting 5,000 new health care professionals to meet the expected need in 2014.
That's when the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is expected to open up health care access to an estimated 540,000 Colorado residents who currently have no health insurance.
Tanah Wagenseller, Colorado Community Health Centers spokeswoman, said the challenge is going to be even greater given the politics around health care reform.
"It's going to be a big challenge, especially if some of the health care dollars (in the act) don't get funneled down," she said. "And most community care centers are at capacity right now because the demand is so high."
Indeed, increasing numbers of aging baby boomers are straining the health care system. Also, Colorado's population is growing by about 100,000 each year. It's estimated that 5,000 more health care professionals will be needed by 2014 to meet the expanded need