Challenge: How can health centers, PCAs and/or HCCNs build interest and engagement among middle and high school students in future health center careers?

NACHC and Community Health Centers have long recognized the importance of having a workforce that reflects the diversity of a community or is from the community. Health center staff who speak the same languages as their patients, live side-by-side with their patients, or are the patients themselves, bring many advantages in addressing patient needs in a culturally and linguistically competent manner, being trusted messengers, and by increasing workforce retention for the health center.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administrationโ€™s ย Workforce Projections Dashboard, by 2030 only 87% of the demand for the primary care workforce nationwide will be fulfilled.1 The workforce shortages for health centers, which have more significant more challenges in recruiting and retention, will be far more acute.

How will community health centers โ€“ which already face staffing shortages, grow and sustain their services to meet community needs when the competition for trained health care and non-clinical professionals becomes even more intense?

Innovative health centers, PCAs, and HCCNs are tackling this issue by implementing programs that target local youth. CCHI wants to learn more about ALL existing/recent programs and bring successful models to others in the field.

1. Workforce Projections. Accessed October 26, 2021.

The Challenge


Goal: The Workforce of the Future challenge is a call for best and promising practices that focus on engaging youth and encouraging them consider a careers as community health center professionals.


Who can participate: All FQHCs, Look-Alikes and credentialled PCAs and HCCNS may apply.

To participate, submit your program that addresses the following question:

How can health centers, PCAs and/or HCCNs build interest and engagement among middle and high school students in future health center careers?


The Process: This challenge has two stages: (1) Best and Promising Practices and (2) Innovations.

CCHI wants to learn more about ALL existing/recent programs. Through voting and evaluation we will identify the promosing and best practices!

After all entries are evaluated and the Top 5 are selected, you will be able to cast your vote for the winner

Best and Promising Practices

Understanding your success and impact.

During this stage CCHI seeks participation from health centers, PCAs, and HCCNs which have existing or recent programs that target this challenge. (Due to COVID-19, the initiatives submitted need not to be in place currently.)

Innovation Stage

Paving the road for the future.

Once the Best and Promising Practices stage is completed, CCHI will launch the Innovation stage. During this stage, CCHI will foster innovation and adaptation/adoption of the top best/promising practice. More information will be provided early in 2022!


During the best and promising practices stage, the Top 5 entries will be selected by an internal panel and they will be posted online for you to participate and vote to select the winning submission. The Top 5 submissions will be featured by CCHI, and the winning submission will be transformed into a how-to guide that can help others implement and adapt that program.

CCHI is looking for programs that others can learn from and adapt to bring to their own communities - programs that have proven or promising results or impact, and programs that can be sustainable over time.ย 

All programs will be judged on: replicability, impact, and sustainability.

Top 5 Prizes

Each of the Top 5 entries will be awarded one (1) scholarship to IDEOU self-paced course, "Hello Design Thinking."

This 2-5 hour course will provide an introduction to the fundamental concepts and tools of design thinking. Click here to learn more.


The winner practice will receive $10,000 to use to sustain or expand their work.

Questions? Please contact


*Prize will only be awarded if 10 or more submissions are made by the deadline.