Established in 1968 by Dr. Henry K. Silver, the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant (CHA/PA) is a master’s level, primary care PA program preparing graduates to provide comprehensive medical care for patients of all ages with specialized education in the care of infants, children and adolescents. Although the program continues to provide expanded training in pediatrics, the PA program’s primary care curriculum prepares graduates to diagnose and treat illness in patients of all ages. The program graduated the first class in 1972 and was the first PA program to award master’s degrees in 1973. The program has maintained continuous ARC-PA accreditation since 1972. In 2019, the program celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
Functioning within the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the program has gained national recognition for its innovative curriculum. Problem-based learning, evidence-based medicine, the flipped classroom model, and an extensive psychosocial medicine curriculum are successful components of the curriculum. Clinical experience across all three years of training has been an integral part of the program since its inception. The program awards a professional master's degree (MPAS) to all students upon successful completion of the curriculum. Our standard of excellence is demonstrated by our PANCE board scores and pass rates of greater than 96% for first-time takers and the quality of care provided to the patients served by our graduates.
Graduate PAs have functioned as colleagues of physicians and other health professionals, providing comprehensive health services, including the evaluation and treatment of disease, but also patient education and counseling, anticipatory guidance, and management of behavioral, psychosocial and developmental disorders. Program graduates are employed in all areas of primary and subspecialty areas of practice including pediatrics, family medicine, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, urgent care, otolaryngology, allergy and asthma, neurology, neonatology, child protection and advocacy, and many more.
The Denver Metro Area is privileged to have two University of Colorado campuses – the Denver campus and the Anschutz Medical Campus. The Anschutz Medical Campus fosters collaboration among students, researchers and clinicians. Campus architecture and state-of-the-art technology bridge education and research with three world-class hospitals: University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the Veterans Affairs Hospital. The Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora is the world's only completely new education, research and patient care facility and the largest academic health center between Chicago, Texas and the West Coast. Built as state-of-the-art, the campus consists of three zones that promote collaboration and innovation: an education zone with remarkable facilities for training future physicians and other health professionals; a research zone with ground-breaking, internationally renowned research; and a clinical care zone.