Advancing Colorado Health Care Workforce, Banner  Health Foundation Receives Federal Funds 

Staff surgeon doctor talking discussing and looking at monitor vital signs with colleague standing at operating table patient while dressed in safety gown scrubs and performing operation in operating room medical facility hospital with staff team members support healthcare.


$1.5 million committed from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and  International Trade and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment 

The Banner Health Foundation has recently been awarded more than $1.5  million from two different federal funding programs. $809,715.55 has been committed from the Colorado Office of  Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) through the Opportunity Now Colorado grant program, and $717,000 has been committed from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) for a career pathways program for essential frontline health care workers in  Colorado.  

The funds from OEDIT, announced by Gov. Polis on March 20, 2024, in a press release, will be used to support the creation of a new paid internship program for high school seniors interested in exploring administrative,  professional, and clinical careers within health care called the Healthcare Education, Advancement and  Leadership (HEAL) Program. Banner was selected as a Phase 2 seed grant recipient for this competitive award through Opportunity Now — an $85 million grant program catalyzing transformative change for Colorado’s workforce. The ultimate goal of HEAL will be to help interns transition into permanent careers at Banner and connect them to growth opportunities, including higher education and career advancement.  

“This Opportunity Now Colorado funding is significant because it recognizes the critical need we have in our community related to health care and, more importantly, supports a solution,” Banner Health Western Region  President Margo Karsten said. “The HEAL Program will help close the gap in workforce shortages while providing  opportunities for young participants to transition into entry-level careers.”  

The funds from the Department of Labor’s Department of Employment and Training Administration, announced by  Sen. Hickenlooper’s office on March 19, 2024, in an email, will be used to support career pathway developments that equip existing Banner staff working in lower-wage, entry-level jobs to advance and transition into higher paying positions. The program will leverage higher education partners, including Aims Community College, Front Range Community College, Herzing University, Morgan Community College, and Red Rocks Community College.  

“The career pathways program, as recommended by Sen. Hickenlooper, will give Banner Health more opportunities to invest in and develop our talented workforce in Colorado,” Karsten said. The career pathways  program will create pathways for lower-wage, entry-level workers in supporting areas such as environmental  services, culinary, patient transport, and others so they can transition into higher-paying positions within the company, which, similar to the HEAL Program, will help close the gap.” 

About Banner Health  

Banner Health is one of the largest secular nonprofit healthcare systems in the country. In addition to 33 hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and Banner MD  Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, MD Anderson Cancer  Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division, and a nursing registry.  To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits, and patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska,  Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

About Banner Health Foundation 

Established in 2001, the Banner Health Foundation engages the community and stewards charitable contributions to advance Banner Health’s nonprofit mission of making health care easier so life can be better. Contributions are invested locally to support patient care programs and services operated by Banner’s many hospitals and healthcare facilities. For more information, please visit

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