The vision of the Southwest Center for Health Innovation (CHI) FORWARD NM program is to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of healthcare professionals through community and academic educational partnerships. We do this through a range of programs in all five phases of the FORWARD NM process:

FWD NM PipelineStudies show that rural, poor and minority students are more likely to enter into Primary Care practice and more likely to serve in communities and populations similar to their own. Training experience in Primary Care settings and the location of a Primary Care residency program also impacts a person’s decision to practice in those places. From these studies, we developed the FORWARD NM model for communities to “Grow Their Own.” Check out our programs page to learn how FORWARD NM is helping communities grow the health care professionals of the future.

The FORWARD NM workforce model was initially developed in 2010 through a network of five healthcare partners from southwest New Mexico. The program has grown to include over 40 stakeholders, including state institutions of higher education, community organizations and many health care professionals. In 2012, FORWARD NM received federal designation to become the third Area Health Education Center in New Mexico.


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