Telligen Community Initiative (TCI) selected 13 organizations to receive 2024 Health Workforce Development Grants in the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma. TCI received 151 applications for this grant cycle. We are grateful to have so many worthy applications for our grant support from organizations both small and large, all of which are striving to make meaningful change in the health care system that will positively impact their patients and our communities.

TCI is the charitable giving arm of Telligen. In the past nine years alone, TCI has funded nearly $17 million in community-based support to 389 projects in our four states.

To learn more about TCI or to apply for their next grant cycle, please visit:

Below is an overall summary of the 13 recipients of 2024 Health Workforce Development Grants:

Colorado Recipients

La Cocina: La Cocina’s integrative Latine behavioral healthcare institute and Applied Liberation Psychology practice center welcomes new bilingual (Spanish-English) faculty and a cohort of monolingual Spanish-speaking trainees to El Instituto–the only community co-designed Latine training center that delivers culturally-affirming social, emotional and neurodevelopmental healthcare in Spanish.  Known for its supportive networks, El Instituto is built “by Latines, with Latines, and for Latines.”

HealthTeamWorks: Coordinate wrap-around social and professional development support and stipends for young adults entering the healthcare workforce in our Clinical Health Coach, Community Health Worker and Care Management workforce development lattice. Engage primarily young adults aging out of foster care, graduating from alternative schools, and those living at or below the poverty level by connecting them with services and equity-committed healthcare organizations seeking new staff.

Mental Health Colorado (Envision:You): Deliver statewide training to 120-140 behavioral health providers regarding mental health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ+) Coloradans that result from systemic discrimination, biases in healthcare that negatively impact their treatment, and providing culturally responsive and affirming care to LGBTQ+ individuals.

Illinois Recipients

Shawnee Health Services Development Corporation: Shawnee Health’s proposed project addresses the area’s on-going demand for dental assistants in our region. Our apprentice program helps supply the area’s depleted dental assistant workforce. Our project requests support for our 2024 dental assistant apprentice program in our dental clinics. Funding will provide support for 2 apprentice’s salaries, fringe benefits and educational costs as well as support for the Dental Assistant Preceptors who train and provide oversight to the apprentices.

VNA HealthCare: Brief Proposal Summary:  VNA Health Care is seeking funding support for our Nursing Career Pathway Program. This program was developed during the pandemic in an effort to improve opportunities for career development, close staffing gaps, and promote diversity and equity in VNA’s nursing workforce that staff shortages have particularly impacted. This program supports 75% of the tuition expenses of under-resourced individuals seeking to progress in a nursing career at VNA serving vulnerable populations.

Chicago Volunteer Doulas: Every birth story holds the weight of history. Chicago Volunteer Doulas is embarking on a transformative mission. At its core, “100 Doulas Rising” is our ambitious endeavor to educate and train 100 Doulas, making them eligible for Medicaid Reimbursement and equipping them with employable skills. By ensuring their certification in Full-Spectrum Doula training, this program champions birth equity and paves the way for a healthier future for parents and babies alike.

Iowa Recipients

Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque: The Eastern Iowa Certified Medical Interpreter Pilot Project will reduce language barriers and increase positive healthcare outcomes for immigrant populations by building capacity for certified Marshallese and Spanish-language medical interpretation services. A lack of local, community-centered medical interpreters limits access to healthcare. This project will train community members in interpretation and create a database of interpreters ready to work with healthcare providers in the region.

University of Iowa Healthcare: The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Nurse-Midwifery Education Program (NMEP) was successfully launched in the fall of 2023. As Program Director, I would like to provide scholarships to all the students enrolled in the program to offset the costs of education. Each cohort has four students. In the fall of 2024, we start our second cohort, so we anticipate we will have eight students total.

Indian Hills Community College: This project will enroll 15 participants aged 17-24 from disadvantaged backgrounds in south central Iowa in a paid summer apprenticeship program to become EMTs. The 10.5-week program features state approved EMT coursework leading to national certification testing, hands-on, on-the-job training with area healthcare employers, career exploration and soft skills training. Seven area ambulance services will serve as host sites, facilitating labs, career exploration and clinicals.

Oklahoma Recipients

Madison Strategies Group: WorkAdvance is an evidence-based workforce development program designed to build a skilled and inclusive healthcare workforce in the Tulsa metro area. Through no-cost training, career coaching, job placement and wrap-around support, WorkAdvance equips underserved individuals for careers in healthcare that offer steady, high-paying wages with opportunities for career advancement, contributing to the long-term success of individuals and sustainability and vitality of our healthcare employers.

The University of Tulsa: The STudents Reaching Excellence Through Collaboration with Higher EDucation (STRETCHED) program is designed to help increase the number of healthcare practitioners from limited-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority groups. STRETCHED provides exposure experiences to high school students to help spawn an interest in pursuing a healthcare career.

Imani’s Village, Inc.:  Imani’s Village, Inc is committed to enhancing infant and maternal health in the Black community  which currently experiences the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality. Our program consists of providing free doula services to Black birthing families as evidence continues to show that getting doula support during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum helps to leads to improved mental and physical outcomes.

American Cancer Society: People of color and those historically excluded are underrepresented in cancer research fields. The American Cancer Society (ACS) Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Internship Program offers paid research internships to undergraduate students whose racial or ethnic background is underrepresented in the scientific community. Interns engage in 10 weeks of hands-on lab experience and mentorship in clinical settings. In 2024, the University of Oklahoma will host 8 interns.