NEAR Conference

NEAR Conference

NEAR Conference


Together Again: Moving Upward in Health Care


September 21-24, 2023 - Health Sciences Building at the Anschutz Medical Campus




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Discover NEAR

NEAR (Networking, Education and Research) provides continuing education credits, cutting-edge information for practice transformation, networking opportunities, and information on current medical research to providers in all communities but targeting those in underserved areas.

We aim to provide solutions that respond to the need for a diverse healthcare workforce in Colorado, describe procedures, activities, and processes that enhance equitable healthcare access for all Coloradans and address practice transformation solutions that improve patient care outcomes for all.

Topics Include

  • Current and emerging topics such as opioid abuse, maternal morbidity, climate change, telehealth, and mental health


  • Preceptor training and workforce retention and sustainability


  • Pipeline student panel


Keynote Speaker

Benjamin D Anderson, MBA, MHCDS

“Cultivating the Soil for People to Grow: The Future of the Health Care Workforce”

Benjamin is a currently a consultant with Stroudwater Associates and a Senior Clinical Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Prior to his work with Stroudwater, he served for four years as Vice President for Rural Health and Hospitals at the Colorado Hospital Association, where he provided leadership and direction in the development and execution of the Association’s rural strategies, advocated on behalf of rural hospitals and health systems, and worked to develop strategic partnerships with organizations that affect the health of rural Coloradans.

Benjamin has 20 years of experience in health care and non-profit administration and is a nationally recognized leader in health equity and transforming rural health care through an innovative approach to attracting physicians to diverse, underserved areas with a generous paid time off package to be used for international volunteer work. Prior to joining CHA, he spent six years serving as the CEO of Kearny County Hospital in Lakin, Kan. Benjamin earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and an MBA from Drury University as well as a Master of Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College.


Keynote Speaker


Douglas Fritz, M.D., PhD candidate for CUSOM

"Why and How You Should Be Talking to Your Patients About Climate Change and Their Health"

Climate change will impact health not only in the long term, but in the short term as well. Our patients are being affected by aspects of climate change here and now, from the rise of tick borne disease, to worsening lung function due to poor air quality, to the harmful impacts of environmental contaminants like forever chemicals. This session will explore the critical need for healthcare professionals in rural, urban, and medically underserved areas to initiate conversations with patients about climate change and its direct impact on their health. Through an examination of the latest research findings and emerging trends in our understanding, this session will explore how underserved patients are at particular risk from climate and planetary health impacts in surprising and previously unknown ways. Participants will discover best practices for integrating climate change discussions into medical practice especially in rural areas to effectively address the unique challenges faced by these communities.

Douglas knows climate change, social justice, and health are increasingly connected and expects physicians to be on the forefront of addressing it. He is a 3rd year MD/PhD student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and serves on various CU committees related to climate change and planetary health. Additionally, he serves as the national Vice Chair for Medical Students for a Sustainable Future where he works to advance medical students’ demands for planetary health action. He has been invited to present on climate change and healthcare at many conferences and national symposia, and is always happy to share his passion for elevating what physicians can do to address the climate.


Cost of Attendance
The cost of the conference covers all activities of the conference.
Affiliated with the University of Colorado$285
Non-CU Affiliated$535
Health Professions Related StudentsNo charge

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AAFP Credit System and the Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD)

The AAFP has reviewed 2023 COAHEC NEAR Conference September 21-24-2023 and deemed it acceptable for up to 9.75 Live AAFP Prescribed credits. Term of Approval is from 09/21/2023 to 09/24/2023. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AMA/AAFP Equivalency- Providers may choose to include the following in addition to the AAFP credit statement: AAFP Prescribed credit is accepted by the American Medical Association as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)™ toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. When applying for the AMA PRA, Prescribed credit earned must be reported as Prescribed, not as Category 1.

For all AAFP credit equivalencies and recognition, please see the AAFP Credit System website.

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American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC)

The University of Colorado College of Nursing is approved with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Colorado Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.This educational offering for a maximum of 9.75 contact hours is provided by the University of Colorado College of Nursing Office of Continuing Education.



Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)

The University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education (CPE).  This event has been accredited for 9.75 contact hours of knowledge-based CPE. 


Release – 09/24/2023

Expires – 09/24/2026


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Colorado AHEC Program Office

CU Anschutz

Education II North

13120 East 19th Avenue

5th Floor

Aurora, CO 80045


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