Partner on Patient-Centered Care 


In spring 2021, the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) led a strategic process to identify key priorities and initiatives for the campus over the next five years. OSI leveraged an inclusive, human-centered philosophy of design innovation to engage over 700 members of the campus community in contributing to a vision for how CU Anschutz might continue to break new ground in health sciences education, research, patient care and community engagement. OSI convened a steering committee and four working groups centered on each of these mission areas.

In synthesizing the recommendations from these groups, a common theme that emerged was the need to partner on patient-centered care. Stakeholders identified the need to:

  • enhance the quality of patient-centered and individualized, interprofessional care experience through collaboration
  • transform the use of data to create patient-centered and interprofessional solutions for the delivery of care
  • utilize the learning health system to expand innovation and improve excellence in patient-centered care

Activities to Date

CU Anschutz providers, researchers and educators have been working across the campus and hospital systems to create patient-centered, interprofessional solutions. Through a variety of engagements with patients and the local community, CU Anschutz has begun to cultivate critical relationships that will allow for a deeper understanding of areas for improvement and opportunity. Encouraging these bi-directional relationships helps the campus design resources for better care navigation, identify strategies for expanding access to care and develop innovative ways to improve the patient experience.

Featured Accomplishments and Measures of Success

Enhancing the quality of patient care and individualized, interprofessional care experience through collaboration 

The Aurora Wellness Community (AWC)

Strengthening ties within the local community has long been a priority for the campus, and its partnership with the Aurora Wellness Community is helping to realize that goal. The AWC aims to build health, wealth, and well-being in Aurora, with a particular focus on residents who live in zip codes 80010, 80011, and 80012. The organization will focus on addressing the social determinants of health with a new primary care clinic as well as other services and ecosystems necessary to meet the needs of Aurorans.

The Board of Regents has approved the AWC to file as an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) entity, which has been completed and is awaiting confirmation. While that designation is under review, leaders have begun plans to open a temporary community practice clinic in the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. AWC has also partnered with a community-based organization, Young Aspiring Americans for Social & Policial Activism (YAASPA), on plans to repurpose Paris Elementary School as a community hub and are awaiting a decision from the new superintendent. Additionally, the AWC is engaging with community to build partnerships supporting its social determinants of health pillars. Other milestones have included completing six partnership strategy meetings, receiving a startup grant from the White Foundation, and achieving attendance of 90% or greater at every community meeting.

Moving forward, the Aurora Wellness Community plans to launch partnership strategies for its affordable childcare and food systems pillars during monthly community stakeholder breakfasts. It is also continuing its plans towards launching the AWC community-based practice clinic.

The Black Health Initiative

CU Anschutz is working with Children’s Hospital Colorado on a Black Health Initiative (BHI) that aims to improve black patient and family experiences and health outcomes. By partnering with the Center for Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE), the BHI aims to train and enhance providers’ culturally responsive communication skills using standardized patients in simulated scenarios designed by members of the community.

Transforming the use of data to create patient-centered and interprofessional solutions for the delivery of care 

CU Anschutz is at the forefront of transforming healthcare through innovative use of data. The campus is creating patient-centered interprofessional solutions by integrating data from various sources (like electronic health records, wearable devices and genetic information), to provide a holistic view of a patient's health. This helps healthcare teams make more informed decisions and personalize treatment plans. Examples like the CARE Innovation Center at UCHealth demonstrate how innovation, data, and collaboration will revolutionize health care delivery. Additionally, CU Anschutz is investing in bioinformatics and data analytics to identify patterns, trends and potential health risks, enabling proactive interventions.

Utilizing the learning health system to expand innovation and improve excellence in patient-centered care 

The Anschutz Acceleration Initiative

A $50 million commitment from the Anschutz Foundation has enabled the development of the The Anschutz Acceleration Initiative (AAI). The AAI makes funding available to rapidly advance healthcare innovations spanning disciplines and diseases that are poised to make a direct patient impact within the next five years. Award will be announced in January 2024. 

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