Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence CEO Ingrid Johnson, UnitedHealthcare Government Programs CEO Brian Thompson, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera pieced together a symbolic puzzle for a photo opportunity after the United Health Foundation announced a $1.5 million grant to recruit and support 39 rural Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Behavioral Health Fellows at an event on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley, Colo. Monday. The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence will partner with the United Health Foundation to increase access to behavioral health care services for residents of rural Colorado. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2019)

Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence to receive $1.5M grant

GREELEY — The United Health Foundation, a nonprofit established by UnitedHealthGroup, Monday has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence.

The three-year grant was presented at the University of Northern Colorado and will enable the center to recruit and train 39 Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Behavioral Health Fellows to earn their Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certificate.

The grant enables the 39 nurses to provide behavioral health care services to an estimated additional 12,000 rural Colorado patients annually – increasing the capacity of rural clinics to provide behavioral health care services by approximately 25 percent.

“The Center’s vision is to transform health care through workforce innovation and this generous grant from the United Health Foundation will help us do that,” Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence CEO Ingrid Johnson said in a prepared statement. “Colorado’s population is growing and changing rapidly so we need new approaches like this behavioral health fellowship program to meet residents’ health needs, especially in rural communities.”

The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence is a nursing workforce-focused organization that works with more than 175 clinical and educational partners in Colorado.