Children's Hospital Colorado

Children’s Hospital Colorado Workforce Development Program Expands to Southern Colorado

Children's Hospital Colorado | February 08, 2024

Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) announced the expansion of its Medical Career Collaborative (MC²) program to southern Colorado, allowing a small cohort of high school juniors from El Paso County school districts D2, D11 and D38 to begin this multiyear program that introduces students from underrepresented backgrounds to the wide variety of career opportunities in healthcare. Students are selected to participate in a paid internship at the hospital and are provided personal and professional support as they begin their career journeys.

Inspiring passion in healthcare

“So many students and future healthcare professionals located in the Denver metro region have discovered their passion and talent in healthcare through this program, so bringing it to Colorado Springs is a dream come true,” said Arnold Butiu, Regional Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Children’s Colorado. “If these southern Colorado students choose to grow their career at Children’s Colorado, our workforce will better represent and better serve families and the community our hospital is located in.”

The goal of MC² is to build and retain a healthcare workforce that reflects the diversity and range of languages, cultures, socioeconomic statuses and backgrounds of the populations served in the hospitals and outpatient clinics across the Children’s Colorado system of care. More than 110 students who have gone through the program have returned to the hospital system to work and serve the communities they grew up in as providers, nurses, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, radiology technologists, research nurses and lab scientists, social workers, medical interpreters, and more.

After students get exposure to the healthcare industry through monthly fieldtrips, workshops, certifications and an internship in the hospital, they also receive professional development, one-on-one mentorship, writing coaching and support and guidance for post-secondary education programs.

Real-life experience and insight

“This level of exposure to the healthcare field is unbelievable,” said Ashley Sportel, Career-Connected Learning Coordinator for Harrison District 2 Schools. “At Sierra High School, we are proud to identify opportunities that take kids out of the normal classroom setting and give real-world insight. We hope many of our sophomores consider applying for MC² to not only benefit from the expanded knowledge of what’s possible to pursue in healthcare and career support from healthcare professionals, but to also provide organizations like Children’s Colorado with their unique perspectives, skillsets and diverse ideas.”

MC² application deadline

The 2024-2025 MC² application is now open and must be submitted by March 6, 2024 at 5 p.m. Applicants must be current high school sophomores at the time of application who attend school in El Paso County. In an effort to build a workforce that better represents the communities served in healthcare, MC² focuses on recruiting students from groups that are underrepresented in the healthcare industry. If accepted, students begin the program at the start of their junior year.

Building a more connected future 

“This program is all about focusing on the next generation of healthcare workers,” said Brittnee Merritt, Operations Manager of the Medical Career Collaborative at Children’s Colorado. “We know health outcomes are better when families and youth receive care from medical professionals who look like them and can connect on a deeper level. MC² is critical to building a talented, passionate, compassionate workforce that will impact the southern Colorado region for decades to come.”

More information and the MC² application can be found online at