SummitStone Health Partners paves way for diverse healthcare avenues with new physician assistant program partnership

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – On June 6, Kara Caruthers, the Physician Assistant Sciences Associate Program Director for Meharry Medical College, met with SummitStone Health Partners staff and toured several SummitStone facilities including Larimer County’s voter-funded new Longview Behavioral Health campus currently under construction at Trilby Road and Taft Hill Road in southwest Fort Collins. The visit coincides with SummitStone and Meharry announcing a new educational partnership establishing a physician assistant clinical rotation at SummitStone in 2024.

“This is an exciting collaboration,” said Dr. Lesley Brooks, Medical Director/Interim Executive Director for Longview Behavioral Health and Chief Medical Officer at SummitStone Health Partners. “It’s our first partnership with an historically Black college and hopefully the first of many partnerships that will help us to create the diverse and inclusive workforce so critical in delivering equitable and culturally relevant behavioral healthcare for Larimer County.”

Meharry Medical College, located in Nashville, Tennessee, offers the physician assistant behavioral health clinical rotation in Northern Colorado to provide its students with more opportunities to pursue medical careers. Participants will practice medicine under the direction of a SummitStone physician. Meharry is a global academic health sciences center advancing health equity through innovative research, transformative education, exceptional and compassionate health services, and policy-influencing thought leadership. True to its legacy, Meharry empowers diverse populations to improve the well-being of humankind. Meharry receives over 5,000 applications for admission and provides $35 million in uncompensated care to patients each year. Their faculty and students also actively serve the community through many programs involving mentoring, counseling and volunteer work.

For 65 years, SummitStone Health Partners has transformed lives with compassionate behavioral health prevention, intervention and treatment services in Larimer County. Dedicated to treating mental health and substance use disorders for people of all ages and backgrounds, SummitStone operates 10 locations across Larimer County and has embedded clinicians in schools, law enforcement agencies and other partner organizations throughout Northern Colorado communities. SummitStone provides more than 50 services including mobile services, crisis intervention, residential care, aftercare, case management, peer specialists, and intensive and enhanced outpatient and recovery support services.

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