Case Study

Client: Colorado Community Health Centers

CCHN is the nonprofit association for Colorado’s 18 Community Health Centers, which operate over 130 clinics throughout the state.

The Challenge

Colorado’s Community Health Centers (CHCs) suffered from a poor reputation among medical students and professionals. The perception was that CHCs were outmoded and run-down facilities that only served the destitute. CCHN wanted to develop a campaign to help CHCs recruit and retain a primary care workforce to meet the growing needs of Colorado’s medically underserved, and to be considered employers of choice for talented, mission-driven health care providers.

CCHN engaged Pushkin Public Relations to create a brand and design a workforce recruitment campaign with the goal to recruit 5,000 new primary care employees for Colorado’s CHCs.

The Solution

To set a baseline, we conducted a series of 22 interviews with doctors, nurses, dentists, students, faculty and other clinicians that helped us understand the current perception of CHCs, what motivates our target audiences, what messages resonate and what communication channels are most effective.

Communications Problem? We can help

  • We conducted a brand messaging session with CCHN and CHC executives to develop the messaging platform we would use to drive the campaign.
  • Our interviews clearly indicated that people work at CHCs because they want to make a difference. Based on that, we developed a theme that portrayed the Community Health Center as a place to pursue a “mission-driven career.”
  • We designed a website ( that highlights how CHC employees make a difference in their communities.
  • We created a 5-minute video of employees sharing their reasons for working at a CHC.
  • We conducted a photo shoot and developed a series of posters and collateral materials designed to tell the “mission driven” story. Each poster communicates the campaign theme: Make a difference, not just a living.
  • To help us reach our target audience, we enlisted community partners including medical schools, community colleges, nursing schools, state and local labor and employment offices, and other job placement programs.
  • We developed a tool kit for CHCs including posters, brochures, presentations and social media templates, to deliver our key messages to the health care workforce.
  • We launched the Mission Driven Healthcare campaign with a media tour at Salud Family Health Center in Commerce City.
  • Later, we integrated social media and online marketing tactics to reach a broader audience.

The Results

The Mission Driven Careers campaign won national attention for its innovative approach to recruiting health care professionals and was featured in Community Health Forum, a publication of the National Association of Community Health Centers.

The campaign launch earned media coverage, including 9News, Univision, Fox 31 News, KWGN, Colorado Public Radio, the Denver Business Journal, Colorado Springs Business Journal, INews Network and Health News Colorado. 

The launch also generated interest from the public–more than 8,000 website visits and 60 calls from job seekers. CHCs filled 72 percent of their job openings and the time a CHC job stayed open dropped from five months to three months. 

Through branding, marketing and public relations, we have helped CCHN clarify what health centers do and whom they serve. We have galvanized outreach and improved primary care employee recruitment and retention.