As part of a multi-year collaboration between Advocates for Community Health (ACH) and UnitedHealthcare, Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation (MCHC) is one of five community health centers receiving $500,000 each to address complex problems affecting the overall wellness of the underserved communities where they provide care. We recently had a chance to talk to MCHC’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Caudill about MCHC and their winning proposal.

Why is MCHC’s work in the community you serve so important?

In 1971, Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation (MCHC) had its humble beginning in a trailer located in rural Leslie County, Kentucky. More than 50 years later, MCHC has grown into one of the largest rural community health centers not only in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, but also in the United States. MCHC’s services are truly comprehensive with services ranging from primary care, women’s health, behavioral health, dental, optometry, and pulmonology to treat the hardest working people of our nation, our coal miners. We are proud to be called the provider of choice for over 53,000 patients across the 12 clinics and 11 school-based clinics in the seven counties MCHC serves in southeastern Kentucky.

Please briefly describe your winning proposal. How will the RAISE program bridge the health care gap in your community?

Southeastern Kentucky, our service area, has a severe healthcare workforce shortage, specifically nursing. As we compete with hospitals and travel nurse agencies for quality nursing staff, every day is a challenge. RAISE is designed to allow our own employees to choose their career path, which allows MCHC to develop a more skilled workforce and fill our workforce needs without utilizing other methods such as temporary staffing. MCHC’s RAISE program will allow staff to obtain higher education such as MA, LPN, RN, BSN, APRN, BSOLL, MSHROD, Pharmacy Tech, Cybersecurity, CHW, medical billing, and CNA. Our staff with no prior medical education will be able to have a promising career within the healthcare workforce. RAISE is planting the seeds for future growth and opportunity in an area of the country where the diversification of energy resources and the resulting decline in reliance on fossil fuels, especially coal, continues to take a toll on the communities MCHC serves.

How many MCHC employees do you expect to enroll during the first year of the Raise program and what would a successful first year look like?

Our community health center currently has 132 participants enrolled in the RAISE program. We anticipate that participation will only continue to grow as the year progresses and more opportunities become available. A successful first year looks like people realizing dreams they once thought unattainable and MCHC retaining trained, qualified, and motivated staff to do the work necessary to provide the quality health care our patients have come to expect. Not only do we see this as a retention tool, but this could also be an effective recruiting tool.

You can learn more about Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation and its impactful work at

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