Healthcare Interest Program

Denver Health HIP 2023 cohort seminar

Denver Health is helping the next generation connect with career opportunities through the Healthcare Interest Program (HIP). HIP is a Denver Health pathway program designed to increase the success of underrepresented and non-traditional undergraduate students interested in the healthcare field. HIP supports the academic and professional development needs of its students through a combined approach including professional mentorship, lectures, and workshops. The program, which offers two credit hours across two semesters, bridges basic science coursework with real world application while advancing students’ awareness of the regional healthcare needs addressed by the Denver Health system.

HIP has established community-academic partnerships with three regional institutions to facilitate its work: University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Regis University. At this time, we only accept students from these partner institutions.



HIP invests in students who have a connection to the region served by Denver Health. Often, our participants are the first generation in their families to complete post-secondary education and come from similar socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds as the diverse patient population at Denver Health.

In the short-term, the goal of HIP is to increase the number of underrepresented and non-traditional students pursuing healthcare degrees within Colorado. In the long-term, HIP is an investment in the regional healthcare workforce seeking to foster community representation and, ultimately, helping to close the healthcare equity gap.

Prior to HIP and my shadowing experiences, I had serious career doubts and was unsure of what I wanted to do. I've learned from my experiences shadowing that I need to have confidence in myself and not be afraid to aim high. I had been debating going to medical school, but my interactions with my mentor have really inspired me. I can't wait to enter medical school and become a doctor.

-HIP Student, 2022

Please see out Program Guide for detailed information on HIP and its impact.


Denver Health HIP suture lab

For Interested Students 

After an onboarding period in the summer, the program officially starts in the fall and runs through the academic year. Recruitment begins in January each year and students will be expected to participate in a brief informational interview for consideration to the program.

Students are encouraged to connect with their school’s university contact for more information on becoming involved in the program:

  • UCD: Trishia Vasquez
  • Regis: Quinn Waller
  • MSU: Emily Matuszewicz

Applicants are required to:

  • Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate, degree-seeking student at a partner university
  • Have completed a minimum of 15 credit hours at their university
  • Meet a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Have the ability to enroll in the HIP course for both the fall and spring semesters
  • Be in good academic standing for the entire 2023-2024 academic year
  • Have successfully completed or are currently enrolled in Biology I, Chemistry I, and
  • one additional science class that directly pertains to their pre-requisites in their degree track
  • Have availability in their schedules to attend HIP seminars, which are held on select Friday afternoons from 12:00pm-4:30pm
  • Agree to additional internship requirements requested by their university 



For all inquiries regarding the Healthcare Interest Program, please contact the Director of HIP, Vicky Rhine, at or 303-602-2819.


Denver Health HIP Student Mentors

Denver Health Staff and Providers: Become a Mentor!

HIP is accepting new mentors!

Being a HIP mentor can be an incredibly rewarding experience and a great opportunity to honor the mentors who supported you through your own career journey. HIP mentors will be assigned to one student for the academic year (August-May) and will be responsible for scheduling 8-10 shadowing hours per month with their mentee. One hour of each semester can be reserved for career advising meetings.

HIP mentors can represent any level of medical practitioner as well as healthcare fields including nursing, pharmacy, public health, dentistry, health admin, and more. All students are at least 18 years of age and have been on-boarded according to DH requirements.

To learn more about how to get involved in HIP, contact the Director of HIP, Vicky Rhine, at or 303-602-2819.