April 2021
Left Behind: The Remaining Uninsured in 2021
by Ross Brooks, CEO, patient and Monica Perez-Rhodes, Board Chair, patient

Today more than a third of the 21,000 patients served at Mountain Family Health Centers have no health insurance. That’s more than 7,500 human beings in Garfield, Eagle, and/or Pitkin Counties without the insurance to cover their medical, behavioral, and/or dental healthcare needs.

This sobering statistic comes more than a decade after the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, and seven years after Colorado launched its health insurance marketplace, called Connect for Health Colorado, and expanded Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of Coloradans in 2014.

April 2021 COVID Update
Face Mask 1
by Marija Weeden, Director of Operations

2021 has already been a whirlwind of a year for us here at Mountain Family. While we spent the majority of 2020 focused on COVID testing, in just two and a half months, we have given more vaccines than tests conducted since the start of the pandemic.

On January 20th we started administering the COVID-19 vaccine and as of the end of March we’ve administered 4,210 vaccines to our community members. This includes both first and second doses. As we head into April, 1,627 of our friends, relatives and neighbors have received both doses from Mountain Family. We are now excited to offer vaccine to all community members 18 and order per the latest guidance in from the state.

Time for a Check-Up? Delving Back into Dental Care
by Dr. Steven Glass, Dental Team Leader

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are available for anyone 18 and older, you can re-focus on dental care for the whole family. Mountain Family has provided dental care through tele-dentistry since the beginning of the pandemic last March, and we are happy to announce that we are now offering full-service in-clinic dental care at our locations in Basalt, Glenwood Springs, Avon, Edwards, and Rifle.

Our team of dentists and hygienists have had first-hand experience in delivering care to our patients during a pandemic. We follow all precautions related to COVID, and naturally everyone wears masks. Our focus is on preventative care and check-ups to fillings, extractions, and dentures. We can also address more serious issues like gum disease and tooth loss.

Uninsured Coloradans Can Enroll Now Through May 15

Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, has opened a new Uninsured Enrollment Period that runs through May 15, 2021 to help as many people as possible protect their health and safety. Anyone who is uninsured can enroll during this time, without having a qualifying event to sign up. As a reminder, Connect for Health Colorado is the only place where Coloradans can apply for financial help to lower the cost of health insurance.

If you need help navigating the enrollment process, give us a call at 833-279-6627 or email us at EnrollmentHelp@mountainfamily.org.

Mountain Family and NIMAA Team-up for MA Training
Mountain Family Health Centers is proud to announce its new partnership with the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement. We look forward to training to the next generation of Medical Assistants this fall! 

Have you or anyone you know thought about training to become a Medical Assistant? We will be starting MA training with the National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement fall 2021 for under $7000. To learn more visit www.nimaa.org.
Health For All Fund and Founding Members Continue to
Make a Difference
by Jan Jennings, Development Director

Thanks to our many loyal and generous donors, the Mountain Family Health For All Fund continues its support of the doctors, nurses, and other providers on the front lines at our four health centers and our six school-based health centers.

Donors to the fund support vital health-care services, including COVID-19 testing and vaccine inoculations as well as primary care for more than 21,000 patients served in Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield Counties.

“Alpine Bank is proud to support the important work of our nonprofit neighbor, Mountain Family Health, and their work in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties. Their unique program provides comprehensive medical, behavioral, and dental healthcare, and through their efforts they ensure that medical care remains accessible to the most vulnerable in our communities.” -Jay Rickstrew, Regional President, Alpine Bank

For more information on giving:

Jan Jennings
Development Director
(970) 989-1134
Congratulations to our April Award Winners
Mariposa Award Winner:
Amanda Canete, Practice Manager

by Jacquline Chavez

Amanda has been our mom, boss, best friend, therapist, etc. She is the ray of sunshine we needed here in Glenwood. No matter how stressed or busy she is she always has time to talk. She knows exactly what to say and do when we are at our breaking points. I have never had a boss who deeply treats me like a valuable employee and takes their time to hear me out. If there are any conflicts around the clinic, she deals with them right away. Amanda is super hard working, to where I have to ask her if she’s mentally okay sometimes. Don’t even get me started on office parties. She will go above and beyond for the clinic’s birthdays, holiday parties, baby showers EVERYTHING. I am so thankful for her; she knows I love her so very much.  

Exemplary Care Award Winner:
Mary Patterson, FNP

by Dr. Casey Aquirre

Time and time again I see Mary providing excellent care and her patients let us know how great she is for MFHC. Not only does she consistently work to care for her patients but is always willing to take an extra shift to help me out when I need a break. I appreciate her desire to improve as a provider and her willingness to get better. Recently she took care of a very ill patient which assuredly was uncomfortable for her to see, but she worked through the challenge and helped the patient get the care he needed. Thanks Mary, I really love and care about you! 

Thank You for Your Service

Maria Guzman-Tovar: 14 years
Gladys Andrade: 19 years
Words to Remember
He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.

― Thomas Carlyle
Happy Doctors Day
On March 30th each year, National Doctors Day honors the professionals for their dedication and contributions to society and the community. Their dedication puts the patient first time and again. On National Doctors Day, we say “thank you” to our physicians for all that they do for us and our loved ones.

Healthcare today is more complex than ever. With more advancements, tools, and information at their fingertips, doctors have an overwhelming job to diagnose and treat their patients every day. This is the day to honor the ones who see us 365 days a year. In every city and hospital, in our military, and in our rural communities, doctors pave the way to better healthcare for their patients. 

THANK YOU to all of our providers for your dedication.
What We're Reading
Vice President Kamala Harris Thanks Health Centers for Their Partnership

by Alexandra Walker, National Association of Community Health Centers

We were honored and excited to hear from Vice President Kamala Harris at NACHC’s 2021 Policy and Issues Forum on March 16. Vice President Harris praised health centers for all they do to provide care for their communities while at the same time easing the burden on local emergency rooms during the pandemic. Underscoring the trusted relationship health centers have with their patients, Vice President Harris said that the Biden-Harris administration views health centers as “true partners in the fight against COVID-19” and essential in ensuring an equitable response to the pandemic.

From the Clinic: How to Combat Diabetes and Prediabetes

By Judith Alvarez, Sopris Sun

La Clínica del Pueblo is grateful to be able to offer free medical services to the uninsured Latino population in the Valley. We focus on the prevention and treatment of chronic degenerative diseases. This is led by Dr. Greg Feinsinger, MD who is a retired physician.

Today we will talk about diabetes and prediabetes. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in countries that follow a Western diet (which includes high consumption of animal products, sugar, added fats, and processed foods).

First it is important to understand what glucose and insulin are. Glucose is "the main fuel that feeds all the cells in our body" and insulin is defined as "the key that opens the doors to our cells to allow glucose to enter them." He explained to the patients that insulin is the policeman who tells the sugar, "You go to the muscles, you to the brain, you to the liver," and when the police officer is not there, the sugar is high in the blood, why not there are those who will tell you where to go.

Roaring Fork Valley Nonprofit Helps Dispel Rumors About COVID-19 Vaccine, Inform and Empower Latinos

By Jessica Peterson, Post Independent
with Dr. Gail Minzer, Mountain Family Health Centers

The COVID-19 vaccine continues to become more accessible throughout Garfield County, but some are still hesitant to get the vaccine due to lack of information or myths circulating online and through social media platforms.

Heidi Vargas, a Match Advisor and Program Coordinator for English in Action, said she had tutors come forward to her concerned about their students who were learning English and caught up on rumors about the vaccine that were preventing them from getting it themselves.

“We did have some students, not many … their tutors had expressed that they were a little wary about getting the vaccine, that they weren’t very sure if they wanted to get the vaccine. We also noticed that in general there was a little hesitation from the Latino community about getting the vaccine,” Vargas said.