March 2021
Here Comes the Sun: Building Hope by Vaccinating Against COVID-19
by Ross Brooks, CEO, patient

This past fall, most national experts predicted a cold and dark winter for the United States as COVID-19 cases and deaths grew precipitously. Unfortunately, the expert predictions were mainly correct, as national COVID cases reached their peak on January 8, 2021, with 315,179 positive COVID-19 cases in a single day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the state of Colorado, COVID cases peaked between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays, with Mountain Family Health Centers’ service area (Western Colorado’s Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin Counties) showing similar concerning trends. Between December 2020 and January 2021, Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties moved into “level orange” on the state’s COVID dial dashboard, and Pitkin County skyrocketed into “level red” for a few concerning weeks in January 2021 with the state’s highest COVID incidence rates.

The shorter days, waning sun, and cold dark winter were upon us.


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.

Health Solutions Can Help You Save on Healthcare Needs
Offering an affordable, comprehensive approach to health and wellness for individuals and employees in one health care home, Health Solutions is an annual membership program.
Health Solutions is a program of Mountain Family Health Centers that provides high quality, integrated primary medical, behavioral, and dental care to more than 21,000 patients across Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties.
 
EMPLOYEE / INDIVIDUAL BENEFITS
  • Affordable and integrated approach to health care for individuals, employees and dependents
  • Dedicated teams delivering medical, behavioral, and dental healthcare services
  • No visit limits, no co-pays, and no deductibles
  • Convenient clinic locations in Basalt, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, and Edwards
  • After-hours medical resources
  • Advocates who assist with medical bills and insurance claims 
  • You or your employer may register for Health Solutions


Celebrating Diane Purse and Wishing Her Well in Retirement
by Dr. Kent Petrie

When Diane Purse joined our provider staff at Eagle Care Clinic (now Mountain Family) in 2004, our care of children took a “quantum leap.” Her outstanding clinical skills were evident from the start. I have always considered her the best “pediatrician” in our area. When she asks me for advice, she already knows the answer and simply needs my “blessing” on her plan. Families recognized this immediately and her practice quickly filled with patients ranging from challenging newborns and children with chronic medical problems to acute care emergencies and sassy teenagers. Every day Diane is faced with incredibly challenging medical and social problems in our pediatric patients. She handles them all with great skill, patience and a calm and reassuring manner. It is no surprise that she has developed such a devoted following of patients and parents who will miss her in retirement.
 
Diane’s skills were recognized by the state of Colorado in 2008 when she received the prestigious Nightingale Luminary Award, our state’s highest nursing honor. In my nominating letter I wrote, “I think I’ll contact my friends at the University of Colorado Medical School and arrange for them to present Diane with an honorary medical degree. Then, after she is selected for the Nightingale Award in 2008, I’ll nominate her for physician of the year in 2009!”
 
Diane took her pediatric skills “on the road” in 2014 and 2015, accompanying me on medical missions to Honduras. In remote villages she cruised through 50+ patient days with great enthusiasm, demonstrating the best of her Spanish language skills and cultural sensitivity. She has a true heart for mission work whether in Eagle County or Central America.
 
Through the years she has launched dozens of our staff to further their education to become Registered Nurses and Physicians Assistants. This will truly be Diane’s legacy. She can retire with the assurance that she has left her indelible mark on the future of medicine, inspiring the next generation of caregivers.
 
We will truly miss Diane in retirement but send her on her way with gratitude and a heartfelt “Vaya con Dios!”


Mountain Family Inaugurates the Health For All Fund
 
Last year Mountain Family Health Centers inaugurated our new “Health For All Fund” – a place where individuals, families, businesses, and friends can support our life-saving work.

Donors to this fund support areas of greatest need throughout Mountain Family, including COVID-19 testing and vaccine inoculations as well as primary care for the 21,000 patients served in Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield Counties. Thank you all for your generous support.

We are pleased to note that a number of local foundations and businesses have already contributed to this fund, including the Alpenglow Foundation, The Aspen Skiing Company Family Foundation, FirstBank, RA Nelson, InSight Coaching & Consulting, and Alpine Bank. Please frequent these businesses if you can and thank them for their support of Mountain Family.

"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 health care, and through their efforts they ensure that medical care remains accessible to the most vulnerable in our communities." -Jay Rickstrew, Regional President
                                                                       
You can still make a difference in the lives of thousands of men, women, and children by making a tax-deductible gift to the Health For All Fund today.

Every gift – no matter the size, is truly important to those we serve and our healthcare heroes.
For more information on giving:

Jan Jennings
Development Director
(970) 989-1134
The 2020 Rescue Fund Challenge
 
Last year the 2020 Rescue Fund challenged Mountain Family to raise $100,000 by the end of the year. If we did, they would match our gifts with $100,000 of their own. 
 
The results are a testament to the commitment and generosity of the Mountain Family community.
 
Donors: 120              
Giving Total: $157,000            
Average Gift: $1,308
                                                
Special Thanks to Our Health For All Fund Founding Members
We are pleased to welcome the individuals and families listed below as Founding Members of our new Health For All Fund, totaling 47 to date. 
 
Founding Members agree make gifts over three years to the Health For All Fund, ensuring that a steady stream of life-saving funds will continue to benefit the 21,000 patients we serve. All Founding Members are prominently listed in our Impact Report and on other publications such as this one throughout the year, along with other special benefits.
 
The deadline to become a Founding Member is May 31, 2021. It is not too late to join the Founding Member program. Please call (970) 989-1134 or email Jan Jennings at jjennings@mountainfamily.org for more information.
 
Thank you for your generous support investing in Mountain Family today and in years to come.



Congratulations to our February 2021 Award Winners
February Mariposa Award Winner:
Wendy Flottmeyer

“Wendy is very much deserving of the Mariposa award as she truly embodies the six principles and the MFHC mission every day. Over the past few years, Wendy has become a sought out addition to many work groups and task forces because she has great skills at identifying potential problems, offering solutions and work with her colleagues and teams to share the load. Her interpersonal skills and always willing to help attitude make it easy for others to approach her with ideas, problems or areas of concern, knowing that she will find a path forward to try to address. Wendy leads by example and I admire her for her self-care and her willingness to take risks. It’s a pleasure to have her on our team.”
–Annette Franta, CFO



Exemplary Care Award Winners:
Audrey Fisher, Kendra Nagey, Corrinne Johnson

"Today Corrinne Johnson squeezed our two-year-old daughter in to complete an urgent acute care appointment. Sloan had bitten through her tongue and lip the night prior. Her father and I were very worried her tongue would not be ok. Corrinne gathered the team together to get opinions from the pediatric provider and dentist. They acted quickly and assessed Sloan. They were able to make the difficult decision to let her tongue heal on its own. They gave us the risks and healing information within minutes. We can't say enough how much we appreciate all of the minds coming together to ensure she received the best treatment. I am so proud to say that these are my community providers and my coworkers." -Devon Spaulding, HR



Congratulations to our March 2021 Award Winners
March Mariposa Award Winner:
Lucas Wagner

I would like to nominate Lucas Wagner, an important team member in IT, for the Mariposa award. Lucas consistently goes the extra mile to ensure our staff at MFHC is taken care of with their technology problems. For the past few weeks, Lucas has been pulling extra time because we are short one helpdesk person. He consistently works 50 to 60 hours a week to make sure we provide the right services to our customers in a timely fashion. Lucas also spends lots of his own free time in the evening and weekends developing tools to make our support easier in IT. He has developed and documented several new tools to help our staff work more efficiently remotely and has trained the IT team on the use of these tools. Lucas is a great asset to the IT Team and MFHC – I am glad he is part of our team."
–Fred Fredrick, IT Director



Exemplary Care Award Winner:
Noreen Woods

"I would like to nominate Noreen for the Exemplary Provider award. Her assessments of patients are thorough, thoughtful and professional. I just recently had a patient go through a very, very difficult medication change for bipolar disorder with a lot of terrible side effects, lethargy, confusion. Noreen walked beside this patient, calling them, checking in, scheduling additional time to meet, communicating with me, the patient. I just spoke with that patient today, and they are doing amazingly well. I attribute this to Noreen’s exemplary care, work ethic, brilliance, experience, knowledge and care. Thanks Noreen!  -Barb Corcoran, LCSW



Words to Remember
Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.

― Louis Pasteur
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Easy Ways You Can Support Mountain Family Health Centers

Did you know you can support Mountain Family Health Centers and the persons we serve when you shop? Locally, you can link your City Market Value Card with their Community Rewards program. Once you register, a donation is made to Mountain Family every time you use your Value Card. Click here to register.

The same is true for Amazon Smile. When you designate Mountain Family as your charity at smile.Amazon.com, each time you make a purchase, a gift is made.

A third way to give is through Colorado ReFUND. You can designate all or part of your Colorado state income tax refund to be donated to Mountain Family. Visit ReFUND CO to learn more.

Thank you for supporting the Health For All Fund at Mountain Family Health Centers.
What We're Reading
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Giving Thought: Competition comes to the region’s health-insurance market

by Tamara Tormohlen, Aspen Times

The high cost of living in the Roaring Fork Valley is one of the factors that makes our population perpetually restless and transient.

Prices are often prohibitive for things like rent to gasoline in the Aspen-to-Parachute region, but one of the biggest costs is health care and health insurance. Fortunately, there is some good news to report on this front. Two new health insurance companies are offering policies to valley residents in the small group category (small businesses and nonprofits) and the individual market.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has been the only choice for individuals and small employers for several years, but United Healthcare, the small group insurer, and Rocky Mountain Health Plans, the individual provider, are now offering policies at 5% to 15% cheaper rates.