Where do I start? Wil is truly one of a kind. He is a wonderful person, through and through. Wil is immensely valuable to Mountain Family. I have no doubt that he will take the Edwards clinic to a new level. He will share his experience, knowledge, energy, compassion, innovation, and humor just as he did with Glenwood. He will shine brilliantly. Wil gives 200% every single day he comes to work. He readily takes on anything that is asked of him. He goes out of his way to help anyone and everyone. He cares deeply for the well-being of our patients. He has a bedside manner that eases our patients’ pain, both physically and emotionally. He assists the providers while, at the same time, absorbing all their knowledge. Wil’s eagerness to learn and grow is infectious. He helps the medical assistants whenever they need him. They all love him. He influences the nurses to rise to the top of their profession. He continually brings innovative ideas to elevate the nursing role. In Edwards, as the clinic nurse facilitator, he will support the nurses and have their back no matter what. He will bring amazing ideas. He will teach others. And he will make everyone laugh. I can’t express in words how sad I am to lose Wil at Glenwood. But I am so very grateful I was able to work with him side by side. The transfer to Edwards is exactly what needs to happen and is much deserved. Wil, I have the highest respect for you as a nurse. I thoroughly enjoy you as a friend. And I love you like a son.
Kelly Ketzenbarger, RN
This guy, what can I say about him? He is a great nurse sure, but I think what makes him stand out from the crowd is his endless energy and infectious personality. From day 1 he made a huge impact on the Glenwood Clinic, not only supporting the nurses that had been understaffed for several months but also just the energy he brought to the team. He was always there to support his coworkers, be flexible when needed, and persevere every day. Listening to him and Wynette outside my office would bring me up no matter how defeated I was feeling at the time. He was always ready to hop in and work with the providers to make sure the patients were cared for and he could calm down an escalated polar bear I swear. I believe his attributes will be felt in Glenwood for years to come. I also am really excited for the Edwards clinic. They are really gaining a great leader. Wil represents Mountain Family with finesse and we are lucky we can call him our own.
Amanda Canete, RN
I would describe Wilbur as a bottle of pure sunshine – there hasn’t been a time that I’ve spoken to Wilbur and not come away with a smile and feeling better about everything, both as a patient and a staff member. And I don’t know how he maintains his level of energy, enthusiasm, and kindness while also raising his kids and working towards his Psych NP degree! And how far he’ll go for everyone in his life was driven home a few weeks ago when I had a personal health scare. He found out from Amanda and then called me, did a very thorough triage over the phone, and gave me his cell number and instructions to call if anything got worse, no matter the time because he’d be up studying anyway. We are so lucky to have him!
I feel Cristal is very deserving for this award. She does so much more than what people realize. She is an amazing lead and I know I can go to her for any support and guidance. She gets put under a lot of pressure and she is always able to get through it with a smile on her face. She is not one to ask for help and is very appreciate when it is given. She has amazing work ethic and I am glad to be working with her.
Nominated by: Silvia Santana
I would like to nominate Cristal Otero for the Mariposa award. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Cristal for many years. She is incredibly knowledgeable in what she does and has been instrumental to the billing team. Anytime I have needed her assistance with patient accounts, billing questions, or just to show me where to find something, she has always been very willing to help. There was one time that it was after her clock out time and I needed help as I had the patient on the line and she said “It is never too late to help”. From sitting next to her, I have also heard how she explains the billing world to patients. She is kind and ensures she is explaining it in a way they understand (Insurance is confusing). In the past six months, she has walked me through the billing and adjustment process for our prenatal charges and answers any questions for me when I am in doubt. For these reasons and many more I might have missed, Cristal is my nomination for the Mariposa award.
Nominated by: Trista Rhoads
Cristal’s efforts on a daily basis is admirable. She never shines away from a challenge ( and we have had some recently) but accepts it gracefully, and on a daily basis she takes personal initiative to accomplish tasks. She always manages to be on top of her daily duties and is still able to train staff, without missing a beat. I can’t count how many times I have gone to Cristal with a question, and she would giggle (so infectious) and say “Of Course” or “Let’s take a look”; Cristal is always willing to help anyone who may be needing it, with a smile on her face. She makes team members or patients feel comfortable and at ease. She is outstanding with the work she does, the relationships she builds and I am so blessed to have such an amazing person on the billing team.
Nominated by: Wendy Flottmeyer
Cristal has been with the billing department for almost 7 years. She is one of the quickest, most intelligent women I have been around. I can give her a project, and she figures out the how/why and when without much direction from me. She works with Medicaid’s 3rd party audit on a monthly basis with determination and panache! Our billing team shines on a monthly basis in large part because we have one stellar team member. I want everyone else to know how lucky we are!
SB20-215, Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise:C. Kennedy | J. McCluskie; D. Moreno | K. Donovan On July 6, 2020, United States of Care (USofCare) celebrated the Colorado Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise (SB20-215) being signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis. The bipartisan legislation expands access to more affordable health insurance in Colorado by stabilizing the health insurance market. Read more
SB20-212, Reimbursement For Telehealth Services:
S. Lontine | M. Soper; F. Winter | J. Tate Concerning reimbursement for health care services provided through telehealth, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Read more
HB20-1236, Health Care Coverage Easy Enrollment Program:S. Lontine | P. Will; J. Tate | J. Bridges
The act creates the Colorado affordable health care coverage easy enrollment program (program) for the purpose of leveraging the tax filing process to connect uninsured Coloradans to free or subsidized health care coverage through a health care coverage affordability program, which includes medicaid, the children’s basic health plan, or a subsidized health benefit plan, or other creditable coverage. Read more
SB20-033 Allow Medicaid Buy-in After Age 65:Tate / Fields; Lontine The act directs the department of health care policy and financing (department) to seek federal authorization to expand the program to include individuals in the work incentives eligibility group, which is defined, to match federal eligibility criteria, as individuals who are age 65 years or older with a disability who, except for assets or income, would be eligible for the supplemental security income program. The department shall submit necessary state plan amendments to implement the program and must implement the program by July 1, 2022. Read more
“I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Chris Tonozzi for the past 20 years, and I want to nominate Dr. Chris Tonozzi for the Exemplary Care Award. He recently had a patient that tested positive for HIV. I was so impressed how he handled this very sensitive diagnosis. He first called the patient and I could hear in his voice great kindness and concern. He later that day had the patient come to the clinic. Chris first saw the patient and then had every department ready to meet with the patient. A stream of people went through the room from behavioral health to care coordination giving great resources and care to the patient. Watching this incredible orchestrated care made me proud to be part of MFHC and a colleague of Dr. Chris Tonozzi.” -Jenny Lang, FNP, Chief Medical Team
This month’s award goes to Veronica (Roni) Morales
“Roni has shown extraordinary resiliency in a time where things are changing rapidly in Care Coordination and all of our clinics. She is working tirelessly as the default go to leader for the day to day tasks of the Care Coordination Team (CCT). She didn’t hesitate to asses the complex problems that have been ongoing with workflows, contracts with outside companies, and integrations with clinical teams, but instead has leaned in to figure out what improvements we can make as Care Coordination turns the page into a new era. I appreciate her diligence and communication, and am grateful for her friendship in such a potentially nerve-wracking time. Thank you for all you do Roni!” – Dr. Anneliese Heckert
“I believe that Roni is the most deserving person for this award. Roni is very hard working and is an extremely dedicated supervisor. Roni always goes above and beyond for patients, co-workers and loved ones, even with nothing in return. Since joining MF, Roni has been nothing but supportive and an amazing leader. Roni does not shy away from advocating for what is right and what is moral. Roni always speaks up and speaks her mind, and this trait is what makes her such a unique supervisor and person. She always comes to work with a positive attitude and good vibes! I have learned so much from Roni in just a few months and her leadership makes for a great, happy work environment. I could not have asked for a better supervisor.” -Melisa Sanchez
My passion for medicine started when I was a child. I come from a long line of family physicians. I completed my training in Pediatrics and Neonatology at the La Fe University Hospital in Valencia, Spain, where I worked as an attending Neonatology Physician for two years. After completing Pediatric Residency in Florida and Colorado, I provided pediatric care at Denver Health from 2010 until I joined Mountain Family Health Centers in January 2020. I have a special passion for newborns, which is why I started an Outpatient Lactation program at Denver Health that is currently expanding to other clinics within their network.
I was delighted to join Mountain Family Health Centers earlier this year and to provide pediatric care at the Glenwood Springs clinic. As a pediatrician bi-lingual in both English and Spanish, I treat newborns from birth to age 18.
One of the most unique items that I appreciate about Mountain Family is the population that we serve. I love helping underserved populations and low-income people, giving them the treatment that they deserve without regard to ability to pay. With my background, I understand both the American and Hispanic cultures, which helps me develop meaningful relationships with parents and children.
It’s all about generating trust and creating ongoing relationships. First, I like to connect with the children and comfort them while at the same time reassuring the parents. These connections build the basis for taking good care of the children and promoting health.
During this time with the COVID-19 pandemic, I am taking care of children both via telehealth and in the clinic. Recently, I treated Nicolas, age 7, who had hives, which I observed remotely via telehealth on a video-screen. Seeing how the patient looked gives so much information. As it was a telehealth visit, I first interacted with his mother. Then, I directed my questions to Nicolas. I suspected the hives were related to COVID-19, but the patient could not be tested to verify that. I decided to schedule a visit with them face-to-face in the Glenwood Springs clinic. With close follow up and treatment, the patient’s hives have now gone away.
I encourage our communities to continue receiving vaccinations and well-baby or well-child physicals at Mountain Family. We have appropriate protective gear and always ensure that our patients have masks. As we safely re-open our clinics, we welcome your children and you. As you know, it’s “Our Family, Taking Care of Yours.”
If you wish to schedule an appointment for your child, please call 970-945-2840.
To make a gift to help support pediatrics and integrated medical, behavioral, and dental care, please click here. Thank you for your consideration and support of healthy families.
Mountain Family Health Centers wishes to celebrate our federal, state, and local partners along with generous individuals who have made gifts during this exceptional time with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every gift has made a difference. Grants and donations are helping Mountain Family address a variety of evolving needs related to COVID-19, from acquiring more Personal Protective Equipment to increasing our medical and mental health telehealth visits, to increasing our pro-active outreach to our patients by telephone and in our clinics.
We are deeply grateful to have received funding from a variety of sources. The SBA Paycheck Protection Program and the CARES Act stimulus package have made a vital impact on our ability to continue serving 21,000 patients. We salute two funds and philanthropists from the Aspen Community Foundation that have made significant grants, including the 2020 Rescue Fund and the Marx Family Advised Fund. We have received a gift from the City of Glenwood Springs to support a new School-Based Health Center which will open in Glenwood Springs this coming fall. Generous grants have been made by The Colorado Health Foundation Relief Fund, Caring for Colorado, the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, the United Health Foundation, and the El Pomar Foundation. We are also deeply grateful to the numerous individuals, families, and patients who responded to our online appeal featuring MFHC Family Nurse Practitioner Jenny Lang and one of her patients.
Investing in Mountain Family through a gift goes a long way to help us care for over 21,000 patients in Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield counties. Join many who have made a significant difference for us especially during this pandemic by making a gift here.
The health of our communities and taking care of all patients, regardless of ability to pay, is our number one priority. We are so thankful for your support and generosity.
When I was first inspired to become a dentist in high school, I never imagined that I would be doing tele-dentistry during a time of a pandemic. Now leading our dental team at Mountain Family Health Centers, I have had first-hand experience in this new way to deliver care to our patients.
After completing dental school at Virginia Commonwealth University, I moved to Colorado to work for Mountain Family and care for underserved populations. To protect our staff and patients, during the COVID-19 outbreak we have shifted our care to tele-dentistry while still treating urgent and emergency cases in our Rifle and Edwards clinics.
Recently, our dental team was able to take care of Jose both through tele-dentistry and an in-person visit. I consulted with Jose, age 30, in the comfort of his own home via video-chat. It was nice to evaluate him at home according to his schedule. He was able to show me the spontaneous bleeding in his gums. At that point I knew I had to refer him to our clinic in Rifle where Estela Lujan-Ortiz, one of our hygienists, helped him.
Our team, including four dentists and five hygienists, stands by ready to assist you. To make a tele-dentistry appointment or to receive urgent care, please call Mountain Family at 970-945-2840.
We look forward to best serve you and hope to return to normal operations soon. Looking ahead, we are enthusiastic to open school-based dentistry centers in Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs in the fall of 2020.
If you wish to make a gift to support our work, please click here.
Working together, we will get through this time and bring healthy smiles back to our patients’ faces.