20 years medal

By Mountain Family Health Centers

Dr. Chris Tonozzi, MD, and Facilities Manager Leslie Garner are celebrating 20 years with Mountain Family Health Centers. Dr. Tonozzi was Mountain Family’s first physician on the Western Slope and Leslie has guided Mountain Family as locations have changed and expanded over the years. Thank you to Dr. Tonozzi and Leslie for your dedication and support for providing high quality, affordable care in our community.

Dr. Chris Tonozzi is Mountain Family’s Director of Data Quality.

Dr. Chris Tonozzi, MD

“Over the past 19 years, I have had the pleasure to work with Dr. Chris Tonozzi. He is the father of Mountain Family Health Centers on the Western Slope. He has dedicated numerous hours to the improvement of patient care for the underserved and uninsured. As I wrote for his nomination for the Garfield County Humanitarian Award, ‘There are only a few people in life that can say that they have effected change to the level of George Bailey from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. This is a person who has impacted individuals, a community, and a region to the point where history would be completely different if not for the actions of that individual. Dr. Tonozzi qualifies as one of those individuals.’ The community of Glenwood Springs and the Western Slope as a whole have been transformed by the vision and hard work of Dr. Tonozzi.” – Jenny Lang, FNP, Glenwood Springs Medical Site Director

“Chris has deep dedication and commitment to Mountain Family from the conception of coming to Glenwood Springs.  Through his persistence and collaboration, he brought Columbine Health—in Black Hawk —to Glenwood Springs because he saw the great need in our valley for community health care.  The citizens of all counties we serve are receiving high quality healthcare today and for the past years because of his vision. I met Dr. Chris Tonozzi 7 years ago, when I started at Mountain Family. My fondest memories are of his Halloween costumes which he always is inventive and playful doing, adding to the fun celebration atmosphere in Glenwood Springs, my favorite being ‘the nerd’—wait, maybe that wasn’t a costume. Chris is often at lunch education classes and shows up at some morning huddles to provide provider insight. His history with Mountain Family and the electronic health record gives good guidance for new projects and raising questions that others don’t think about. He is really quite brilliant (don’t let him know that, though). However, what I admire most about Chris is the personal and leadership work he has done. I share a peer group with him, and I have witnessed him do the hard work to grow in being a more rounded leader and person.  He is a good example of vulnerable and transparent growth. I am happy to call him my friend and confident. He is always kind and available to my needs when they come up.” – Jolene Singer, RN, Care Coordination Director

“When I first started working at Columbine Family Health 16 years ago, I was told I would be doing the data entry from this clinic in Glenwood and they were getting busy! I was also told that if I had any questions for Dr. Tonozzi, I would have to make that quick and to the point. Over the years, I have learned to be direct and to the point, and I have also slipped up and told long convoluted stories. Each time I know that he is listening, paying attention to the important parts, laughing at my jokes, ribbing me back and always, I know that he is a kind, smart man doing good things here at Mountain Family.” – Wendy Flottmeyer, Revenue Cycle Manager

Leslie Garner, Facilities Manager

“There are few individuals in the workforce today who have dedicated 20 years to a single organization, and not just in the designated 40-hour work week. Leslie Garner has selflessly given her time and talents to Mountain Family Health Centers since 1999 when the doors were open for the first time to the communities surrounding Glenwood Springs. As the bilingual office manager, Leslie coordinated the front desk and scheduling functions in Glenwood Springs for the first eight years of her career with Mountain Family. During that time, she was responsible for giving opportunities to many young women who started their first job in the medical field at the Mountain Family front desk in Glenwood Springs. In those days, the front desk function included not only checking patients in and out of their appointments, but also answering all incoming phone calls, medical records management, financial screening, scheduling appointments and follow-ups as needed. Dare I leave out, also dealing with any patient complaint that came via phone or front desk.

“Over the years, as the complexities of HIPAA and confidentiality requirements came into play and the clinic grew into three, then four clinics in the Garfield, Pitkin, and Eagle counties, these functions broke into individual departments at Mountain Family, and Leslie’s skills were found to be better utilized by managing the safety and security of our Facilities. As Mountain Family grew, Leslie’s office was moved from Glenwood Springs, to Rifle, and back to West Glenwood Springs and in various locations within each facility as the clinical needs grew. Each move was met with Leslie’s response of ‘whatever works best for the organization.’ That phrase exemplifies Leslie’s spirit of cooperation and respect.

“Leslie’s dedication and commitment to Mountain Family often goes unnoticed as she responds to security calls after hours at ALL of our facilities over the years (even Black Hawk and Nederland when they were still open), from an alarm set off, to toilet back-ups and delivery mishaps at each of the facilities. Her home and private phone numbers are shared with many staff and vendors at Mountain Family and even used during her vacation and scheduled days off. In her role as the Facilities Manager, Leslie has expanded our resources and sophistication in the areas of safety, security and emergency preparedness. I can always count on Leslie to respond and find a solution to any issue with which she is confronted.

“Through all of my professional interactions with Leslie, one of the things I appreciate most about her is her ability to share a concern, work with me to find a solution, and move on. I don’t have to worry about something in the past affecting her ability to make good decisions in the future. I also so very much respect the bond and commitments she has to her family. Through the years I’ve known her, Leslie’s number one commitment is to her family: children, parents, siblings, in-laws and now first and foremost grandchildren. They are the apple of her eye, and if you haven’t ever seen that twinkle, just ask her about her grandkids.” – Annette Franta, Chief Financial Officer

“Leslie Garner is the no-nonsense gal of Mountain Family Health Centers. She is dedicated to finding the best, most cost-effective way of doing something and yet always worried for safety of employees and patients. She has morphed her role at Mountain Family and adapted to the position at need. She has been priceless to Mountain Family and has given the ability of the organization to continue to expand and grow. We are lucky to have her all these 20 years!” – Jenny Lang, FNP, Glenwood Springs Medical Site Director

“I remember first meeting Leslie. It had been decided that Columbine Family Health (soon thereafter re-named Mountain Family Health Centers) would open an office in Glenwood Springs. We excitedly put out ads for an office manager and Leslie quickly surfaced as somebody with great experience and leadership skills. She brought the people, place and supplies together in record time and we were seeing patients within weeks of notice that we had received the grant to make the clinic happen. She’s continued to make the ‘behind the scenes’ magic happen over the years and it’s allowed us to see tens of thousands of patients who might not have otherwise gotten medical care. Thanks to Leslie for her steady support of Mountain Family through the years!” – Dr. Chris Tonozzi, MD, Director of Data Quality

“What I love about working with Leslie all these years is that she is direct and no-nonsense. If you want a new desk, she’ll find it for you. If it is cold in the office, she will first ask if you brought a sweater, then she will let you know she’ll look into it. I appreciate her dedication to all the different versions of the clinics we work in and continue to change or morph or re-do. She cares about Mountain Family and it shows every time she voices her opinions! We need her knowledge, her history and her opinions!” – Wendy Flottmeyer, Revenue Cycle Manager