As Ross Brooks, CEO of Mountain Family Health Centers, shares, “I applaud the valuable work our nursing staff does at Mountain Family, caring for more than 22,400 patients at our 10 health center sites in Western Colorado. We could not provide the exceptional quality of patient-centered, bicultural, and bilingual care we do without our nurses.”  

Nataly Meraz, RN, BSN, of our school-based health center in Glenwood Springs, also celebrates the work of nurses nationwide and the 14 members of our nursing staff who work at Mountain Family.  

In Nataly’s words,

“There is a short story adapted by a book of author Loren Eisley that I love and live by- ‘The Starfish Story.’ Basically, the story is about a little kid walking along the ocean where thousands of starfish had been washed up after a big storm. The kid walked by each starfish, picked it up, and then threw it back into the ocean. There was a man that noticed these actions since the kid had been doing it for some time. The man approached the kid and asked, ‘Why are you doing this? Look at how many starfish there are! You can’t save all of them!’ The kid seemed sad at this statement, but after a few seconds picked up another starfish and threw it as far into the ocean as possible, then looked up at the man and replied- ‘I made a difference for that one.’ 

“I have been a nurse at Mountain Family for nine years. I grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley, and after graduating from Colorado Mesa University I knew I had to come back and serve the community that watched me grow. Mountain Family’s mission statement and core values aligned with my own beliefs, and I was very excited to start utilizing my nursing license to help serve others. As a nurse, I have encountered many opportunities to establish relationships with patients and their families to work together towards meeting goals. I have also developed relationships with co-workers that hold special memories. Mountain Family offers employees opportunities for growth and development which I am grateful for. I started my career with Mountain Family as a new graduate nurse and then promoted to Clinic Operations Manager, Clinic Nurse Facilitator and now I am currently working at our school-based health centers. I am very excited about the opportunity to help establish our school-based health centers, which gives students meaningful access to care in a convenient location. One of my greatest successes at Mountain Family was being nominated for a Western Colorado Nightingale Luminary Award. I am humbled to know that others value my dedication towards patient care. I am grateful to have encountered many ‘Starfish’ during my time so far at Mountain Family.”

We are so grateful to our nurses at Mountain Family who are the fabric of the integrated medical, behavioral, and dental healthcare we provide for our patients.  These outstanding individuals include:

  • Miriam Vigil – Registered Nurse
  • Valeria Tovar-Guzman – Registered Nurse
  • Yunira Gomez – Registered Nurse
  • Stephanie Hedlund – Complex Care Nurse
  • Wynette Jackson – Registered Nurse
  • Kelly Ketzenbarger – Registered Nurse
  • Siouxanne Rae Mease – Care Transitions Nurse Coordinator
  • Molli Deines – Registered Nurse
  • Karen Torres – Clinic Nurse Facilitator
  • Maria Martinez-Lopez – Registered Nurse
  • Stephany Ortega – Registered Nurse
  • Wil Leonardo Mendez – Clinic Nurse Facilitator
  • Nataly Meraz – SBHC Registered Nurse
  • Debbi Barnett – Interdisciplinary Care Director, Registered Nurse, MBA