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Mountain Family Health Centers will say goodbye this month to our Integrated Care Director Jolene Singer, RN. Jolene is passionate about exploring innovative ways to improve integrated care — both connecting each discipline within Mountain Family and reaching out to find community partners. “I have loved my work, my team and Mountain Family,” said Jolene when announcing her retirement. “I have such appreciation and gratitude for Mountain Family staff and all who have mentored me and those I have had the privilege of mentoring. I appreciate all the leadership work, self-development and professional growth I have gotten here.”

Like many employees, Jolene joined Mountain Family to serve vulnerable populations. She has come to appreciate the Mountain Family focus on providing value-based care to each patient. A team builder by nature, she cares deeply about providing her coworkers opportunities for education, professional exploration and growth.

Several Mountain Family leadership, providers and staff offered words of praise for her work with Mountain Family over the years. Best wishes, Jolene, and we will miss you deeply.

“Jolene was a pioneer in Care Coordination since the beginning. Her leadership and experience helped put a community focus on the social determinants of health. I value her as a friend and leader. I admire her willingness to stand up for her team and MFHC patients. She was always a good partner and advocate for Human Resources. I wish her great health and happiness as she transitions into her career graduation. We will miss you, Jolene.” – Scott Owens, Chief Workforce Officer

“I want to honor Jolene’s dedication and perseverance throughout her development of the Care Coordination Team over the last 7 years. She has grown Care Coordination from a group of 3 – 4 dedicated individuals to an entire team across our four hub sites. This is a testament to Jolene’s grit as well as her calling to serve patients by bringing to light the importance of the social determinants of health as the largest contribution to whole patient wellness. It has been a pleasure working with her and her humility and holistic approach to care will missed around the halls of the Glenwood Clinic and the Executive Team greatly.” – Dr. Anneliese Heckert, DO, Basalt Site Medical Director and Director of Integrated Care

“Jolene, I was thinking what her and I would ever have in common. An old ‘hippie’ and an old ‘jock.’ I was very mistrustful at first and as time went on, I began to learn all about her, her big heart, her ability to listen, her empathy, her advocacy for the underprivileged, and her vast knowledge of the different internal and external systems. Over a period of time, I shared more and trusted more, and she did as well, and we became closer as a result. I knew if I had a concern, I could share with her and I knew it would stay with her and she always helped me with sage advice. As our positions evolved, we became more partners to do what was/is best for our patients and Mountain Family in general. I loved the fight that she had in her and how she always supported her staff and the patients. Unfortunately, we all lose that desire to fight the good fight and it is time to mellow out (70’s phrase for all you youngsters!) and spend time with family and friends. Jolene is not just a colleague of mine but a friend for life, for she is a person who has made a difference in this guy’s life. Jolene has also left her mark with Mountain Family and has made this organization that much better! Not only will I miss seeing her nearly every day but all the people who have worked with her will also miss her greatly!” – Gary Schreiner, Ph.D., LMFT, Behavioral Health Director

“Jolene Singer started as a nurse at Mountain Family Health Centers in 2012 and quickly became engaged in the birth of Mountain Family’s community care coordination program.  She built a robust integrated care team consisting of behavioral health providers, care coordinators, social health advocates, and complex care nurses serving the social and emotional needs of MFHC’s patients. Mountain Family’s behavioral health and community care coordination teams and services have grown threefold under Jolene’s leadership. More importantly, the care received by Mountain Family patients has improved dramatically with Jolene’s leadership, including reductions in unnecessary hospital ER use, improvements in diabetic and hypertension care, deepening of depression screening and referrals for counseling, and reductions in total cost of care for Mountain Family patients.

“Recognizing that our health is 10% dependent on what happens in the clinic and 90% dependent on our choices, environment, and what happens outside of Mountain Family’s four walls, Jolene led regional efforts to begin addressing the social determinants of health (SDoH). Through the Accountable Health Communities Model (AHCM), Jolene and others helped lead Western Colorado to launch an ambitious campaign to screen 100,000 individuals for SDoH. The efforts of the AHCM have illuminated the social needs of our communities and patients, including the need for affordable housing, affordable and healthy food access, and addressing social isolation in our rural resort areas. Mountain Family is a leader in assessing and addressing SDoH in large part due to Jolene’s vision and commitment to improving humanity.

“Jolene led many internal trainings at Mountain Family aimed at elevating Mountain Family’s staff and patients, from Joy in Work to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Quadruple Aim. The most impactful for me was her and Roni’s training on Bridges Out of Poverty, which gave me new insight into the blessings I have and the tools to help change the cycle of poverty in our communities. Jolene has never been afraid to take risks and is one of the most courageous leaders I’ve ever known. We were blessed to have Jolene as part of the Mountain Family team for seven years and are grateful for the heart, love, and soul she shared with each of us.“Upon announcing her retirement, Jolene was clear with me: ‘Ross, don’t get me a stupid plaque.  Instead, please donate to Valley Settlement Project in my name.’ We will honor Jolene’s wish and send her into her MFHC graduation with blessings for her newfound time with her children, grandchildren, and bees.” – Ross Brooks, Chief Executive Officer