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By Mountain Family Health Centers

Mountain Family Health Centers has been awarded a total of $112,070 for the organization’s dedication to quality improvement by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the federal Bureau of Primary Health Care. According to HRSA, “the goal of the Quality Improvement Awards is to improve clinical quality, improve patient outcomes, and increase access to comprehensive primary care services, while recognizing health centers’ efforts that support ongoing quality improvement.” Concurrent with the announcement of the awards, HRSA commended the efforts of the nation’s community health centers as the backbone of the nation’s primary health care system. One in eight persons in Garfield, Eagle, and/or Pitkin County rely on Mountain Family for affordable, accessible primary medical, dental, and behavioral health care.

HRSA made awards to Mountain Family to use for further quality improvement in six of nine categories including clinical quality improvement, advanced use of electronic health record and health information technology and achievement of national patient-centered home recognition by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (the highest national recognition a primary care practice can receive). Among the largest awards were those for increasing access to care and addressing health disparities. These two awards recognize Mountain Family’s foundation, as the mission of the organization is “To provide high quality, integrated primary medical, behavioral and dental health care in Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin and Rio Blanco Counties, with special consideration for the underserved, regardless of ability to pay.”

According to Ross Brooks, Mountain Family Health Centers Chief Executive Officer, “It is very gratifying to be recognized among our peer community health centers for the extraordinary effort our organization has made to improve the quality of our care in each of these categories. More than 20,400 persons call Mountain Family their health care home and we strive to provide the highest quality care and patient experience, at the lowest cost, to improve the health of the community.”

Dr. Anneliese Heckert, Site Medical Director for Mountain Family’s Basalt health center said “I am proud of the work our employees do to further the success of the integrated care model to deliver high quality medical, dental and behavioral health care to the people we serve. Quality care is something we strive for with every patient interaction we have. Keeping our patients in the center makes it easy to remember where our greatest priority is.”

Annette Kowal, Chief Executive Officer of Colorado’s Community Health Center Network, offered her congratulations to all of Colorado’s 20 community health centers on receiving these awards, which totaled $2,421,242, and said “Thank you for being health care heroes!”

For more information on Mountain Family Health Centers, go to or contact Garry Schalla, Development Director:, 970.945.2840 ext. 7290.