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By Garry Schalla, Development Director

Mountain Family Health Centers is in the final fundraising effort for the new Basalt Integrated Health Center and will be raising $2.2 million in the coming months. Mountain Family is at the heart of health solutions in the Roaring Fork Valley and we are dedicated to carrying out our mission of providing high quality, integrated primary medical, behavioral, and dental health care in the communities we serve, with special consideration for the medically underserved, regardless of ability to pay.

The new Basalt Integrated Health Center is a significant step as we continue to carry out this mission. “Mountain Family has made important progress in providing access to integrated medical, behavioral and dental health care for all,” says CEO Ross Brooks, “regardless of economic or insurance status, ethnicity or race, as we believe access to affordable health care is a basic human right.”

These accomplishments are in the face of a challenging environment for providing high quality, affordable health care for the 4,700 residents from Aspen to El Jebel living on less than $24,000 a year. Hurdles include the skyrocketing cost of health insurance for individuals, families, and employers in the Roaring Fork Valley, growing numbers of residents who are under or uninsured, and extremely limited access to medical, dental, and behavioral health professionals who accept Medicaid.

Mountain Family is uniquely positioned to address these significant hurdles, including the ability to increase the capacity of the Basalt Integrated Health Center will expand access to all with and without insurance to innovative, affordable, long-term health care solutions beginning early this year.

That expansion includes adding a full dental team to the new health center, with the dental team integrated with medical teams and expanded behavioral health professionals—all in one location. These expansions will increase access to care for 3,700 patients annually, as well as leveraging and investing in health solutions with valuable community partners. Those partners include—but are not limited to—Pitkin & Eagle counties and Aspen Valley Hospital.

“The doctors I’ve had [at Mountain Family] have gone beyond the extra mile,” says patient Robert Chaney. Another patient, Rachel Smith, describes her experience with Mountain Family this way: “I’m not only surviving but actually thriving. It’s all because of the generous, talented people who could work anywhere, but who choose to work here at Mountain Family.”

“The physical and mental health of all citizens is the foundation of our community happiness and our local economy,” says Pitkin County Commissioners Greg Poschman. “Mountain Family integrates behavioral health counselors at each clinic. This allows on-site “warm hand-offs” with primary medical and dental services that keep our seniors, our students, their parents, i.e. our workforce, vibrant and productive physically and mentally.”

To best serve our patients, Mountain Family is addressing behavioral health with qualified, in-clinic professionals familiar with the signs of depression. Those signs include the following: during the month before a death by suicide, half of individuals visited a general practitioner, and a third of individuals visited a mental health professional.

Pitkin County Commissioner Greg Poschman encourages local community members to support these and other efforts to support residents and workers in the Roaring Fork Valley. “Join and support Mountain Family for a strong community. It’s up to us to handle the rising cost of our health care and Mountain Family is our local solution.”

To join the Basalt capital campaign please contact Development Director Garry Schalla at gschalla@mountainfamily.org or 970-945-2840 x7290 (office) or 970-318-8018 (cell).