money in wallet

By Mountain Family Health Centers

August 2019

Public News Service is on a roll! We appreciate their coverage of bipartisan support for community health centers and the need for funding. Please contact your member of Congress today and ask them to support high quality, essential health care for communities across the country. Mountain Family’s service area is represented by Representative Scott Tipton, Senator Cory Gardner and Senator Michael Bennet.

Public News Service highlighted Health Solutions in a recent news story. Health Solutions is our new membership built within Mountain Family offering access to our primary medical, dental and behavioral health services. No co-pays, no deductibles, access to care as needed.

We appreciated Carolyn McClanahan’s excellent op-ed in Forbes on how expanding community health centers can improve care and save taxpayer dollars.

“In 2016, Community health centers provided basic primary care and pharmacy services at a cost of $602 per person per year. To provide this to everyone would cost about $200 billion per year after needed expansion of the community health system. Considering the government spends $114 billion per year on end stage renal disease, which is largely preventable with good primary care, massively expanding funding for community health will be an investment that will create an incredible return for our country.”

From STATNews:
Fitbits and other wearables may not accurately track heart rates in people of color.

“Nearly all of the largest manufacturers of wearable heart rate trackers rely on technology that could be less reliable for consumers who have darker skin…”

July 2019

There’s been a lot of discussion about how kids should have the opportunity to work through challenges. This article by NPR explores how the toxic stress of adversity can make children more sick.

“It was in talking with those children and their families, she says, that she first realized how many of her patients experiencing the worst health outcomes — those with the highest levels of chronic asthma, for example — were also living with significant adversity, such as growing up in a household where a parent was mentally ill, abusive or substance dependent.”

Our hearts go out to family, friends, and co-workers of Eagle County Sheriff’s Deputy and Gypsum Fire Protection District firefighter Taylor Esslinger. Please consider talking with a professional about how you’re feeling. Sheriff James Van Beek agrees, with this thoughtful column. Here are some good options for professional help:

  • Hope Center: 24-hour crisis line and in-person community support; Call 970-306-4673 (HOPE), or go to
  • Speak Up Reach Out: Suicide Prevention Coalition of Eagle County;
  • Colorado Crisis Line:, 1-844-493-8255; call, chat online, or text TALK to 38255
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to for online chat support

June 2019

Mountain Family Health Centers was highlighted by the Opioid Response Network (STR-TA) for adding medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for patients with an opioid use disorder. The network helped Mountain Family establish how to offer the new treatment. Behavioral Health Provider Oyen Hoffman was interviewed about having a new way to treat opioid use disorders: “We all will feel as if we are a part of the solution and, quite literally, saving lives by preventing and reducing overdose deaths in our… area.”

You can read more about Mountain Family’s efforts to address opioid use disorder here, here, and here.

Congratulations, Chris Lindley, on joining Eagle County Behavioral Health! We’re excited about the new nonprofit and continuing efforts to expand behavioral health services for residents in Eagle County.

The Commonwealth Fund released a new State Health System Scorecard, which finds deaths from suicide, alcohol, and drugs hit all-time high. Overall, Colorado ranks 9th in the nation.

9News recently interviewed Nancy VanDeMark, Interim President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, about eight new mental health laws in our state (including impacts on the Western Slope). We recommend watching this two-minute video.

May 2019

We enjoyed a recent write-up by the Commonwealth Fund about the positive impact of Medicaid expansion. Here’s an excerpt: “Health centers in Medicaid expansion states, compared to those in nonexpansion (sic) states, were significantly more likely to report improvements in their financial stability (69% vs. 41%) and in their ability to provide affordable care to patients (76% vs. 52%) since the ACA took effect. They have also been somewhat more likely to operate under a value-based payment model, like the patient-centered medical home.” Click here to read the full report.

Colorado legislators passed several health care bills this year, including more than one effort to reduce the cost of insurance premiums. Click here to read an excellent piece by the Colorado Sun on what passed and how each measure is supposed to benefit Coloradans. (Select “Health Care” a little ways down the page in order to jump to that section.)