Susan saw a young child who had terrible dental decay during a well child check. Thanks to our CO-MDI program, she was able to have Charlie come in to the visit and be seen. Charlie in turn was able to see the child at the same time and start treatment for the dental decay. She was able to apply the cavity retardant (I forget the name…) and delay the growth of the cavity. Susan and Charlie truly made a difference in the young child’s health, both medical and dental-all in one visit.


BROOMFIELD, Colo.—Dec. 10, 2019 — Today, Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz and his wife, Elana Amsterdam, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Elana’s Pantry, announced significant contributions totaling more than $2.8 million to further strengthen emotional wellness programs in more than ten mountain communities where Vail Resorts operates. The second annual distribution of behavioral health grants issued by the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust (KACT) benefits over 40 non-profit organizations to reduce the stigma of mental illness, improve access to mental and behavioral health services and support collaboration within and among mountain communities.

Over this past year, the Katz Amsterdam Foundation has focused on connecting mountain communities on the topic of mental and behavioral health. In May, the Foundation hosted a convening of 60 mental health professionals from these communities, facilitating a conversation about similar challenges each community faces such as substance abuse, feelings of isolation, availability of providers and mental health outcomes. Following the meeting, community stakeholders agreed to align on a set of shared measures to support collective learning – focusing on progress in the following areas: social dynamics; mental health attitudes and knowledge; provider capacity; and affordability and accessibility of care.

“It has been inspiring to see the shared desire that exists across each of our mountain communities to make a difference, to help others and to ignite a passion for creating truly healthy communities,” said Katz. “We are thrilled to be able to help unite so many incredible organizations and support their collective efforts to improve access to much-needed health services and reduce the stigma and misunderstanding around these issues.”

The grants announced today further enable collaboration and innovation across mountain communities in British Columbia, Washington, California, Utah, Colorado, Vermont and New Hampshire. In Colorado, the donations will support non-profits in Eagle County, Summit County and Gunnison County.

“We are very appreciative of Rob and Elana’s continual contributions and passion for improving our Behavioral Health system in this Valley,” said Chris Lindley, executive director of Eagle Valley Behavioral Health. “Vail Health and Eagle Valley Behavioral Health are dedicated to making drastic changes within our community, and the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust continues to be a driver in that collaborative effort. This contribution will provide much-needed behavioral health resources to our community, and for that, we are extremely grateful.”

The KACT grants are in addition to the annual EpicPromise grants from Vail Resorts, which support more than 350 non-profits across the company’s mountain communities. EpicPromise grants for 2019/20 are being announced by Vail Resorts in December 2019 and January 2020.

The KACT grant recipients announced today include:

Eagle County, Colorado:

  • Eagle Valley Behavioral Health: $525,000 to support behavioral health initiatives and organizations including four sub-grants for crisis services (The Hope Center), community behavioral health navigation (Eagle County Paramedics), access to bilingual behavioral health services (Mountain Family Health Services), support to coordinate behavioral health programs (Eagle County Public Health Department), and a voucher program to increase access for those in need. 

Summit County, Colorado:

  • Building Hope: $270,000 to support therapy scholarships, expansion and evaluation of an anti-stigma campaign, and community-wide evaluation of behavioral health program impact
  • Family & Intercultural Resource Center: $100,000 to support growth of the ALMA program to increase bilingual peer support services in Summit County
  • Peak Health Alliance: $100,000 to support the launch of new nonprofit health insurance purchasing
  • Summit County Community Care Clinic: $90,000 to support continued growth and sustainability of the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy program serving students across the county

Crested Butte, Colorado:

  • Gunnison Valley Health Foundation: $75,000 to implement an outreach campaign to raise awareness of the Peer Support Specialist Program and hire additional peer specialists

South Lake Tahoe, California:

  • El Dorado Community Foundation: $300,000 to support the Behavioral Health Network collaborative, including several sub-grants to increase access to bilingual providers (Live Violence Free, Family Resource Center, Tahoe Youth and Family Services) and provide crisis response services to students at Lake Tahoe Unified School District 

Tahoe-Truckee, California:

  • Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation: $160,500 to build community data collection process, complete community-wide mental health strategic plan and a sub-grant to support behavioral health services at Sierra Community House

Summit County, Utah:

  • CONNECT Summit County: Up to $150,000, 3:1 matching grant to support expansion of mental health resources online platform and launch anti-stigma campaign
  • Park City Community Foundation: $300,000 to support seven community-based behavioral health projects and non-profits, including Communities that Care, counseling services for students across the county, bilingual counseling services, Summit County Drug Court and the Healthy Living Clubhouse
  • University of Utah: $150,000 to support expansion of new clinic and increase access to behavioral health providers in Summit County

Vermont and New Hampshire:

  • Vermont Community Foundation: $245,050 to support eleven community-based behavioral health projects and organizations across Goshen and Newport, New Hampshire and Ludlow and Stowe, Vermont

Whistler, British Columbia:

  • Sea-to-Sky Community Services Society: $75,000 CAD to support youth behavioral health services at the new Squamish Youth Resource Center
  • Whistler Blackcomb Foundation: $130,000 CAD to convene community assessment and strategic planning effort to identify and fill gaps in behavioral health programs and services
  • Whistler Community Service Society: $120,000 CAD to convene key leaders to help bring a Crisis Stabilization team to Whistler
  • Whistler Learning Centre: $103,270 CADto support programming with First Nations including life skills training, culturally appropriate peer support groups, and the development of program to train First Nation therapists

Stevens Pass, Washington:

  • Upper Valley Cares: $50,000 to provide seed capital for Upper Valley Cares to launch a free health clinic and provide behavioral health counseling

Nominated by: Diane Purse

Michelle is a pleasure to work with. Her attention to detail is excellent. She has attained a knowledge base for our many services in Edwards; Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Adult Medicine and Title X. Her knowledge of Procedures, and the supplies and paperwork necessary set her skills well above the normal expectations. You know she is serving a “starring role in serving our patients”.

Her cooperative and kind communication skills make her a great role model for others. She treats everyone; patients and coworkers alike, with dignity and respect. She makes patients feel comfortable from the start, always asking about their families and their health. She can often be seen helping team members by supporting their learning, always with a kind word and “you can do it” attitude.

Her skill set is excellent. She follows guidelines and policies, always. She is quick to volunteer for difficult procedures and honest to request help when she is unfamiliar with a procedure. She is reliable in her work, there is never a need to see if she has completed all tasks requested or as a standard of care, as they are already completed, charted and shared with a patient or parent.

Her history taking skills provide pertinent information. Patients also feel comfortable sharing concerns and social issues with Michelle. This is what sets Michelle apart. She is always willing to make the referrals to the appropriate team member if the person would like assistance with their discussed struggles. It never matters how busy she is, she always finds the time for the patient to have the time to share.

Michelle’s optimistic and positive attitude make her a great team member. I am thankful to work beside her. I am happy to nominate her for the Mariposa award.


by Ross Brooks

I first met Mary in July 2012 at a gathering of the West Mountain Regional Health Alliance (WMRHA).  Following that first meeting, Mary quickly reached out to partner with our organization, Mountain Family Health Centers (MFHC), on improving access to health insurance coverage and healthcare for vulnerable populations in Garfield County.  Mary works unassumingly, and effectively, to maximize Medicaid and CHP+ benefits for Garfield County residents.  She has been a strong partner and proponent of increasing access to affordable medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare through MFHC’s Glenwood Springs, Rifle, and Parachute (dental SMILES) health centers.

Mary was one of the pioneers on the Western Slope to recognize that the health of rural Colorado is impacted in large part by the social determinants of health (SDoH) for the population.  Mary was a key leader in the launch of the Accountable Health Communities Model (AHCM) in Western CO, which assesses the social needs of community members and is beginning to develop long-term plans to tackle the most pressing SDoH challenges.  Through Mary’s leadership, and in partnership with many others, Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties and the WMRHA are collaboratively working together to address housing insecurity and to develop supportive housing options for vulnerable populations.

Mary has been vigilant about helping rural Colorado grow our own workforce and leaders.  Through her vision, Denver University’s Graduate School of Social Work launched the Western Colorado Master’s of Social Work (MSW) program in Glenwood Springs and has been training the next generation of social work and behavioral health leaders for the past 5 years.  Today, many behavioral health and social work organizations (like Pitkin-Garfield-Eagle Counties, Mountain Family, MindSprings, etc.) employ behavioral health professionals and social workers who received their training locally from the DU MSW program.  This local training program allows talented professionals to further their education, while maintaining their families, careers, and service in the communities where they live. 

Mary’s not boisterous, but she’s effective and committed to improving her communities.  It’s an honor to support this nomination for Mary Baydarian.


“Last week I had a patient bringing up lots of anxiety and depression symptoms at the end of the visit. I was running late and so did not let Candice know until a little after noon that the patient needed behavioral health help. Candice did not complain and spent most of her lunch with the patient and was able to uncover childhood trauma as a root of much of her symptoms. I am proud to work with such a caring provider who went above and beyond for a patient in need.” -Matt Percy, MD

Also nominated: Laine Morgan NP, Casey Aguirre DO, Susan Orcutt FNP, Charlie Pariera, Dental Hygienist, Barb Corcoran, MSW.  


“Daniela has demonstrated her passion towards our mission. Daniela has worked with MFHC for 4 years.  She is always willing to help in all locations when short staffed. Daniela has gone beyond to make sure patients’ needs are attended too.  She has a great relationship among her coworkers. Even though she presents herself as being quiet, she is very outgoing. I am honored in nominating her for the Mariposa award.” – Mayra Sanchez

“I’d like to nominate Daniela Quezada patient representative in Rifle, for her long trajectory offering customer service, her charisma and availability to help. She is tireless when it comes to sharing her knowledge with others. She remains in calm when the situation seems to get complicated and knows how to combine the perfect mix between hard and smart work.” – Dariana Casillas Ziga

“I have worked with Daniela for a short period of time but She’s a really great person to work with. Daniela has always been really helpful when I’ve need help with dental and medical. At first Daniela seems really quiet and shy but once she gets to know you she’s a very outgoing person. She always will to help our Patients and treats them with respects.”- Iris Mancinas

“She is for sure a quiet fighter. I have gotten to opportunity to work with her for little over a year now. Even though she is quiet, she knows what she is doing and is always trying to help. She is good at consulting with me regarding any pts that might have questions for me or keeping up when they come and drop off something. Also, she is always there for me with any questions I might have for her. I have seen her deal with sometimes upset pts, and happy ones too, her customer service in both scenarios is always with the same level of respect, and care. That is why I feel that her hard works deserves some recognition, and she is great candidate for the Mariposa award.” – Maira Mendoza


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


Dear Mountain Family Health Centers Family and Friends,

As the year comes to a close, I want to express a heartfelt thank you for being a part of our family. Mountain Family Health Centers is honored to provide care for more than 21,000 people in our communities. We could not do this important work without you, our patients, partners and supporters.

2019 has been an exciting year for reaching new patients and expanding our services across Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield counties. The newly opened Basalt Integrated Health Center is part of Mountain Family’s network of eight locations, where our dedicated staff provide affordable, high quality medical, dental, and behavioral health care. Our new health center in Basalt allows Mountain Family to provide integrated care to 3,700 persons, effectively doubling our capacity to serve the Roaring Fork Valley.

Recognizing the urgent public need for the expanded mid-valley Basalt Integrated Health Center, an ambitious public-private partnership stepped forward to back the effort: Pitkin County, Aspen Valley Hospital and Eagle County are supporting the building lease costs and subsidies for low-income, uninsured patients served there. The Alpenglow Foundation, Aspen Skiing Company and Mountain Family have all contributed matching grant funding totaling $700,000. To date, the campaign has raised $2 million, with $1.2 million left to go.

Please consider contributing to this vital public resource. Matching funds will automatically increase your gift, too. Please visit our website donation page today to make your gift

Other ways to give to Mountain Family Health Centers this holiday season include:

  • When you shop at Amazon Smile, Amazon donates to Mountain Family Health Centers if you have selected Mountain Family as the nonprofit of your choice.
  • Starting this year, when you file your State of Colorado taxes, you can “Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund,” by designating Mountain Family Health Centers for all or part of your tax refund.

We invite you to tour the new Basalt Integrated Health Center with us at your convenience. We are thrilled to share this new resource with you and our community.

I wish you all the best for a healthy new year.


Ross A. Brooks
CEO, Patient



To provide 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.

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1905 Blake Avenue, Suite 101
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601