“I am sure that my nominee has been recognized before, and I am still going to nominate Natasha Ellwood for Exemplary Care.
I get to work with some of the best people here at the Rifle clinic. From the medical providers to dental and even our beloved behavioral health providers, I am constantly counting my blessings and expressing my gratitude for the team I get to work along side. I’d like to especially recognize Natasha because of several reasons. Natasha is a pleasure to work with. She is consistent in her mood and demeanor, always humble and kind to her teammates and to her patients. Natasha never expects or demands, rather she expresses her thoughts and feelings in the most appropriate manner, always putting patient care first and foremost. Natasha has internal ego strength that she may not even rightly acknowledge. Natasha has taken on the vast majority of our MAT patients and recently met with a patient that is pretty complicated… fresh out of corrections, very manipulative with strong habituated criminogenic behaviors. This patient has several health consequences due mainly to his addiction to heroin and other drugs. Using her intuition, wisdom, and intelligence, Natasha was able to help this patient by providing really good healthcare. The patient presents as very high risk for overdose death. Natasha could have done several things like, not agreeing to see him for MAT due to his complications, she could have judged him as “bad” but, she instead made all the right medical decisions, dealt with his addiction, set healthy boundaries (which is a must for this type of patient) and may have saved him from eminent overdose by making sure she was in control of the medication that will prevent his overdose. Natasha’s dedication to her patients is an inspiration to me to do better. I could tell many patient stories where I have found Natasha providing exemplary care, this is what she does each and every day she comes to work. I am proud of Natasha and even prouder to be able to work along side her and call her a friend and colleague.
Natasha has been a pleasure to work with and has taken on each new challenge we tossed at her. I will miss her dearly, and the Front Range is lucky to have her back.” –Oyen Hoffman Behavioral Health Provider
Consuelo is very deserving of this month’s Mariposa Award. Consuelo exemplifies the values and principles of Mountain Family Health Centers by showing high quality work in whatever task she is working on. I am thankful for the leadership she has provided to the team in Basalt during the last half a year. She has managed her time working between two sites and has done a great job. She has come and provided support to our staff and is always dedicated to teach us new things. I appreciate the work and commitment she has put into helping improve our compliance measures at the clinic and working to make sure that our VFC program is maintained. She is dedicated in her role and mission at Mountain Family and is not often recognized as much as she deserves. Thank you Consuelo for all your hard work!
Nominated by: Elaena Price
I would like to nominate Consuelo Gaytan for this month’s Mariposa winner. I have had the opportunity to work with Consuelo very closely over the last year and a half. While I was recruiting a Practice Manager, Consuelo was a wealth of knowledge and was a large component on keeping the clinic running when I was not able to be there every day. Her eagerness to learn and improve workflows was great to see. Consuelo is always willing to help her team and works long hours to ensure all her paperwork and duties are completed when she leaves for the night. When we needed a Lead MA in Basalt, she did not hesitate to accept the extra duties. Over the last few months, Consuelo has exhibited what teamwork looks like, she speaks up with new ideas and always greets you with a smile. (she is also my birthday twin)
Nominated by: Matt Percy
Consuelo is one of the hardest workers I know. She has handled being the lead MA at 2 sites with grace and determination. She is always willing to go the extra mile for the patient or to be sure tasks get done correctly. While others might shy away from difficult tasks such as the VFC audit, she leaned in and got it done. It has been a pleasure to see her grow as a leader and hear her feedback to improve workflows over the past few years. I am proud to have her as a coworker and think she is very deserving of the Mariposa award.
Nominated by: Marija Weeden
For the past several months Conseulo has done not just one job, but two, serving as the Lead MA for both Rifle and Basalt. Consuelo took on this responsibility in the midst of the Vaccines For Children (VFC) Corrective Action Plan, meaning she played a key role in helping two of our sites fix our documentation issues and get back onto the right track with the vaccination program. It was during the VFC work that I got to know Conseulo as a quiet and respected leader within the organization. She has great attention to detail and a commitment to ensuring that the needs of both the clinical teams and the patients are met. I look forward to seeing Conseulo’s future path with Mountain Family.
We all know that COVID-19 has hit our local economies hard. Too many of our rural neighbors are struggling to make ends meet, put food on the table, or even keep a roof over their heads.
At the worst possible time, many Coloradans in rural areas find their access to affordable health care threatened. Even prior to COVID-19, one in seven Coloradans relied on Community Health Centers (CHCs) as their health care home. Without those Centers — which depend upon Medicaid reimbursements and other federal funds to care for more than 830,000 Coloradans statewide — many residents will have nowhere to turn.
A joint federal and state program, Medicaid provides health coverage to around 1.3 million Coloradans (pre-coronavirus), including children, pregnant women, parents, older adults, and individuals with disabilities. In fact, Medicaid is the single largest source of health coverage in the U.S.
Last year, Colorado’s CHCs cared for a quarter of the state’s Medicaid enrollees and 43% of Colorado’s uninsured. As one of the state’s 20 CHCs, Mountain Family Health Centers serves 21,000 people across Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties. Over the past 18 months, Mountain Family has provided more than 95,000 medical, dental, and behavioral health visits to our patients in Colorado’s rural mountain communities. Of the people we serve, 33% are covered through Medicaid, and 37% remain uninsured.
That was before the pandemic resulted in increased unemployment, resulting in the loss of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage at a time when the virus is challenging the entire health care system.
CHCs are already seeing more uninsured patients and expect to see a rise in the number of patients eligible for Medicaid, but we can’t afford to care for them without an expansion in the federal share of Medicaid. Additionally, because our Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) funding hasn’t been renewed in a long-term manner, we are facing an increasingly uncertain future.
As Congress is debating the new COVID-19 Relief package now, we call on our Congressional leaders to ensure long-term funding for the essential Community Health Center program and to reasonably increase federal funding for Medicaid to meet the rising health and safety needs during this pandemic and throughout the recovery. Taking these actions at the federal level will ensure that Community Health Centers, like Mountain Family Health Centers, will be able to continue to provide affordable medical, dental, and behavioral health care for our communities.
For those seeking medical, dental, or behavioral health care services via telehealth or at any of our locations across Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties, please call Mountain Family at 970-945-2840 or visit us online at: www.mountainfamily.org.
Kendra will be working out of our Rifle clinic and was born and raised outside Boston, MA. She attended Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing for her BSN and MSN. Before becoming a PNP, Kendra worked as a pediatric emergency nurse. After completing her PNP training, Kendra joined a large pediatric practice in Annapolis, MD. During this time, Kendra became a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Kendra enjoys caring for well and sick children at every stage, with special interests in newborn care, lactation, and pediatric and adolescent mental health. Outside of work, Kendra loves to spend as much time as she can outside with her children, husband, and their pound-puppy.
by Gary Schreiner, PhD, Behavioral Health Director
These are surreal and unusual times.We need to adapt to these uncommon times by keeping our family and ourselves physically and emotionally healthy.
Remember the saying, “Kids don’t do as we say but do as we do”? If your children see you anxious, feeling down, and/or angry, then they will also feel those same emotions. Children need to feel secure in their homes, and they get that security from their parents. It is okay to tell your children how you feel as long as you continue to reassure them that mom and dad will be there for them. Accept and acknowledge your children’s feelings. Don’t try to talk them out of them. Let them know that it is okay to feel scared, frustrated,and/or angry. We all get frustrated with our children, and we tend to yell or discipline them too much. If that is the case, calm down and go to your child and tell them you love them and that you too were frustrated with the situation. Complaining in front of your children continuously will just increase their complaining which, in turn, will be annoying to you.
Try to set up “play dates” with their friends so they can have some social time with their peers. They receive most of their socialization in schools, and currently we can’t count on that happening. Meet their friends and family at a park and let them play together, have them run through the sprinkler, set up a small soccer field, have them invent their own game, and then they can teach you how to “play” the game. Being outside and doing activities that they enjoy will help the entire family get through this tumultuous time. As long as they are with their friends, they will enjoy most activities.
For teens, here are some suggestions. Group chats on the computer will help. Computer games are okay, as long as they are interspersed with personal interactions. Having a movie night in small groups at your home can be fun. Have your teen run community errands for you so they can get out of the house. Get them out of their room as much as possible and have them participate in family activities. Let them invite one friend to participate in family activities. Allow them to go visit other friends. Accentuate the safety procedures as not an infringement on their rights but that they are protecting themselves, their friends, and their family. It is a sign on how much they care for those people that are close to them.
If you are concerned about your child because of drastic mood swings, lengthy isolation, or out of the ordinary anger or fear, please contact us and one of our Family Therapists will help you with suggestions to assure the well-being of your children.
We also have School-Based Health Centers in Avon, Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood where you can schedule an appointment, either via telehealth (a video-chat or phone call from the comfort and safety of your own home) or in-person. Please see more about our SBHCs here – https://www.mountainfamily.org/school-based-health-centers/
In addition, we are here for you as parents as well given that this is a very stressful time. We have 15 behavorial health providers, many of whom are bi-lingual speaking English and Spanish, located at our clinics in Basalt, Glenwood, Rifle, and Edwards.
Please schedule an appointment by calling 970-945-2840 or visit us at www.mountainfamily.org. We look forward to caring for your children and you.
I want to acknowledge the incredible work the dental team does every day. It feels as though our dental team does not get enough recognition for their work. I am nominating Cathy Lettice who shared what she does every day to improve the lives of our patients. I have had the honor of getting to work with her for the past several years in Avon and Edwards and repeatedly have been impressed with her dedication. When I attend the Health Services Advisory Committee, all members speak so highly of her work to improve the dental health of the youngest, most vulnerable population.
I can only speak for what I do here in Avon in SMILES and at the Edwards clinic. I know our “off sites” each look different. Our models for SMILES & CO MDI do not look anything like hygiene in a general practice location such as Basalt or Rifle, which is why our needs are so different. Here I work with the Early Headstart & Headstart Preschool Programs to get the children their required biannual dental screenings & care. I work with the program directors to track each child who is due or who had restorative dental needs. I am able to pull some of the Headstart Preschool children for their dental appointments from their classroom in Avon Elementary which has been great.
I work with a local charitable program called Eagle County Smiles which is ran through the Vail Valley Charitable Foundation. This provides dental care to uninsured, Eagle County children up to the age of 18 through local dental offices at a cost to the family of just $25 per visit. I work as a gatekeeper for this program. As a gatekeeper, we help uninsured families fill out an application for the program. Then we send it over to the program director. She in turn finds a local dentist who is willing to take on the case. Once a dentist is found, I am informed of who it is and then we coordinate between the family and the dental office to set up an appointment. I follow up with each dentist and family to ensure that the necessary work has been provided.
In Edwards with adult patients, I find myself setting many of them up to see their PCP for various issues. One of the most common is high blood pressure. If a patient has medical issues, such as cancer, I contact the specialist providing care to coordinate treatments.
Nominated by: Barbara Corcoran Wynette, she just works hard and is super kind with patients. She is always ready to answer a question or help me out. AND she has a great laugh 😊
Nominated by: Jacqueline Vigil Wynette has been the most outstanding co worker I could ask for. We have been dealing with a very serious and critical assignment, and she has taught me to be tough, and precise while doing it. She has made testing ill patients in 90-degree weather especially fun, which is something only Wynette can do. Not a day goes by where she doesn’t ask if we’re doing good or need help with anything. Wynette is the type of person who will literally take the shirt off her back just to help you out. We are super lucky to have her here at Glenwood, there is no one like her!
Nominated by: Veronica Morales I would like to nominate Wynette “Walnut” RN for the Mariposa Award, because quite frankly; this recognition is overdue.
Wynette has been an amazing Captain during COVID19 crisis.
She has demonstrated extraordinary Leadership and Presence during COVID19 rapid changes.
I have witness Wynette work tirelessly from sunup to sundown. I appreciate her willingness to always lend a helping hand even as she is bombarded with task and patient care; and she does all with a smile.
Wynette always makes times to answer questions, provide guidance and insight to all staff members in need of assistance. When caring for our patients, she is gentle, compassionate, and resourceful.
I admire her dedication, camaraderie, and grit. I can always count on her to show up and show out.
Nominated by: Amanda Canete I want to nominate Wynette Jackson, I really don’t know where to start when it comes what she does for everyone around here. She is extremely dedicated to her patients, she goes above and beyond to figure out what they need before they even realize they need it. She troubleshoots many barriers that her patients may have since she works with people that have consistent housing, food, and or transportation barriers. She works with care coordination and the rest of the team to ensure the patient is 100% taken care of.
As far as our team goes, she is always there. She is always willing to multitask to help anyone in need. She sits right in front of my office and I can’t tell you the amount of times she has stopped eating lunch or paused her current task to go help a team member in need. Not only is she always willing to help, she is always willing to help with a smile and an enthusiastic attitude. It is impossible to be in a bad mood around her, she will go out of her way to do something to make you smile. She can often be heard singing to us over the COVID walkie talkies… just to make us stop and laugh.
She is an extremely caring hard working nurse. I don’t know what we would have done without her over the last few months. She was the first one in full PPE out in the parking lot helping with patients when COVID first hit, and she has relentlessly been on the front line since, showing the community that Mountain Family is always here for them. As her manager, I couldn’t ask for a better coworker and friend.
Walnut truly shows the true Mariposa meaning in everything she does and I am so grateful to have her here with us. THANKFULLY she is finally eligible for this award.
Mountain Family Health Centers is testing those with symptoms for the Novel Coronavirus 2019. Testing is by appointment only at our Glenwood Springs, Basalt, and Rifle locations. Symptomatic individuals may also call Mountain Family to schedule a telehealth appointment to assess symptoms and to determine appropriate action. Those with primary care providers outside of Mountain Family Health Centers should obtain a referral from one’s health care provider after it has been determined that the symptoms are suspected to be COVID-19. Telehealth and in-person appointments may be made by calling Mountain Family at 970-945-2840.
Roaring Fork Schools and Mountain Family Health Centers are pleased to announce their new partnership for the operation of five school-based health centers (“SBHCs”) in the district beginning this fall. The partnership includes current SBHCs located at Basalt Elementary, Middle, and High Schools; Roaring Fork High School (Carbondale); and a new health center to be opened at Glenwood Springs High School.
“We want every student to have access to affordable, comprehensive, integrated health care services, regardless of their legal status, family circumstance, place of residence, or economic means,” said Superintendent Rob Stein of the Roaring Fork School District. “Offering health services in school where our students spend most of their time is a convenient and safe means of removing barriers to access and ensuring our students receive the care they need to be healthy and successful in school and life.”
At each school-based health center, Mountain Family will provide affordable medical, dental, and behavioral health services, along with assistance in applying for health insurance and financial assistance programs. Students attending a school that does not have an SBHC are welcome to access this care at the SBHC in their community.
After a community-based process to define this vision for student health, Roaring Fork Schools contracted with Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care to conduct a community health needs assessment during the 2018-19 school year and found there was a major gap in health services in Glenwood Springs, a need for increasing access to care for adolescents, and the need for coordination of health services across the district.
Roaring Fork Schools then met with potential medical sponsors for the SBHCs to determine their capacity and interest in taking on this work. The consensus was Mountain Family Health Centers is the best fit to operate the existing and new SBHCs.
“Mountain Family Health Centers has strong roots in our communities and is already the health care home for 21,000 people across Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties, many of whom are our families” said Stein. “They also have a proven track record of operating school-based clinics with medical, dental, and behavioral providers.”
Mountain Family Health Centers has received funding from The Colorado Health Foundation, Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, Garfield County, City of Glenwood Springs, and others to support capital and operating costs for the Glenwood Springs SBHC. Funds for the other SBHCs also come from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and additional state and local funders.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Roaring Fork Schools to expand access to affordable healthcare for students throughout the Roaring Fork Valley,” said Mountain Family CEO Ross Brooks. “School-based health centers are a proven means of improving health and educational outcomes.”
Jenny Lang, Family Nurse Practitioner and Director of School Based Health at Mountain Family, added “Our providers are so enthusiastic to care for students at their schools in Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs, in addition to the school-based care we provide in Avon, Colorado.”
Mountain Family Health Centers continues to provide safe, in-clinic and telehealth medical, behavioral, and dental care at convenient locations across the region. Mountain Family can also help families who may have lost their employment or insurance coverage to apply for Medicaid, federally subsidized commercial insurance, or financial assistance programs.
To schedule an appointment, call Mountain Family at 970-945-2840.
“I’d like to nominate Jessi Pinnock for the Exemplary Care Award. She saw one of my patients in early March, a 60 year old woman with very little significant past medical history who presented with a severe cough (retrospectively she likely had COVID). She caught an abnormal pulse rate, did an EKG and found an abnormal atrial rhythm. She sent the patient to the ER where she was found to be in A.fib and was subsequently cardioverted. The patient is now doing very well and expressed gratitude for the care she has received at Mountain Family. I really believe Jessi saved her life by catching A.fib that day. The chest symptoms and fatigue she was having could have easily been attributed to her acute illness. I am so glad Jessi joined our team in Basalt; we are lucky to have her!” -Emily Borkovec, PA-C
Mountain Family Health Centers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center
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.