Community Health Centers nationwide are governed by patient-majority boards of directors comprised of at least 51% patients who use the services of their local Community Health Center. At Mountain Family today, our Board of Directors is led by patients, more than 65% of whom receive their medical, dental, and/or behavioral healthcare at Mountain Family. Our patient-centered governance model ensures that Mountain Family remains focused on serving the needs of the patients we serve. In essence, it means that Mountain Family Health Centers is owned by the communities we serve.
MFHC’s Board is comprised of talented, service-oriented individuals and patients helping to guide MFHC’s mission across Garfield, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties. This month, we recognize and honor Board member and patient Jon Fox-Rubin, who, after eight years of service, will be stepping down from the Board this coming summer 2022.
Jon Fox-Rubin joined the Mountain Family Health Centers Board of Directors in 2014 and was appointed Chair in 2017. He is a Mountain Family patient and a resident of Eagle County. Jon runs FoxRubin Limited, a consulting business that works on strategy, social justice, & systemic change. Jon recently served as the executive director of Valley Settlement and previously, of the Manaus Fund. Prior to that he co-founded and led two advanced technology companies: Fiberforge Corporation and Hypercar, Inc., both spin-offs of Rocky Mountain Institute. Jon serves on the board of LaMedichi Savings Club and Mountain Voices Project. He previously served as a town councilor for Basalt, where he spearheaded a resolution welcoming immigrants to the community and co-founded “Misión: Comunidad” a non-profit newspaper dedicated to building bridges between the Anglo and Latino communities. Jon holds an interdisciplinary PhD and a Master of Science Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology along with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with honors from the University of Colorado. He lives in Basalt, Colorado with his wife Julie and their son.
What do you see as the most important role that Mountain Family plays in our communities? Mountain Family is the only medical center in our community that provides, physical, dental and behavioral health services at each of our facilities. I believe strongly in Mountain Family’s integrated care model and that its role is to lead our community forward on the future of healthcare and wellness.
Over your tenure as a board member of Mountain Family since 2014, how has the organization evolved? I have watched Mountain Family nearly double in size in terms of patients served while paying sincere attention to its mission of serving patients regardless of their ability to pay. The organization has also developed the operational resilience to support the most vulnerable among us through the COVID crisis while making strides around diversity, equity, and inclusion among and between its staff, board, and patients.
Mountain Family Health Centers was founded in 1978. In your leadership roles in your career heading nonprofits in the Roaring Fork Valley and more, what advice do you have to share with Mountain Family as we aim to care for generations to come? I would suggest that embracing change is an important skill that Mountain Family has deployed in the past with with humility, grace & tenacity. I hope that Mountain Family can continue using this skill to navigate the uncertain future with its patients, staff, and community.
As Ross Brooks, CEO of Mountain Family Health Centers, shares, “I applaud the valuable work our nursing staff does at Mountain Family, caring for more than 22,400 patients at our 10 health center sites in Western Colorado. We could not provide the exceptional quality of patient-centered, bicultural, and bilingual care we do without our nurses.”
Nataly Meraz, RN, BSN, of our school-based health center in Glenwood Springs, also celebrates the work of nurses nationwide and the 14 members of our nursing staff who work at Mountain Family.
In Nataly’s words,
“There is a short story adapted by a book of author Loren Eisley that I love and live by- ‘The Starfish Story.’ Basically, the story is about a little kid walking along the ocean where thousands of starfish had been washed up after a big storm. The kid walked by each starfish, picked it up, and then threw it back into the ocean. There was a man that noticed these actions since the kid had been doing it for some time. The man approached the kid and asked, ‘Why are you doing this? Look at how many starfish there are! You can’t save all of them!’ The kid seemed sad at this statement, but after a few seconds picked up another starfish and threw it as far into the ocean as possible, then looked up at the man and replied- ‘I made a difference for that one.’
“I have been a nurse at Mountain Family for nine years. I grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley, and after graduating from Colorado Mesa University I knew I had to come back and serve the community that watched me grow. Mountain Family’s mission statement and core values aligned with my own beliefs, and I was very excited to start utilizing my nursing license to help serve others. As a nurse, I have encountered many opportunities to establish relationships with patients and their families to work together towards meeting goals. I have also developed relationships with co-workers that hold special memories. Mountain Family offers employees opportunities for growth and development which I am grateful for. I started my career with Mountain Family as a new graduate nurse and then promoted to Clinic Operations Manager, Clinic Nurse Facilitator and now I am currently working at our school-based health centers. I am very excited about the opportunity to help establish our school-based health centers, which gives students meaningful access to care in a convenient location. One of my greatest successes at Mountain Family was being nominated for a Western Colorado Nightingale Luminary Award. I am humbled to know that others value my dedication towards patient care. I am grateful to have encountered many ‘Starfish’ during my time so far at Mountain Family.”
We are so grateful to our nurses at Mountain Family who are the fabric of the integrated medical, behavioral, and dental healthcare we provide for our patients. These outstanding individuals include:
Miriam Vigil – Registered Nurse
Valeria Tovar-Guzman – Registered Nurse
Yunira Gomez – Registered Nurse
Stephanie Hedlund – Complex Care Nurse
Wynette Jackson – Registered Nurse
Kelly Ketzenbarger – Registered Nurse
Siouxanne Rae Mease – Care Transitions Nurse Coordinator
Molli Deines – Registered Nurse
Karen Torres – Clinic Nurse Facilitator
Maria Martinez-Lopez – Registered Nurse
Stephany Ortega – Registered Nurse
Wil Leonardo Mendez – Clinic Nurse Facilitator
Nataly Meraz – SBHC Registered Nurse
Debbi Barnett – Interdisciplinary Care Director, Registered Nurse, MBA
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Health For All Fund. We are pleased to share that over 145 donors have stepped forward during our fiscal year which continues until May 31, 2022. Thanks to extraordinary generosity, Mountain Family was able to meet our goal of $100,000 in matching funds from the 2020 Rescue Fund.
We welcome you to make a gift to our Health For All Fund and hope that you may wish to support us before May 31st so that we can include you on our Honor Roll of donors in our annual report for this fiscal year.
Over 145 donors have contributed more than $305,000 to our Health For All Fund. We also welcomed gifts fulfilling pledges from nearly 50 Founding Members. Our Founding Members have made pledges over three years, qualifying them as Founding Members of our Health For All Fund which was inaugurated last year. We were also pleased that individuals, foundations, and businesses contributed to this fund, including The Colorado Health Foundation, the Alpenglow Foundation, Alpine Bank, FirstBank, RA Nelson LLC, and more.
John Stelzreide, President of the Glenwood Springs Alpine Bank, had these words to share:
“Mountain Family Health Centers also continues to further its mission by partnering with local schools in the Roaring Fork School District and Avon to make sure that our youth have access to equitable and affordable medical, behavioral and dental healthcare. Mountain Family Health Centers is meeting the students where they are in the schools to improve the health of our community. Alpine Bank is proud to support Mountain Family Health Centers as they work to keep our community healthy and safe.”
In addition to the essential integrated medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare that we provide at four hub sites in Basalt, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, and Edwards along with care at six school-based health centers, we have provided over 17,000 vaccines and booster shots to individuals and students. If you did not have a chance to participate in our matching gift program, you can still make a difference in the lives of thousands of men, women, and children by making a tax-deductible gift to Mountain Family today.
Every gift – no matter the size, is incredibly important to those we serve. Click here to make a gift.
At Mountain Family, we improve the health of our community by providing equitable and affordable medical, behavioral, and dental healthcare for all. We could not do it without your valuable support.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED from 8 am – 2:30 pm on Saturday, May 7. If you are able to draw blood, speak Spanish, or just want to help with this great community event, please feel free to sign up to volunteer or the 9 Health Fair at Glenwood Springs High School.
Did you know that Mountain Family has a partnership with NIMAA to help train and employ medical assistants?
The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA) is a nonprofit education institute that trains medical assistants to work effectively in today’s high-performing primary care settings. NIMAA was created by community health centers to provide access to education and employment opportunities in the communities they serve, while addressing a critical workforce shortage.
The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement is structured with real people and clinics in mind. Our goal is to efficiently prepare our students to step confidently into a new career as an MA. Check out our flyer here.
8 Month Program
NIMAA combines online learning & instruction with in-clinic experience at Mountain Family Health Centers to prepare you to sit for the MA certification exam in only eight months.
Work in Your Clinic
We start you at Mountain Family Health Centers by getting you hands-on experience at the same time as you learn theory and core skills in your instruction.
Scholarship through SyncUP Colorado Grant: A scholarship opportunity made possible by a grant from SyncUP Colorado for breakthrough education-to-employment partnerships to support Colorado’s young people (Age Group 17-24 yrs. old). The scholarship can cover up to $5,200 toward tuition and fees.
NIMAA Scholarship through CWDC: A scholarship opportunity made possible by a grant from The Colorado Workforce Development Council is available to all Colorado residents, of any age. The scholarship can cover up to $4,000 toward tuition and up to $660 toward fees.
Key Dates: Early Application Deadline: April 9 Early Decisions Sent: May 27 Regular Application Deadline: May 29 Regular Decisions Sent: July 15 Classes Begin: August 30Click Here to Apply Now!
Process to apply: Once accepted into the NIMAA program, students will receive access to an application. Students must complete all fields in the application to be considered. Students will be notified if they are awarded and how much they have been awarded prior to finalizing their financial plan for the program.
Since 1978, Mountain Family has had a lasting belief: we believe healthcare is a human right. We improve the health of our community by providing equitable and affordable medical, behavioral, and dental healthcare for all.
You can join Mountain Family in securing this legacy of care.
By remembering Mountain Family Health Centers with a gift in your will, trust, retirement plan, or life insurance policy, you can leave a legacy and:
Help perpetuate healthcare for all for future generations
Thank you Gladys Andrade, CCMA as she celebrates her 20 Year Anniversary with Mountain Family Health Centers!
“MFHC is lucky to have had Gladys working on our team for two decades. She is a pleasure to work with and kind to patients and co-workers alike. Gladys also has quiet, but witty sense of humor and can make even the busiest work day more fun. She also is an extremely talented artist and could probably work in artistic design if she wanted, but we are glad she continues to serve our team instead. Her wisdom and experience developed over her 20 year career are invaluable to us in Rifle. Lastly, I appreciate her introducing me to all sorts of delicious foods including tacos from El Primo and quesabirrias from Patron. I am proud to work with Gladys daily and would like to wish her a very happy 20 year anniversary at MFHC.” -Matt Percy, MD
“Gladys, it has been a pleasure working with you and getting to know you. 20 years is definitely something to celebrate. Gladys offers genuine care to our patients each and every day, even on those rough days she has a beautiful smile and gives it her all. Gladys, is multi-talented, aside from her Amazing MA skills, she is also our in house artist and official writer of all things fancy oooh and makes hilarious tik tok videos too. We are lucky to have her and for her to stick it out with us for 20 years. Happy 20 year Anniversary Gladys, thank you for all the laughs and memorable moments, I hope to have you here for 20 more!” -Wendy Gil
“When I started working at Mountain Family, Gladys was one of the first individuals to greet me with a smile. She is very kind, friendly, and approachable. This adds so much to her many years of experience as a Medical Assistant. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with her and to be part of the Rifle Medical team together. Congratulations Gladys.” -Karen Torres, BSN”Gladys has been a core member of the team in the Rifle Clinic since day one, literally, the first day. She truly cares about the wellbeing of every patient and staff member that comes through the doors of the clinic. Personally, I’m so grateful for the warm welcome that Gladys gave me when I joined the team in Rifle. I’m a stronger provider because of her help and I can always trust that the patients are receiving the best care possible from her. Thank you, Gladys, for your service to the clinic, your coworkers, and your community!” -Kyler Hijmans, FNP
“He brings such great humor and congeniality to the work… Mountain Family saw some incredible growth with his leadership as he truly believes in the model and sees that it would make a difference in the lives of young people in the Roaring Fork area.”
Congratulations Laura Guttierrez, Behavioral Health Advocate
“Laura recently took on the responsibility of becoming our lead BHA and has been going above and beyond in her transition of rolls. She has worked hard to train and support new staff , organize and take ownership of projects, and also serve on various committees in the organization and community. I am so proud of the way Laura balances being a full time student, leader and mom. I can’t wait to watch her grow in her career. Laura is going to make one heck of a counselor someday! Laura cares so deeply about the well being of the patients she serves, but also of her co workers. Laura is a queen at setting boundaries and advocating for people. I am so grateful for her everyday!”
Nominated By: Annie Edgecombe
“I would like to nominate Laura Gutierrez from the BH department, she recently stepped into the role of Lead BHA, and she has done a great job. Laura is always available for anything you might need from her, and she always does her job with a smile. Since I started working with Laura she has always demonstrated she is hard working and has the best interest of the patients at heart.”
Nominated by: Alondra
“Laura has been working with a group of community leaders and advocates over the past year to explore ways in which we can expand access to equitable and affordable mental health services in Garfield County. Laura is passionate about mental and behavioral healthcare for all, and brings with her the voice of the patient and staff, speaking up on behalf of our Latina and Latino community. Laura is an extraordinary leader and rising star at Mountain Family Health Centers.”