I feel Cristal is very deserving for this award. She does so much more than what people realize. She is an amazing lead and I know I can go to her for any support and guidance. She gets put under a lot of pressure and she is always able to get through it with a smile on her face. She is not one to ask for help and is very appreciate when it is given. She has amazing work ethic and I am glad to be working with her.
Nominated by: Silvia Santana
I would like to nominate Cristal Otero for the Mariposa award. I have had the pleasure of working alongside Cristal for many years. She is incredibly knowledgeable in what she does and has been instrumental to the billing team. Anytime I have needed her assistance with patient accounts, billing questions, or just to show me where to find something, she has always been very willing to help. There was one time that it was after her clock out time and I needed help as I had the patient on the line and she said “It is never too late to help”. From sitting next to her, I have also heard how she explains the billing world to patients. She is kind and ensures she is explaining it in a way they understand (Insurance is confusing). In the past six months, she has walked me through the billing and adjustment process for our prenatal charges and answers any questions for me when I am in doubt. For these reasons and many more I might have missed, Cristal is my nomination for the Mariposa award.
Nominated by: Trista Rhoads
Cristal’s efforts on a daily basis is admirable. She never shines away from a challenge ( and we have had some recently) but accepts it gracefully, and on a daily basis she takes personal initiative to accomplish tasks. She always manages to be on top of her daily duties and is still able to train staff, without missing a beat. I can’t count how many times I have gone to Cristal with a question, and she would giggle (so infectious) and say “Of Course” or “Let’s take a look”; Cristal is always willing to help anyone who may be needing it, with a smile on her face. She makes team members or patients feel comfortable and at ease. She is outstanding with the work she does, the relationships she builds and I am so blessed to have such an amazing person on the billing team.
Nominated by: Wendy Flottmeyer
Cristal has been with the billing department for almost 7 years. She is one of the quickest, most intelligent women I have been around. I can give her a project, and she figures out the how/why and when without much direction from me. She works with Medicaid’s 3rd party audit on a monthly basis with determination and panache! Our billing team shines on a monthly basis in large part because we have one stellar team member. I want everyone else to know how lucky we are!
I am happy to nominate Zachary Kent for the Exemplary Care Award. His first year has had many challenges that he has met with organized and well thought out plans. His leadership during the COVID crisis has been reassuring that we were working in a safe environment. He shared information from the county team, to keep us abreast of current information regarding spread and protective measures for the clinic. His guidance was comforting. He showed his ability to be able to work with the key players in Eagle county in a coordinated fashion.
He has been helpful in maintaining a team spirit during the transition of many long time staff members leaving and new members filling those roles. His sense of humor has been an attribute, always leading with a glass ½ full attitude.
He constantly seeks to improve the quality of the care we deliver by mentoring of providers, nurses and medical assistants. He works with the Prenatal Team to provide coordinated and supportive care for our pregnant mothers and their families. He has standardized many of the tools used to evaluate Adults and Pediatric patients. He asks for input from team members before, during and after changes are made.
He follows the principle of quality care especially for the underserved. His presentation of the coordination of care and services for the women with the complicated pregnancy showed the ability to provide the needed procedures, supplies and expertise for a positive outcome.
Nominated by: Adriana “Melissa” Meyer
Dr. Zack has been with us for a little over a year now and what a roller coaster this last year has been! At the beginning, I was a bit skeptical of having a new boss in town. However, since I started working with Dr. Zack, I immediately felt that he was a great fit for all of us. He has helped me so much in the last year and he is always there to answer even the dumbest question I may have. These last four months have been difficult for all of us but we can all be witnesses of how hard Dr. Zack has worked to be the best advocate for his Edwards team and for the patients in our community. Dr. Zack, thank you for being there for all of us and thank you for being so understanding.
SB20-215, Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise:C. Kennedy | J. McCluskie; D. Moreno | K. Donovan On July 6, 2020, United States of Care (USofCare) celebrated the Colorado Health Insurance Affordability Enterprise (SB20-215) being signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis. The bipartisan legislation expands access to more affordable health insurance in Colorado by stabilizing the health insurance market. Read more
SB20-212, Reimbursement For Telehealth Services:
S. Lontine | M. Soper; F. Winter | J. Tate Concerning reimbursement for health care services provided through telehealth, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Read more
HB20-1236, Health Care Coverage Easy Enrollment Program:S. Lontine | P. Will; J. Tate | J. Bridges
The act creates the Colorado affordable health care coverage easy enrollment program (program) for the purpose of leveraging the tax filing process to connect uninsured Coloradans to free or subsidized health care coverage through a health care coverage affordability program, which includes medicaid, the children’s basic health plan, or a subsidized health benefit plan, or other creditable coverage. Read more
SB20-033 Allow Medicaid Buy-in After Age 65:Tate / Fields; Lontine The act directs the department of health care policy and financing (department) to seek federal authorization to expand the program to include individuals in the work incentives eligibility group, which is defined, to match federal eligibility criteria, as individuals who are age 65 years or older with a disability who, except for assets or income, would be eligible for the supplemental security income program. The department shall submit necessary state plan amendments to implement the program and must implement the program by July 1, 2022. Read more
We are living in unusual and rough times. With many issues rising in our nation and communities it must be noted that we must learn to voice our concerns. I believe that everyone should vote as we all have an opinion and a say in what goes on in the political world. We must come to realize that our vote can have a great impact in our future and the future of our next generations.
Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life. Many people in countries around the world do not have the same freedom, nor did many Americans in centuries past. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights.
Individuals who are already registered to vote, can fill out an online pledge card. Research shows that people who complete a Pledge to Vote (PTV) and plan how they will vote, are more likely to vote. This is important because it still allows for engagement and commitment from individuals who are already registered.
Online Voter Registration Colorado is lucky to have online voter registration. Any eligible voter who has a valid CO issued ID card can register online in 10 minutes.
The 2020 election is coming up on November 3, and Mountain Family Health Centers is committed to ensuring our community’s needs are heard. Ensure you are registered and encourage your friends and families to do the same.
Our Outreach and Enrollment Team can help you apply for private or public health insurance to cover the cost of care. If you have lost your employment or health benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may now be eligible for Medicaid, federal subsidies for commercial health insurance coverage, or other financial assistance programs. Additionally, Mountain Family offers a membership program to families called Health Solutions. This program, which is not insurance, provides access to high quality, affordable integrated health care for a set monthly fee.
Please call 970-945-2840 to speak with a representative from our Outreach and Enrollment team and/or link here to learn more.
Growing up as a type 1 diabetic since age 8, I never thought that I would have to deal with the stresses of finding affordable health care. Doctors and nurses who help me guide the treatment of my disease and proper prescriptions have been integral to helping me stay healthy and lead a balanced life. Now age 26, I think my story is similar to that of many others in the Roaring Fork Valley and western Colorado.
Before moving to Colorado, I grew up in Minneapolis. My family took trips to Montana and out west, and I fell in love with the mountains. I told my parents that as soon as I graduated from college, I was going to move to the mountains. I got a job in Vail and worked as an assistant wrangler on a ranch and then worked at Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming.
My parents were urging me to settle down and find a job that provided (affordable) healthcare, as I was still on my parent’s health insurance. I found a job in Aspen and worked at the Gant Condominiums while trying to figure out how to pursue my passions for photography and design. As I was getting close to age 26 and would soon get kicked off my parents’ health insurance, I knew I had many bills: car payments, housing, student loans, several others, and most importantly, bills regarding my health. Then I started to work as the Director of Marketing for Engel and Völkers, a prominent real estate firm, but I could not afford the health care plan they offered.
As a diabetic and someone with several other healthcare needs, there are multiple factors I had to think about before deciding on a health care plan. First and foremost, I had to consider the cost of prescriptions because without those I will die. Insulin is the most important, and for some reason, the most expensive: for a one-month supply of insulin, it would cost me $908.32 at retail price. The second most important factor when deciding on a plan is coverage of visits to the clinic. I have an abundance of doctors’ visits each year, pertaining to not only diabetes, but also women’s health, mental health, labs, dental, and the list goes on.
Health insurance is not cheap. Although it is common to have a deductible with health insurance, after doing the math and figuring out my monthly medical costs (which would have been around $13,000 per year), it was likely I was not going to meet my deductible until the year was nearly over; I asked myself, what am I really paying a health care company for? There was nothing I could find that was tailored to my needs.
As I expressed several of my worries and frustrations with my peers, I became excited when everyone was ranting and raving about Colorado being the first state to cap insulin costs at $100 per vile, per month. While it may have been risky, I even considered going without health insurance. If that were truly the case, my yearly spending on health-related payments would be cut nearly in half. However, after doing research on this Colorado law further, I found out headlines were merely stretching the truth, or only giving the public half of it: the capping of insulin prices was only available to those with health insurance, bringing me back to square one.
My mother and I started to explore alternative options for healthcare, and thankfully, she stumbled upon Health Solutions, which had just been launched at that time. Health Solutions is not an insurance product, but a membership program designed to provide members access to medical, behavioral, and dental services within Mountain Family Health Centers’ scope of care.
The most compelling reason to join Health Solutions was everything they offered, meeting my specific needs: general doctors, behavioral health, women’s health, dental, and labs. The best part? These visits are unlimited, there are no deductibles, no co-pays, and the cost of labs (which are also expensive) are covered – for $135 per month!
My first doctor visit at Mountain Family was in February. I was so impressed with the care at Glenwood Springs, I walked away in tears because I was relieved to have so many questions answered, and the kind, humble, attentiveness of their staff was unbelievable. My first appointment lasted nearly two hours, as I also consulted with the Outreach and Enrollment Team to enroll for financial assistance. In addition, as a federally qualified health center, Mountain Family can access medications and pharmaceuticals at reduced prices. My prescriptions (except for insulin) were called in right after my visit with Dr. Aguirre, and I was able to pick them up the same day. To make it even better, I was accepted into their Medical Assistance Program and I now receive my most expensive medications (insulin) at no cost – AMAZING!
I was so thrilled with Health Solutions and Mountain Family that I recommended it right away to a colleague (as well as several others) who urgently needed to see a doctor. They were able to make a same-day appointment; my colleague was helped and was jumping for joy.
The bottom line is that the staff at Health Solutions and Mountain Family are incredibly attentive. They go above and beyond for their patients and care so much for every person in need. It has given me peace of mind, and I wholeheartedly recommend Health Solutions to every person seeking affordable health care in this valley!
School-based health centers (SBHCs) are an affordable, convenient option for ensuring children and adolescents have access to the health and wellness care they need to be healthy and thrive. The school-based health centers offer students care right where they are and offer families peace of mind that their kids’ health is cared for at school. Building on the school-based health center we have had in Avon, Mountain Family has partnered with the Roaring Fork School District to operate five SBHCs in Basalt, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs.
“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.”
While students in the Roaring Fork School District (RE-1) are following a virtual learning model from August 17 – September 21, 2020, we have our school-based health centers and clinics ready to provide medical, behavioral, and dental care. Our providers will be able to care for students with a combination of telehealth (consultations via video-chat or by phone in the comfort and safety of your own home) and in-clinic appointments at any of our locations. Care will be available during the school days, with some sites offering extended hours. We will keep our website updated with current hours and any changes.
Risa Turetsky, Site Medical Director of School Based Health at Mountain Family, added “Our providers are thrilled to care for students at their schools in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, and Avon, in addition to our clinics.”
The Mountain Family Outreach and Enrollment Team can help parents and students apply for private or public health insurance to cover the cost of care. Parents who may have lost their employment or health benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic may now be eligible for Medicaid, federal subsidies for commercial health insurance coverage, or other financial assistance programs.
We also provide community testing for COVID-19 at our clinics in Glenwood Springs, Basalt, and Rifle. In addition, we offer antibody testing for COVID-19 at all locations when you schedule an office visit.
Can you believe it? A deadly virus sweeping through our country, fires ravaging our local environment, smoke filling our valleys and on top of all the natural occurrences, distance learning and new schedules for teaching our children at school or at home. Many of us also worry about if we will have a job or enough money to pay the bills. How many times have you said, “I can’t take any more of this!”
Believe it when I say, “You can.” Here are a few helpful hints to help you survive the stress.
Learn to control what you can and give up what you can’t. Let some things go in your life that aren’t “required.” For example, do you really have to paint your garage door this week? Do you have to fix that dent in your bumper? Do your clothes have to be ironed? (You get the picture). If you let some things go, you can focus on more important tasks.
Don’t take on anything new. That class you wanted to take can wait. Volunteering at the animal shelter can also wait and the animals will be there later (unless this is a good stress relief for you). Coaching your son’s or daughter’s team may have to wait until next year. Do you really have to rake up those leaves now?
Take a break from watching the newsand social media or any other source of anger or frustration. If you choose to stay engaged on social media, try to understand where people are coming from in their beliefs. Understanding doesn’t mean you have to agree, but it means you won’t get so perturbed about a person’s beliefs.
Spend time on self-care. This could be anything that helps you unwind. Go for a walk or bike ride, take a hot bath, meditate by the river, enjoy the flowers in your garden or whatever puts you at peace. Think about what or for whom you are grateful. Consider showing your appreciation for someone, for any reason.
Avoid short-term indulgences. Drinking alcohol, using drugs, or over-indulging in food will make you feel good only for a short amount of time.
We are here for you during this stressful time. We have 15 behavioral health providers, many of whom are bilingual speaking English and Spanish. We have clinics in Basalt, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, and Edwards, in addition to our school-based health centers in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, and Avon. We can help with individual, marital, and/or family issues too.
Please schedule an appointment by calling 970-945-2840 or visit us at www.mountainfamily.org. We look forward to caring for you and your family.
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.
“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
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.