Mountain Family Health Centers is pleased to be able to offer vaccinations against COVID-19 in accordance with the state of Colorado’s priority phases. To date, we have vaccinated 500+ community members and are excited to help protect our patients and community members with this safe, effective vaccine. MFHC is committed to following priority guidance from the state, which is subject to change. We are also likely to have a variable supply of vaccine from week to week, as the state works to distribute vaccine equitably and to the areas of highest need. All of this means we need to be ready to act quickly each week when we learn how much vaccine is available to Mountain Family. In the interest of expediting this process, we are encouraging interested community members of any age to fill out the “COVID-19 vaccine interest form“. Please complete this form and we will contact you by phone to schedule a vaccine appointment when you are eligible and we have vaccine available. Best regards,
Mountain Family Health Centers (MFHC) is working with Garfield County Public Health, our local hospital partners, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to ensure that everyone in our community has access to the vaccine who wants it. The state has a phased approach to providing the vaccination. The submission of the information in this form will allow us to identify in what phase you will be eligible for the vaccine, and once the state reaches that phase and MFHC has vaccine doses available, we will contact those who have expressed interest through this list. You do not have to be a patient of Mountain Family to sign up or receive the vaccine through us, but we do ask that you answer the questions below as completely as possible to assist us in our efforts. If you need assistance with this form or would like to speak to us, please call 970-945-2840.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Health For All Fund and our 2020 Rescue Fund Matching Gift program in 2020. We are pleased to say that over 100 donors stepped forward at year-end, enabling us to claim $100,000 in matching funds from the 2020 Rescue Fund.
Over 100 donors contributed more than $136,000. Plus, we welcomed over 45 Founding Members. When you make a pledge of your gift over three years, this commitment will qualify you as a Founding Member of our new Mountain Family Health For All Fund. We were also pleased that some foundations and businesses contributed to this fund, including the Alpenglow Foundation, The Aspen Skiing Company Family Foundation, FirstBank, RA Nelson, and InSight Coaching & Consulting.
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.
Nicole Falcon, FNP-C, MSN, BSN, RN, is from Houston, Texas where she has been practicing outpatient child, adolescent and adult psychiatry as a nurse practitioner since 2015. Her love for Colorado began in childhood when her family would vacation in the Summer. The community integrative healthcare and outdoor activity is what drew her to Mountain Family. She earned both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Prior to her time working in psychiatry, she worked as an RN in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas with a variety of critically ill children and adult patients. Her passions include working with patients afflicted with ADHD, trauma-related anxiety and depression, childhood trauma and attachment issues and addictions. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, ages 8, 6, and 3, hiking, hunting, camping, and hopefully skiing and snowboarding once she learns.
“I saw a patient on Monday who told me a story about her daughter who had a baby a month ago. The woman had to have a c section due to complications during labor. She went home as usual a few days later. Within the week of discharge from the hospital, however, the woman began to have abdominal cramping that continued to worsen. Eventually she went to the ER for evaluation and was found to have a perforation in her uterus and bowel that occurred during the c section. She was developing an infection and required a second surgery. The woman was re-hospitalized and had to be separated from her baby for 9 days. She could not breastfeed her baby, she could not snuggle her 5-day old newborn for a precious 9 days. My patient told me her daughter was devastated that she could not breastfeed as she had done with her 2 other pregnancies. The daughter was struggling with sadness. Immediately, I scheduled an appointment for the baby and woman to see if we could help.
Today we saw the woman and baby. It was incredible to see the care we provided to this family. This is what makes MFHC truly so special. First, the mom and baby were seen by Dr Roques who was a miracle maker. She was able to get the baby to latch on the nipple for breastfeeding. There still will be a long road ahead to determine if the team of mom and babe can breastfeed but Dr Roques was able to give the mom hope and confidence. She is scheduled again to see Dr Roques in 2 days for further education and support. Second, Barb met with the mom and baby. Barb was able to provide guidance of how to cope with such grief and loss of missing those vital 9 days during the newborn period. Lastly, Nataly met with the mom to again review and support breastfeeding.
I know the mom and baby left the clinic feeling a renewed energy for the future. Thank you Dr Maria Roques, Barb Corcoran, and Nataly Meraz for the outstanding care you provided to this family. ”
“Devon’s dedication and service to our workforce is incredible to witness daily. Watching her grow from a new college graduate into an experienced professional throughout her MFHC career has been an honor. Devon shows commitment to serving everyone at MFHC to the best of her ability no matter how big or small the task. She is open to new ideas and thinks creatively on how to resolve challenges. When faced with challenges, Devon responds with action. In her actions, we get to witness the results of what a clear vision combined with unwavering dedication will do for success. It is a joy and a privilege to have her part of the HR Team. Thank you, Devon.” –Scott Owens, HR Director
“Devon has such an impact on every single employee that we hire. She represents us to everyone that wishes to work with us and personally screens every person to find the best fit for Mountain Family. She is our gate keeper. If there is a question from anyone in leadership, she is the first one we go to. She is full of grace and forgiveness and patience that I aspire to have one day. All of this but she also makes everyone feel comfortable and welcomed. I know when I came on, she was so wonderful to work with and it really spoke highly about this organization. There aren’t many of us that have personal interaction with every employee, Devon does, and she is amazing at it. For those reasons and a million little other ones, I would like to nominate Devon for the Mariposa award.” -Amanda Canete
“I second this nomination. Devon has always been there to assist me in anything and everything I have needed. She’s been there when I just needed to vent. She always brings a smile to everyone’s face.” – Kearah Williams
“I would like to nominate Devon Spaulding for November Mariposa. She has worked so hard recently trying to make sure we find the right fit for our MA position. Not only is she constantly trying to get us staffed but in the middle of all of that she is willing to answer and help with other questions. She always responds so fast to emails with any questions or concerns. This is why I would like to nominate Devon as our Mariposa for November.” –Jocelyn Vega
“Devon is the epitome of the Mountain Family mission. I cannot say enough how grateful I am to work with Devon. Devon works tirelessly to fight for the employees of Mountain Family and provide the best possible HR experience she can. I know that many would agree, when I say how comfortable and welcomed Devon always makes you feel. She is a true woman of empathy, compassion, and love- coupled with an amazing work ethic and “get it done” attitude. Devon is beyond deserving of this award. She is always working after hours, showing up ahead of time, and devoting her time to be there for the staff at MFHC. I know how much Devon loves her job and the people that she serves, and it shows. I am so proud to be Devon’s co-worker, teammate, and friend.” –Alexis States
Mountain Family is proud to announce that, as of December 2020, the Avon School-Based Health Center at Mountain Family has received its recognition as a Tier 1 Primary Care Medical Provider (PCMP) by Rocky Mountain Health Plans. As a Tier 1 Provider, Avon has demonstrated their use of team-based care practices to provide high quality, integrated health care to our patients while reducing fragmentation within the health system. Avon will have access to additional support, resources and tools provided by RMHP to ensure continued success in the program. Located within the walls of Avon Elementary School, the health center was required to meet strict criteria that demonstrates our communication and coordination efforts to ensure patient needs are met. The staff at the health center showed passion and drive to make changes and adjustments in their workflows to better serve the needs of our population.
To provide accessible and high-quality health care to school-aged youth, Mountain Family Health Centers now sponsors six School-based health centers across Garfield and Eagle Counties. 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. In addition to the Avon Elementary SBHC site in the Eagle County School District (RE-50), Mountain Family’s SBHCs will be located at five schools in the Roaring Fork School District (RE-1).
While the Avon Elementary SBHC has been serving families in the community for several years, Mountain Family is bringing new services to schools across RE-1. Mountain Family is pleased to have begun services at one of our new sites – the Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale – where we are ramping up medical, behavioral health and dental services. At the schools in Basalt and Glenwood Springs, our team is readying the clinics to start providing services as soon as possible. Integrated medical, dental and behavioral health will be offered at all of these sites. Currently, services are being provided for students by designated SBHC providers and others at Mountain Family’s main clinics.
Avon SBHC now joins our Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Rifle, and Edwards locations in obtaining this Tier I recognition. We would like to extend our gratitude to all the staff here at Mountain Family for their efforts to provide the highest quality care to our patients. And specifically, to our patients, we thank you for your constant support in making sure your voice is heard and for choosing Mountain Family as your health care provider.
I’m Matt Percy, a Family Doctor and part of the Chief Medical Team at Mountain Family Health Centers. I was recently privileged to receive my first dose of the new coronavirus vaccine and would like to take this opportunity to answer some common questions about the vaccine. This is a real chance to end a deadly pandemic and I hope you all receive the vaccine as soon as it is available to you.
How does the vaccine work?
Both vaccines currently available in the United States are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. mRNA is a genetic “recipe” that is used by your cells as instructions for building proteins. These vaccines introduce into your cells mRNA that codes for a specific protein, called the spike protein, which is found on the surface of the novel coronavirus. Your body then produces some of this spike protein, which, by itself, is harmless. After the mRNA is read by your cells, it is broken down and does not remain in your body long-term. Soon, the spike protein is recognized as “other” by your immune system which mounts its typical response to neutralize foreign pathogens and also forms a memory of the spike protein in case of future exposure. If you are exposed to coronavirus after receiving the vaccine, your immune system is primed to recognize it, respond, and protect you from infection. After 2 doses, both vaccines are about 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, making them among the most effective vaccines ever developed against any pathogen.
I heard mRNA vaccines are new, and were developed at a record pace, do we know if the vaccine is safe?
The available vaccines are very safe. These are the first mRNA vaccines to reach mass production, but mRNA has been used for years in various medical treatments and is known to be safe. One reason these vaccines were developed so quickly was thanks to groundwork done years ago to research mRNA vaccine options for prior coronaviruses that cause conditions like SARS and MERS. While it is true that these vaccines were developed more quickly than previous vaccines, this is mainly due to these previous advancements in medical knowledge and technology. No shortcuts were taken in the usual safety studies or approval process and the phase 3 trials were large enough to demonstrate that these vaccines are very safe and very effective for general use in adults. Severe vaccine reactions will be exceedingly rare (1 in 100,000 or less) and the risk of having COVID-19 is much, much higher than the risk of getting the vaccine.
When can I get the vaccine?
Vaccine availability is initially going to be limited. Each state has developed prioritization phases to get the vaccine first to individuals who are either high risk of exposure or high risk of complications if they contract COVID-19. Colorado is currently working through our prioritization at phase 1B which includes most healthcare workers, frontline workers and people aged 70 and older. Phase 2 is expected to come in the spring and Phase 3, where vaccine will be available to all adults, in the summer. Children are not currently approved to receive the coronavirus vaccine, but I expect eventually they will. It is typical that vaccines are initially studied in adults before they are studied in children. Full details on current Colorado vaccine schedule here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/for-coloradans/vaccine/vaccine-for-coloradans
Where can I get the vaccine?
Initial vaccine distribution in our local area has been mainly to hospitals. We appreciate our local hospitals’ assistance in vaccinating many of our staff members as well as other community members who fall into phases 1A and 1B. Mountain Family has informed the state we would like to be a vaccine delivery site and are awaiting updates on when we can expect to receive the vaccine.
When can things go back to “normal”?
While the vaccine significantly decreases your risk of contracting COVID-19, it does not reduce it to zero. Until we have a high enough percentage of the population vaccinated to make the odds of sustained transmission low, we cannot back off on our preventative measures. This includes masking in public, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding non-essential travel and social interactions. The exact timing of relaxing these protocols depends on the speed of vaccine distribution and vaccine acceptance by the public, but I am hopeful that if things go as planned it could possibly happen this summer. Until then, please continue to follow public health recommendations to keep our communities safe.
The American Community Health Center movement was birthed in the 1960’s in large part by two visionary physicians, Dr. Jack Geiger and Dr. John Hatch. Under the Johnson Administration’s War on Poverty, Dr. Geiger and Dr. Hatch launched the country’s first Community Health Centers, providing access to affordable healthcare and social services.
Dr. Geiger believed “that doctors should use their expertise and moral authority not just to treat illness but also to change the conditions that made people sick in the first place: poverty, hunger, discrimination, joblessness and lack of education.”
Several years ago, I had the good fortune of having breakfast with Dr. Geiger in Washington DC. He had lost his sight years earlier and I clearly remember his quip to a group of eager listeners: “I may have lost my sight, but I’ll never lose my vision.” Dr. Geiger had a vision of access to health for all as a human right.
His vision had lasting impacts, as America’s Community Health Centers today provide primary medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare to more than 30 million people nationwide. And Dr. Geiger’s vision impacted Mountain Family Health Centers directly as well, as we, as an organization, believe that access to health is a human right.
In pursuit of this vision, we continue to expand access to affordable medical, dental, and behavioral health care across Western Colorado, including:
-In 2020, Mountain Family launched the Health for All Fund to provide support to the thousands of people in our community who remain without affordable health insurance or affordable health care.
-In 2021, Mountain Family will expand our sliding fee scale discounts to support individuals and families up to 400% of the federal poverty level to ensure that middle-income families have access to affordable medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare services.
-In 2021, Mountain Family will also expand medical, dental, and behavioral health services via a network of School-Based Health Centers serving the Roaring Fork Valley.
We’re pleased to provide affordable, integrated medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare to 21,000 people across Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties. To make a medical, dental, or behavioral health appointment at Mountain Family, call us at 970-945-2840 or visit us online at www.mountainfamily.org.