By Jenny Lang, Family Nurse Practitioner
Editor’s note: In celebration of the 17th birthday of the Glenwood Springs clinic, we invited Glenwood Springs Site Medical Director Jenny Lang to share a patient story. Jenny says her story is the story of Mountain Family Health Centers.
As I approach my 17 year anniversary at Mountain Family, I have reflected on my patient stories and found it difficult to choose one to present. I thought instead of sharing the stories over the years that have kept me always coming back to work every day at Mountain Family.
There are the at risk pregnant women who deliver full term healthy babies, to the new families we guide through parenthood. There was the 15 year old adolescent who did not know what to do when her friend told her she was suicidal, but knew she could come to Mountain Family for guidance and was assisted by the front desk and behavior health provider as to the next steps. There was the alcoholic woman who had just lost her partner to overdose and Behavioral Health was able to get her into detox the same day and then coordinated rehab services after discharge from detox.
There was the woman who waited a month for her appointment because she was ready to share her story of childhood incest for the first time and knew she would be with people she could trust to help her navigate her path to healing. One patient, who had an abnormal chest X-ray at another facility, chose to return to her medical home at Mountain Family for the work up and we are now assisting her through her diagnosis of stage four lung cancer. There was the two year old whose two front teeth were damaged and decaying and Care Coordination was able to find funding to treat his dental disease and protect his adult teeth.
There was the woman who, after a few phone calls and referrals and the grace of God, received a telephone call from University Hospital informing her that if she could make it to Denver, they had a free pacemaker she desperately needed. One young woman, who could not hold a job because she repeatedly had seizures on the job and was fired, then Care Coordination organized her receipt of a Vagus Nerve Stimulation device. Now, for the first time, she is able to hold down a job and provide for her family. There are the many Mountain Valley Development Services developmentally delayed adults we serve who are either running down the halls screaming or swearing at staff but everyone still treats them with love and kindness.
There are the individuals we refer to specialists for care who then return to us for our opinion and understanding of what the specialist said. We have families who have good insurance and could choose any medical provider but want to come to Mountain Family because they know this is a special place.
Mountain Family makes miracles happen every day. From the front office staff and billing department to the behavioral health team, from the call center and outreach and enrollment departments to our medical assistants and nurses, from our medical providers and dental team to the executive team and board of directors, everyone plays an incredible role in changing people’s lives every day. I have been lucky to serve our many patients and call Mountain Family Health Centers my family.