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.
For more information on Roaring Fork Schools, visit www.roaringforkschools.com. For more information on Mountain Family Health Centers, visit www.mountainfamily.org.