Health care workshops offered

Comunidad Integrada hosts free series on navigating system

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If you go

What: Workshops presented in English and Spanish on taking care of your health care needs

When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25

Where: Oct. 10, 'How to access good health care'; Oct. 17, 'Paying for health care'; and Oct. 24, 'What to do when things go wrong' at Boys and Girls Club in Craig. Oct. 11, 'How to access good health care'; Oct. 18, 'Paying for health care'; and Oct. 25, 'What to do when things go wrong' at Holy Name Catholic Church, 524 Oak St., Steamboat Springs.

Cost: Free

Call: Call 846-5521 to RSVP

— One of Comunidad Integrada's English students had trouble navigating the health care system and ended up having to be taken to Denver by Flight For Life to get treatment for a brain hemorrhage.

The incident prompted the idea for a series of workshops aimed at immigrants and community residents to help them effectively address their health care needs.

Three workshops will be presented in Steamboat Springs and three in Craig in both English and Spanish and any other language that needs to be accommodated.

The first workshop will cover how to access good health care.

"It's a basic human right and a federal government mandate that anyone can receive emergency services," said Summer Laws, executive director of Comunidad Integrada. "It will cover how to navigate the system when you go to the ER, we'll talk about what IDs to bring, who to talk to, how to sign up for an interpreter and how to use the language line at the hospital."

Presenters from the hospital and insurance companies will speak about issues regarding how to pay for health care in the second workshop.

"They will cover how to sign up for insurance and the benefits of this," Laws said. "And someone from the hospital will explain the different options in billing."

The third workshop will address what to do when things go wrong. "An attorney will talk about what happens if you don't pay your bills, go into collections and what you should do," Laws said. "They will also talk about how to avoid fraud because immigrants are often targeted for fraud."

A free dinner and childcare will be provided at the sessions for anyone in the community who would like to attend.

"Our health system is difficult enough for people who speak English and aren't immigrants," Laws said. "The language barrier just adds one more thing."

- To reach Allison Plean, call 871-4204

or e-mail aplean@steamboatpilot.com

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