Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The boards of the South Routt Medical Health Service District and the Northwest Dental Coalition would like to announce the creation of a collaborative agreement that brings the availability of low-cost dental services to Routt County residents. This is an exciting new chapter for both of our nonprofit health care providers.
Both boards continue to be frustrated with the Steamboat Pilot & Today. We repeatedly have asked for articles to be written. We have written and submitted a press release to announce to the community changes that positively impact their health care. Our efforts have been met with what appears to be indifference.
The South Routt Medical Center Health District provides services to a population of about 2,534 residents. On May 2, 2006, the voters in South Routt demonstrated their support of the clinic by approving a ballot issue declaring the medical center a tax district. This district is mapped to the same area and boundaries as the South Routt School District, which has 36 percent of its students on free and reduced-cost lunches. This area includes the towns of Oak Creek, Phippsburg, Yampa, Toponas, McCoy and Bond.
The South Routt Medical Center is designated a “health professional shortage area” and a “medically underserved area” and provides services to the underserved. The mission of the South Routt Medical Center is to provide high quality, accessible and affordable preventative and acute care services to the broadest possible range of residents and families in the South Routt communities. It operates with a publicly elected, all-volunteer board of directors, a medical doctor as the executive director, a nurse practitioner and four highly qualified staff members.
For the taxpayers in this district, it is important to remind them that adding oral health care services certainly was proposed by the South Routt Medical Center Health District in the 2006 service plan submitted to the Routt County Board of Commissioners. In June 2011, the clinic was awarded a $49,459.74 grant by the Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Council for the purchase of dental equipment and an automatic electric defibrillator (AED). Negotiations were initiated with the executive director of the Northwest Dental Coalition prior to the submittal of the grant application. Upon award of the grant, a joint work session was held on June 21, 2011, between the medical center and the dental coalition to lay the groundwork for their provision of services in South Routt.
The Northwest Dental Coalition now is taking phone calls at its Craig office (970-824-8000) to schedule dental services at the South Routt Medical Clinic, and the coalition has been seeing patients in Steamboat Springs. When you contact the Northwest Dental Coalition, they will ask prospective patients to fill out an eligibility form with supportive documentation of income. They operate on a sliding scale, and they bill Medicaid and CHP+. If you and/or your children need dental care and cannot afford it, please call them. We are both working together to provide this much-needed service to the community.
As for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, what do nonprofits have to do to get information out to the community in this newspaper? It is a matter of money? Do you want services to the community reduced so that you can show a little profit? Please tell us. We are truly here for the community.
South Routt Medical Health Service District board of directors