VNA Community Health Center professionals: Valuing health centers

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The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s Community Health Center is recognizing National Health Center Week through Friday. Community health centers across the U.S. are nonprofit providers with a mission to provide comprehensive primary health care in a medical home.

Medical homes are valuable and necessary. When people have a place to go for regular care, they use it and stay healthy. Patients not only get the care they need under one roof, but they are treated as individuals with dignity and respect. This is what health care should be and what we celebrate during National Health Center Week.

Community Health Center facts

■ VNA’s first center opened in Craig in 2008. In January 2013, a second one opened in Steamboat Springs to provide services for Routt County residents.

■ Almost 4,500 people have gone to our centers for their health care needs since the beginning of 2013 with 9,000 medical visits and 840 behavioral health visits.

■ All services are offered on a sliding fee scale based on income and family size. Private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare also are accepted. A family of four making less than $44,700 is eligible for a reduction in price.

■ Community Health Center providers focus preventing disease and illness before it happens with diabetes, cardiovascular and cancer screenings and help with positive changes in behavior like quitting smoking/chewing.

■ The centers offer same-day and next-day appointments for many urgent situations.

■ After hours, a bilingual answering service staffed by nurses is available for patients with medical questions and emergency situations.

■ To help people determine whether patients need to be seen by a doctor immediately, a medical professional (triage) talks to more than 200 people per month. If they cannot manage their condition at home, a same-day appointment is made.

■ Centers help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need. In the first six months of 2013, 200 applications for more than 75 clients were processed successfully, and the clients received $160,000 worth of prescription assistance.

■ The centers employ four physicians, four physician assistants, one nurse practitioner, six medical assistants and two behavioral health specialists.

Patients have a choice in health care providers, and Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s Community Health Center continually is working to be the provider of choice. For more information or to make an appointment, call 970-824-8233 or 970-879-1632 or log on to www.nwcovna.org.

Diana Hornung, MD, medical director

Anna Lundeen, MD

Josh Welch, MD

Kristin Wilson, MD

Julia von Allmen, PA-C

Jaimie Zelkin, NP

Kim Boyce, PA-C

Frani Jenkins, PA-C

Suzanne Holm, NP

Gisela Garrison, health center director

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association Community Health Center

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