Improving Access to Affordable Health Care – Colorado Community Health Centers’ Mission

The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) released their 2013 Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) last Wednesday, Nov. 5. The report provides statistics regarding barriers to receiving health care, uninsured and underinsured measures, utilization rates, and health status for Coloradans. As seen in the CHAS, “one in seven residents or 14.3 percent of Coloradans do not have insurance.” The survey also reports that 16.9 percent have “no usual place of care” compared to insured populations, 83.1 percent of which have a “usual source of care.”

Community Health Centers (CHCs) strategically help combat access barriers and provide a medical home for uninsured and underinsured Coloradans. CHCs do this by thinking about the communities and vulnerable populations they serve. They expand access through building renovation, increasing hours and services, developing more clinic space, and planning for growth opportunities. Services are targeted to families earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.  Services are offered on a sliding scale fee based on income to keep care affordable.

In the past two years, CHCs have been making strides to increase access to care statewide, including:

  • Four organizations have been designated as CHCs since June of 2012:
    • Axis Health Systems, Durango, operating a site providing primary and mental health care.
    • Olathe Community Clinic, Inc., Olathe, operating a site providing primary and mental health care.
    • Sheridan Health Services, Sheridan, two new clinic sites –a community clinic and a school-based health center (SBHC).
    • Summit Community Care Clinic, Frisco, operating multiple clinic sites, including four SBHCs in Silverthorne, Dillon, Breckenridge and Frisco.
  • In 2013, new building expansion and renovation have increased services:
    • Metro Community Provider Network opened a new facility in Wheat Ridge, Elmira Refugee Health Center in Aurora, and reopened the Helena Clinic in Aurora which was MCPN’s very first original site. Additional clinic sites will open this year that include the Pine Tree Health Center in Parker and Health and Wellness Center at the Asian Pacific Development Center.
    • Plains Medical Center, Inc. renovated and reopened their Limon Clinic featuring a new dental suite and physical therapy services in additional to primary and behavioral health care.
    • Northwest Colorado VNA – Community Health Center opened a new site in Steamboat.

This is small portion of CHC expansion, development and improvement activities that aim to reduce access barriers for Colorado’s vulnerable populations. To learn about more CHCs expansion efforts and CHC specific information, link to CHCs’ websites at  CHCs provide coordinated, comprehensive primary health care throughout Colorado. If you are interested in working in a mission driven setting to provide health care, check out the most recent jobs postings below or visit the CHAMPS job bank.


Job ID Job Title Organization
1618 Program Enrollment Manager Salud Family Health Center
Fort Lupton, CO
1619 Family Practice Nurse Practitioner (NP) Axis Health System
Durango, CO
1620 Medical Director / Family Practice Physician Axis Health System
Durango, CO
1621 Primary Care Physician Mountain Family Health Centers
Black Hawk, CO

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