Colorado West recognized for ‘grassroots advocacy’ |

Colorado West recognized for ‘grassroots advocacy’

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Colorado West Regional Mental Health Inc. was recognized for an achievement in grassroots advocacy for retiring nearly $10 million in debt while remaining open to serve Western Slope residents with mental health and substance abuse needs.

The award, presented by the National Council for Community Behavioral Health Care, recognizes the power of grassroots advocacy, according to a statement from the NCCBHC.

“Each year the National Council honors individuals and organizations that are the best of the best,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of NCCBHC. “These are the programs and the people who are ahead of the trends: Those who are pioneering new service delivery models, those who are advancing original collaborations, and those who demonstrate positive outcomes for individuals and families.”

Two years ago, Colorado West faced closure due to an outstanding $10 million debt. To advocate for the organization’s mission, the organization’s leadership shared the mission, vision and importance of Colorado West to state legislators, foundations, politicians and individuals.

The statement said that legislators, business people, and foundations through a partnership helped to retire the debt. Colorado West CEO Sharon Raggio said that about $3 million of the debt was retired by the debtor. The remaining balance was paid off through fundraising efforts.

The nonprofit organization operates the only psychiatric hospital on the Western Slope and serves more than 13,000 people a year in need of mental health and substance abuse services.

“[Colorado West] is delighted to receive the ‘Oscar’ of the behavioral health industry,” said Raggio. “This achievement would not have been possible without the amazing work of our staff and board of directors.”

Raggio also said that she was appreciative of the many foundations and individuals that helped with the debt retirement.

Awards of Excellence will be presented at the Annual Conference in March in Orlando, Fla.

Colorado West is headquartered in Glenwood Springs and has offices in 10 counties: Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Mesa, Moffatt, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit. Colorado West Regional Mental Health is a subsidiary of Colorado West Inc., and is a private, nonprofit corporation founded in 1970.

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