Nonprofit River Bridge center has new leased space in Glenwood

Staff report

Garfield County has agreed to a new lease with the River Bridge Regional Center for properties in Glenwood Springs, from which the nonprofit will provide both medical and mental health services to victims of sexual assault and their families in the Ninth Judicial District.

Under the agreement, the offices, located at 504 and 520 21st St., are leased for $2 annually, $1 for each building, and the lease will automatically be renewed for up to three consecutive years. River Bridge will pay all utilities at the facilities.

The building at 504 21st St. includes office space to be used by Garfield County Department of Health and Human Services. It is now home to the Mountain West Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Alliance.

Meanwhile, the property at 520 21st St. will continue to serve as the River Bridge Child Advocacy Center.

River Bridge provides services to child-abuse victims, their families, and the community. The nonprofit works with law enforcement, mental health therapists, medical providers, prosecutors and victim advocates to promote healing, and to ensure that offenders are held accountable for their crimes.

Blythe Chapman, executive director for River Bridge, said adult medical and mental health services will also be offered at the space at 504 21st starting this summer.

“This is exciting,” she said in a news release. “The new space is where we will house all the adult medical and mental health services. Up until 2016, the Ninth Judicial District didn’t have a place where adult survivors of sexual assault could go for the proper examination. Adult victims had to travel to Grand Junction or Frisco for the exam.”

River Bridge has provided these medical services for children and adolescents since 2007. River Bridge and the SANE program serve residents of the Ninth Judicial District, which includes Garfield, Rio Blanco, and Pitkin counties. Currently, Mountain West SANE Alliance offers examinations at Garfield County Public Health in Rifle.

Chapman added that the new facility helps to grow the local base of nurses with the proper training to provide sexual assault examinations. River Bridge currently employs three nurses that preform the exam, and six more in training.

“We will be in the position to perform the medical examination for all children, adolescents and adults,” she said. “We’re moving in a great direction to provide these services to the community.”

The Garfield Board of County Commissioners approved the lease unanimously, 3-0.

“The county is doing a tremendous favor to our organization, but more importantly for our community,” Chapman added.

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