Mountain Family Health Center hosts grand opening
RIFLE, Colorado – The new Mountain Family Health Center in Rifle celebrated its grand opening Friday, after opening its doors in mid-June.”We had a good party here. We did a ribbon cutting with the chamber, and a big thank-you session,” said Dave Adamson, executive director of Mountain Family Health Center, which also has clinics in Glenwood Springs, Basalt and Black Hawk.”The center here in Rifle is starting up just the way we thought it would. Word is spreading, and the need was already pretty well established,” he said.Mountain Family Health, a non-profit, bilingual clinic, provides primary medical care and dental care. Any person in need of care is welcomed, regardless of their ability to pay.”For those who are uninsured, we charge on a sliding scale,” said Adamson. “We’re geared to provide high-quality care whether a person is insured or not.”The Rifle clinic opened the doors of its 9,000-square-foot building on June 20. The building includes examining rooms, a laboratory, sterilization room, offices, dental facilities and a reception area. Treatments at the center include wellness physicals, acute disease management, immunizations, football physicals and dental care, Adamson said.Medical services are provided by Dr. Sandy Deveny on Mondays and physician assistant Ken Davis on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (the center is closed Wednesdays); nurse supervisor Kathleen Marron and medical assistants Gladys Andrade and Maria Tovar work each day the center is open. A second certified physician’s assistant, Dawn Kopf, will also soon be joining the center.”One of the reasons we opened in Rifle was that we were treating 1,200 patients from between New Castle and Rifle,” Adamson explained. “We opened in Glenwood Springs in 1999 and we’ve been one of the fastest growing federally qualified health centers in the state.”Along with primary care, the center offers dental services with Dr. Garry Millard as the new dental director of the Rifle facility. A board-certified specialist in periodontics, Millard is an expert in treating gum problems and in placing dental implants. He had six years experience in general dentistry prior to becoming a specialist. Adamson is planning to hire another dentist to join the team, which already includes dental hygienists Robbyn Gorton, Kari Brennan, Diana Blanco, Luz Sanchez and Selene Lujan.In the last three years, the Mountain Family Health Centers in Black Hawk, Glenwood Springs and Basalt have seen a surge of patients. Many lost their jobs during the recession and subsequently, their health insurance.”We never refuse anybody care because of their inability to pay,” Adamson emphasized. “Feeling good is the most important thing. People need to get checked, and it saves you money in the long run.”The Rifle clinic is the result of many players pitching in to make a much-needed service grow from an idea to a reality.When the organization was hunting for a location, Garfield County stepped forward with a long-term lease on land behind the existing Garfield County Health and Human Services building at 14th Street and Railroad Avenue.Funding came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Colorado Health Foundation, the state Department of Local Affairs, Caring for Colorado, Gates Family Foundation, Boettcher Foundation, Aspen Community Foundation, El Pomar Foundation and EnCana Oil & Gas, USA.EnCana’s donation helped improve the energy efficiency of the building, Adamson said, which boasts a lot of natural lighting.”We had to go through a number of hoops to get grants, but we got through it one obstacle after another,” Adamson said. “The county said this was a community need and we had to do it. We’re extremely grateful to all of these funding sources for their commitment to providing access to health care for people of all socioeconomic levels.”
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