GJ clinic has new branding

Now known as MarillacHealth

Martha Graf, left, and Kristy Schmidt with MarillacHealth discuss the name change for the clinic at 2333 N. Sixth Street in Grand Junction on Monday afternoon. The name change, which has been in the works since October 2014, better aligns the facility with its name, said MarillacHealth Chief Executive Officer Kay Ramachandran.

Marillac Clinic is so much more than the safety net, low-cost health clinic started by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth nearly three decades ago.

As the health care agency transformed in 2015 to one of the nation’s federally qualified community health centers with funding through the Affordable Care Act, the agency revealed a new name Monday to better reflect its goals and mission.

Welcome to MarillacHealth.

“The clinic has been morphing from a large safety net clinic to a community health center,” said MarillacHealth Chief Executive Officer Kay Ramachandran.

Ramachandran said Marillac needed a new financial model to remain sustainable and to continue to meet the community’s changing needs. When St. Mary’s Hospital and its parent company, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, opened Marillac in 1988, the clinic offered medical services by volunteer physicians.

Today, MarillacHealth offers a full scope of health care services, including behavioral health, dental and optical care, to patients of all ages on a sliding fee scale. It serves about 10,000 patients a year, welcoming the uninsured, under-insured, homeless people, those on Medicare and Medicaid insurances and some private insurance plans.

The name change, which has been in the works since October 2014, better aligns the facility with its name, Ramachandran said.

“It actually speaks to our story and where we are and where we were and where we have landed,” she said. “Marillac signifies our roots. We are very deeply rooted in the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and the work they do, which is serving the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized in the community and that will always be a part of us.”

The word “clinic” was dropped from Marillac’s title because its focus was narrow.

“Committed to a healthier you,” reads MarillacHealth’s new tagline.

Ramachandran said she likes the new tagline because it means the “patient comes first.”

“It gives you the image that the person is going to be healthy when they come here no matter what we find out about them. … That they are committed to making themselves healthier and we are committed to being their biggest partners in that journey that they want to take,” she said.

Half of Marillac’s board of directors receives MarillacHealth services, Board Chairman Lee Gaglione said.

Until recently, one board member was homeless and her experience has offered new insight into how services are delivered, he said.

Prior to 2015 and being one of the nation’s 1,400 qualified community health centers, Marillac accepted patients between the ages of 18-64. It now accepts patients of all ages, including babies. And patient care is integrated. For example, dental care is included with pediatric care, and behavioral care is included in services.

“...The medical, behavioral, dental and optical providers work in teams that support the whole person,” according to a release from MarillacHealth. “This care model is intentionally designed to engage the community’s poorest and most vulnerable in improving their health and avoiding costly emergency room care.”

Gaglione said the changes will continue to help the underserved in the community.

“There was a lot of volunteer physicians and dentists and we are grateful to them,” Gaglione said. “Now it’s a very professionally-organized facility… It’s just another step, several steps beyond, where we were.”


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