Officials see need for Health Department offices in Lower Valley

Fruita Mayor Ken Henry said he often has been asked why the Mesa County Health Department needs to duplicate services it offers in Grand Junction.

If finding transportation was a problem for some folks, they should take the bus, Henry was told. So one day Henry took the bus from Fruita to Health Department offices in the Community Services Building, 510 29 1/2 Road.

It took 2 1/2 hours each way, five hours total, to make the 24-mile journey.

“I think this will be a tremendous benefit,” Henry said of the county’s outreach campus in Fruita called Community Services West for Mesa County’s Health Department, Human Services and Workforce Center.

Thanks to a cooperative agreement between local government and private agencies, Community Services West occupies the former Fruita Health West Hospital at 215 Plum St. Services through the new Health Department location will be available by appointment Wednesdays and Thursdays after Feb. 1.

The Human Services portion opens Wednesday.

Computers and resources for job seekers are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

County leaders have long seen the need to open a Fruita-based clinic. Fruita, Mack and Loma are the three fastest-growing areas in the county, officials said.

The remodeled hospital now houses rooms for immunizations, a lab, a family planning office, nurses’ office, a room for Women, Infant and Children services and a conference room. It offers child and family services, adult services, adult protection resources and self-sufficiency programs.

“I never had any doubts that this was needed,” said Michael Aduddell, director of Mesa County Health Department, during the facility’s opening ceremony last week. “Twelve years ago the need was present. It just took a little longer than some of us envisioned.”

Here’s how it worked out:

The city of Fruita, with help from a Department of Local Affairs grant, purchased land from School District 51 for $320,000. Fruita then allowed Family Health West to build its new hospital on the site.

School District 51 then asked Family Health West to increase public services in the area for students and families. Family Health West offered Mesa County space in the old hospital at no cost.

Building renovations and equipment cost $425,000. A Caring for Colorado grant provided $100,000, a Rural Health Care grant produced $50,000 and $275,000 was used from the county’s capital plan. Colorado’s Women Cancer Control Initiative offered funds for equipment and medical furniture.

For more information on Community Services West visit To schedule an appointment at the Fruita location, call 248-6914 for WIC, 248-6904 for family planning and 248-6900 for immunizations.


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