Email letters, April 9, 2013

Community Hospital, D51 see good results from partnership

Thank you for the article on March 31 that highlighted School District 51 and Community Hospital’s partnership. Community Hospital has developed the Community Health Partnership to improve access to quality health care, encourage personal health awareness, focus on prevention and help manage rising health care costs.

I believe the most cost-effective place to receive health care is in a primary care physician’s office. As the article underscored, School District 51’s health insurance system was ailing. We have created a successful partnership that allows employees to take better care of their health by removing barriers to receiving quality care. D51 employees have access to primary care services 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. They are guaranteed to have a primary care physician, basic lab work and the most common medications at no cost.

From March 2012 to February 2013, there were nearly 3,400 patient visits from School District 51 employees at Grand Valley Primary Care and Grand Valley Urgent Care. Orchard Pharmacy filled more than 4,700 prescriptions. They also realized a 50 percent increase in health screening participants. As a result of the School District’s masterful improvements in its plan designs and its partnership with Community Hospital, the district has saved more than $2.35 million in 2012. These are real dollars that D51 can now reinvest in our children’s education.

In a time when most companies are seeing double-digit increases in their costs of health care, Community Hospital’s employer group partners are achieving the opposite. The school district’s costs are down 29 percent year over year, and one of our first partners, Hanson International, has enjoyed a 19 percent decrease this year.

Community Hospital is proud to be a leader in developing innovative ways to improve the health of our community while lowering costs to individuals and local businesses. Please visit to learn more about the Community Health Partnership services.

President and CEO
Community Hospital

Catholic Outreach requests fresh produce for guests

First, I need to thank my fellow citizens of Grand Junction for your continuing support of the Catholic Outreach and soup kitchen. It takes the entire valley to maintain all the services.

May I please bring to your attention to the current need at the soup kitchen for fresh produce of all kinds, as we serve hot and nourishing meals six days a week to our guests.

Our guests are a variety of ages, sexes and cultures, and they have few resources, resources and support systems that we take for granted.

We wish to offer green and fruit salads for lunch but can only serve what is donated by your kind generosity. The cooler has been void of fresh produce for a month now. Please help.

Grand Junction

Conservatives must speak up to counter liberal agenda

If a law is passed that liberals don’t agree with (pick one—the list is long), they have a lawsuit prepared and filed it the day after the law is signed, holding up implementation until the court decides. Of course, if the court doesn’t agree with them, they immediately file an appeal and recall action is initiated.

I have heard nothing of any legal action being taken against the idiotic, “feel good” gun laws our illustrious leaders in the state Capitol recently passed. Where is the anti-ACLU?

It seems that conservative and passive are becoming more synonymous. If we don’t soon start playing by their rules, we might as well replace our stars and stripes with a flag featuring the round, blue, wavy thing Obama uses.

Grand Junction

Church’s neighborliness succumbs to revenue generation at all costs

This past week I got a first-hand look at the controversial belfry/cell tower being erected by Monument Baptist Church and Verizon. It is being constructed, apparently, without consultation, warning or consideration of anyone’s feelings or health.

What a tragedy for that neighborhood. The church and Verizon decided to build a view-blocking, environmentally questionable tower within a few feet of neighbors’ yards, gardens, patios and play areas for children.

Say goodbye to Christian neighborliness; say hello to revenue generation at all costs. How sad for all those involved! It’s time for Verizon to take the tower down and respect for neighbors to be restored.


School finance reform requires bipartisan sponsorship

The conversation about GOP support for the school finance bill should begin with the subject of bipartisanship. Every major education bill in the past 15 years has been bipartisan. 

Gov. Ritter’s education reform bill, SB 212 (carried by Sen. Josh Penry), SB 163’s accountability legislation and SB 191 (Sen. Keith King and Gov. Ritter), the teacher quality bill, had bipartisan sponsors in both houses.

They would never have passed had that not been the case.  The current legislative body has chosen to spend more than half of the session on social legislation and job-destroying gun legislation.

In education they passed a sex education bill that removed authority of the Colorado Department of Education in favor of the Health Department. The Breakfast after the Bell bill is a “feel good” bill, which “everyone loves,” but it gives not even a nod to local control and, instead, dictates the manner in which schools must serve the free breakfast that low-income children receive. 

It intrudes into instructional time, incurs unknown management costs and requires that schools feed all students, regardless of need.  Is this the first step on the slippery slope of our constitutional requirement for local control? The political slant may come from the barely repressed issue that “some people don’t care about hungry kids.”

As for the finance bill itself, I highly respect Michael Johnson and the tremendous amount of work he has done on this bill, which is intended to fix the problems Sunday’s editorial in The Daily Sentinel described. 

But, upon introduction, those “wealthy” districts that had been doing well complained (shall we say … bitterly).  Resulting amendments wouldn’t subtract, only add on, for everyone (and increase the amount from $.9 billion to $1.1 billion). There is still no real reason to believe the money will, indeed, benefit the student. 

Is it any wonder that he searched in vain for a Republican cosponsor, or lacking bipartisanship, is it any wonder that the GOP was reluctant?

Lest we forget, voters might feel better about voting for the increased funding if we were not facing a loss of hunters, both local and national; gun manufacturers bringing $40 million plus to the state now leaving the state; and the continuing efforts of environmental groups to shut down the state’s energy and tourism income.  Nothing exists in a vacuum.

Grand Junction


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