$500,000 grant to help build Rifle clinic

A Glenwood Springs-based health center will receive a $500,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to build a clinic in Rifle that will serve a burgeoning population of patients who are on Medicaid or don’t have insurance.

The foundation announced Wednesday the distribution of nearly $18 million in grants to 15 federally qualified health centers across the state.

Mountain Family Health Centers, which previously received a $450,000 grant from the foundation, will use the $500,000 over the next three years to build a $2.5 million, 9,000-square-foot clinic in Rifle at the Garfield County Human Services Campus. The facility will offer comprehensive primary care and dental care, according to David Adamson, executive director of Mountain Family Health Centers.

“It’s clear the need for high-quality, coordinated health care services that include mental health, physical health and dental care for low-income, uninsured and underinsured Coloradans is desperate and growing,” said Ann Warhover, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Health Foundation. “It’s also a fact that local community health centers that offer this full spectrum of care have proven to be cost-effective and high-quality-care models upon which we can build.”

Adamson said the Rifle clinic has been in the planning stages for seven years, a delay prompted by jumping through federal hoops and a roller-coaster economy.

He said the need for the clinic is growing, as the number of patients who received care from the Glenwood clinic surged from 6,000 in 2008 to 7,000 in 2009. One out of every five of those patients came from Rifle.

“People are losing insurance, losing their jobs,” he said.

Officials will break ground on the Rifle clinic this summer and open it in the spring of 2011.

Three other Western Slope clinics received funding from the Colorado Health Foundation:

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will use $400,000 over the next two years to support staff and pay for medical supplies for a newly expanded clinic in Craig.

The Uncompahgre Medical Center in Norwood will spend $385,055 in the next year to cover operational costs.

The Community Health Clinic in Dove Creek will use $299,520 over the next two years to offset unexpected expansion costs and purchase medical and dental equipment.


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