Mountain Family Health Centers to relocate to Avon in January 2023
The center is moving from its Edwards location to the former Vail Health urgent care in Avon’s Chapel Square
Since March 2014, Mountain Family Health Centers has been offering dental, medical and behavioral health services to the Eagle County community, particularly those that are underserved. And in January 2023, the organization will be relocating from Edwards to a new clinic in Avon — enabling it to expand its services and increase its capacity.
Mountain Family will be taking over the former Vail Health urgent care in Avon’s Chapel Square. Renovations for the new facility kicked off in September and are scheduled to be completed by Vertix Builders based on designs from Davis Partnership Architects by January 2023.
According to Amanda Canete, the current Edwards site practice director (and future Avon Site Practice Director), the relocation was prompted by a need for space.
“We offer integrated care to care for the whole person in one health care home: Family medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, OBGYN care, behavioral health, dental, a pharmacy, and outreach and enrollment services to help our patients access the most affordable health care insurance they can along with other financial assistance,” Canete said. “We have had plans for expanding these and new services, but space has limited our growth and potential over the years.”
Canete added that Vail Health saw this need and has “been a valuable partner, providing a larger space in Avon that is 6,700 square feet, about 65% larger than our current space.”
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“Mountain Family Health provides a vital service to our community, and we are proud to partner with them on this new location as it enhances access to more affordable care,” said Will Cook, president and CEO of Vail Health, in a provided statement about the new center. “Vail Health has long been a supporter of Mountain Family, and this new arrangement allows us to provide subsidized rent for the center during the next five years to help support their relocation and expansion to almost double their size and expand their services to the community.”
Not only is the new Avon location a larger space, but it is located close to a bus stop and is “more prominently placed in the community among other commercial businesses,” Canete said, adding that this should make finding the clinic “much easier moving forward.”
This was something reiterated in a statement from Mountain Family Health Centers CEO Ross Brooks. Mountain Family also operates clinics in Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Basalt as well as in several school-based centers.
“We’re grateful for the strong support from Vail Health, Eagle County, the Colorado Health Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and many additional partners,” Brooks said. “We are incredibly excited for this facility, as it is easily accessible and conveniently located near an ECO Transit bus stop, enabling us to serve 4,000 patients in Eagle County.”
Moving into the larger space will provide the opportunity for the center to expand its dental services, as well as offer increased access to behavioral health, Canete said.
“In addition, we are looking forward to launching our Lactation Support Clinic, along with more OB care options,” she added. “We also look forward to hosting community partners to help initiate the conversation between them and our patients, ensuring our patients’ needs are met. We want to remove barriers to care to better serve our community.”
Not only is the organization a nonprofit, community-led health provider, but also it is a Federally Qualified Health Center system, meaning it’s a center that provides health care to an underserved area or population.
As such, it offers its services to “everyone, including those without health insurance and those that are not eligible for some of the benefits enjoyed by many of our community,” Canete said.
Jan Jennings, the director of development for Mountain Family Health Centers, added that approximately 40% of the organization’s patients are uninsured and 35% are on Medicaid.
“We are caring for some of the most underserved and vulnerable in our community,” Jennings said.
This also includes a pharmacy program to allow patients access to “extremely affordable lifesaving medications that some people had to go without for financial reasons,” Canete said.
For some uninsured patients, this drops the cost of certain medications from $500 a month to $5 a month, according to Jennings.
Overall, the new Avon space will allow the center to grow and expand these services in Eagle County.
“The sheer increase of size is going to allow us to care for more patients and provide dental care (for those on Medicaid or the uninsured), as we will physically have more patient care areas and more staff. We will also have space to host larger groups for classes or even group therapy sessions,” Jennings said. “This Avon center will allow us truly to become one health care home for many more in the Eagle River Valley and community.”