Category Archives: By Location

Region 1 - Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Morgan, Washington & Yuma Counties

Irene

Irene – Fort Morgan, CO

Irene - , CO

Irene, of Fort Morgan, works full time but her job is unable to offer health insurance. She shares her story of enrolling in CICP and the difficulty finding a provider who accepted it.

“When I hurt my knee, I was trying to figure out where to see a doctor, how much it would cost me, and it was overwhelming. So I just tried to ignore the pain thinking it would go away… As time progressed, it did not get better.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 1 - Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Morgan, Washington & Yuma Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties

Arnie

Arnie – Summit County, CO

Arnie is a Dillon resident who was misdiagnosed with MS instead of diabetes.  He talks about his experience and subsequent more positive interactions with the local clinic.

“The ideal scenario to me would be more equality in health care.  To where regardless of your income you were able to get quality health care without having to jump through hoops without having to beg.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Betty

Betty- Summit County, CO

Betty is a breast cancer survivor and Summit County resident.  She talks about access to health care and the inability to get health insurance when you have a preexisting condition

“If I hadn’t had a preexisting condition I would have dropped it, but I knew theoretically that if I ever dropped it I couldn’t get back on another policy…because that’s the way it works today.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Carlos

Carlos – Summit County, CO

Carlos, a Summit County resident, talks about breaking his neck while playing high school football. He speaks about his subsequent care and rehabilitation.

“I would just be dreaming about running.  In my dream I would just freeze, then I would realize I was waking up because I’m paralyzed.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Engaged Patient, Health & Wellness, Navigating the Health Care System, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Dave

Dave – Summit County, CO

Dave, a resident of Summit County, explains his relationship with his local clinic after losing his job.  He is thankful for the care they provide at reasonable rates.

“It’s… quality care for a reduced price, because of the fact we’re taking into consideration you aren’t making as much money as you used to, and you still need health care.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Debbi Jo

Debbi Jo – Summit County, CO

Debbi Jo, a 29 year resident of Summit County, talks about her difficulties gaining access to health care after changing jobs.

“All the sudden [I] found myself without employment and without health insurance.  Which is very disappointing after paying 35 years of insurance premiums.”

Also posted in Access To Care, By Topic, Health Insurance Coverage, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Dr. Chris

Dr. Chris – Summit County, CO

Dr. Chris is a pediatrician in Summit County.  She tells the story of owning her own practice and the difficulties of providing care.

If we have a big flu epidemic then we do have better revenue and we’re able to buy needed equipment or upgrade things around the office.  And other years when there really aren’t too many viruses going around, we might really struggle to just pay rent.

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Insurance Coverage, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Erich

Erich – Summit, CO

Eric is a thyroid cancer survivor and Summit County resident.  He talks about his struggle to receive proper care and the difficulty in moving forward with his treatment.

“The biggest disappointment I would say is the way that I as a patient felt I was treated when I was applying for these programs.  It was very frustrating because you felt they were just finding ways to brush you off to the side or that this place didn’t want to deal with you but we’ll recommend this place and maybe they can help you out.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Navigating the Health Care System, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Jeff

Jeff – Summit County, CO

Jeff is a Summit County resident who shares his story of depression, self-medication, and recovery.  He acknowledges the great work of his doctor and appreciates all of the progress he has made in the past several years.

I feel like a really good person again because I was feeling worthless and my core values were just in the gutter.  Today I make good choices, I’ve gone year in and year out without any illegal drugs and I’ve had a healthy relationship for three years and I’ve never been in trouble with the law again.

Also posted in Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Juana

Juana – Summit County, CO

Juana, of Summit County, CO, shares her story of navigating the Medicaid system after unexpected pregnancy complications.

“I saved money for all of the payments, the prenatal visits, the labs, everything; and for what the baby would need and all.  But, I didn’t plan on extra savings … and then suddenly there is this bill.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Juana

Juana – Condada Summit, CO

Juana, del condado de Summit, CO, comparte su historia de la navegación por el sistema de Medicaid después de complicaciones en el embarazo inesperado.

“Me salvó el dinero de todos los pagos, las visitas prenatales, los laboratorios, todo, y por lo que el bebé necesita y todo. Pero, yo no tenía planes de ahorro extra … y de repente se encuentra este recibo.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Cuentos en Español, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties | Leave a comment

Lamine

Lamine – Summit County, CO

Lamine is an immigrant from Senegal, and a Summit County resident, who helps interpret and assist with paperwork for his community members.  He tells a story of his community members too scared of health care bills to seek out medical assistance.

I remember a friend of mine was waiting until the point he was crying to go to the doctor. I kept telling him “you need to go see the doctor.”  And he said “if they send me a bill how am I going to take care of my family?  All they know is sending bills, they not going to fix anything.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Insurance Coverage, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Michelle

Michelle – Summit County, CO

Michelle, a public health nurse in Summit County, talks about education and prevention in health care.  She tells the story of a woman who died of cancer because she never had a pap smear, despite having several children.

“The general rule of a public health nurse, you act as a nurse but your patient is the whole community, the health of the community.”

Also posted in Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | 2 Responses

Pat

Pat – Basalt, CO

Pat - Basalt, CO

Pat, of Basalt, shares his health story. After a tragic spinal cord injury he became depressed and turned to alcohol. Under the careful eye of his primary care physician, Pat connected with a trainer, nutritionist, and behavioral health coach. The integrated approach helped Pat reach goals and set new sights for his future.

“I’ve gone from a single bike path where I would fall off every three steps, to now I feel like I’m navigating a six lane highway and the group is my bumper guards.”

Also posted in Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 12 - Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Region 13 - Chaffee, Lake, Fremont & Custer Counties

Angela

Angela – Chaffee County

AngelaAngela, a young woman living in Salida, had been experiencing a number of chronic symptoms including pain and nausea for a long period of time but was unable to access appropriate care because of lack of insurance and affordability.  Due to recent changes in eligibility she was able to enroll in Colorado’s Adults without Dependent Children Medicaid Program, connect to a primary care provider and see a specialist who was ultimately able to make an accurate diagnosis.

“I would go in and out of the hospitals…and it would just be like take an ibuprofen, this will pass it’s just migraines, you know, nothing’s wrong.  And after a while I began to believe it, maybe I was just making things up or they were right.”

Also posted in Region 13 - Chaffee, Lake, Fremont & Custer Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Carolyn and William

Carolyn & William – Chaffee County

Carolyn_William_SqaureCarolyn, a resident of Chaffee County, was in need of finding a provider that could help rehabilitate her body.   She is referred to William, a massage therapist in Chaffee County, and not only does she begin to regain physical mobility but she experiences personal growth.

William: “One day Carolyn said to me, ‘William, why do you work so hard on me?’…and I said, ‘Carolyn, I believe in you!’ And she came back with the zinger…
Carolyn: “My response was, ‘Well, you’re making me start to believe in myself.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 13 - Chaffee, Lake, Fremont & Custer Counties | Leave a comment

Cheryl

Cheryl – Chaffee County

Cheryl describes Cheryl_Squareher experience working with her two siblings to identify a quality long term health care facility for their mother who has dementia.  While there was information available to assist them, Cheryl and her siblings found themselves in a very demanding situation.

“What I think was sad about that, though, was that we were so inundated with the practical matters that it was difficult to deal with what was going on in our family, the dynamic of our family.  You know, our mother was, for all intents and purposes, gone.”

Also posted in Navigating the Health Care System, Region 13 - Chaffee, Lake, Fremont & Custer Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

John

John – Chaffee County

John_SquareJohn, a resident of Chaffee County, discusses his son’s lifelong condition of cystic fibrosis.  He explains that while his son has not been able to receive a lung transplant he has been able to lead a fulfilling and active life.

“He has surprised [the doctors] a whole lot of times because he’ll get way down and then he’ll snap back up.  So, we’re hoping that that rubber band keeps on working and he stays alive for longer than the next year.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 13 - Chaffee, Lake, Fremont & Custer Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Julie

Julie – Salida, CO

JulieD_SquareJulie works at an oral health program in Chaffee County.  She shares the story of the impact of oral health on one local woman’s life.

“Part of it was because she worked in the restaurant business, had been for a long time…and as her teeth got worse she was pulled out of the public’s eye and she became a dishwasher and made less money. And so, she was really wanting to get her teeth back so she could have a higher paying job.”

Also posted in Oral Health, Region 13 - Chaffee, Lake, Fremont & Custer Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Nancy

Nancy – Salida, CO

Nancy_SquareNancy, a resident of Salida, CO, shares her story of developing and receiving treatment for Guillain–Barré syndrome. Within days, Nancy went from leading an active lifestyle to being completely paralyzed.  She describes her emotional experience on the road to recovery.

“When I was at the first hospital it was like a nice big round room and all glass windows and I could see the nurses’ station and I was comfortable there…But then, at the second hospital it was more private and the doors were closed and I could see anybody and I was afraid and I was upset and I was depressed.  I just couldn’t understand what was going on.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 13 - Chaffee, Lake, Fremont & Custer Counties, Stories | 1 Response

Region 14 - Adams County

Anonymous

Anonymous_Aurora

This Aurora resident shares her experience about getting care at a local community health clinic after becoming pregnant at the age of 35.

“I was already … 35, and I had been divorced for a few years, dating a guy for only six months, and on the pill and I become pregnant.  My boss let me go … So here I am on unemployment, pregnant, single, no health insurance.”

Also posted in Access To Care, By Topic, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 14 - Adams County, Stories | Leave a comment

Cerise

Cerise – Denver, CO

Cerise, a Denver resident tells the story about mother’s positive experience within the health care system.  She praises the local clinic her mother attends for their culturally proficient service and was impressed by the promotion of health equality within Colorado.

“And I was utterly amazed at the level and quality of care that she has received.  Her provider has taken the time to really understand and hear her story… She feels empowered as a consumer not feeling that she is bound to a system and has to bow down to their needs, but really treated like an individual who deserves adequate health care. “

Also posted in By Topic, Health Disparities, Region 14 - Adams County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Jennifer

Jennifer – Westminster, CO

Jennifer - Westminster, CO

Jennifer, of Westminster, shares her health story. After a car accident, Jennifer struggled with migraines, back pain, depression and anxiety. She describes the difficulties not being able to care for  her family and the impact integrated care had on her recovery.

“It was very very depressing for me to go from being very active to being … just … bedridden. It was debilitating.”

Also posted in Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 14 - Adams County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sandy

Sandra – Adams County, CO

Sandra_SquareSandra, of Adams County, shares her health story. A few years ago she lost her job, suffered from physical health ailments, and needed some assistance. Her primary health care provider connected her with a behavioral health specialist who helped her through those stressful times.

“The stress of all of it, about finding a job, finding health care, it all builds on you… When I went to the clinic to get the physical health care taken care of, I was afforded the opportunity for some mental health care.”

Also posted in Behavioral Health, Region 14 - Adams County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Scott and Diane

Scott and Diane – Thorton, CO

Scott and Diane are married and have two teenage girls. Their private small company employers recently decided to stop offering health insurance options to employees. Suddenly faced with new health issues, the couple has experienced great difficulty locating an affordable health insurance option that would give Scott access to the prescription he needs.

“We were finally able to get insurance for our two children but for our entire family the health care that we’ve been aware of pretty much would be the difference of whether or not we pay for our mortgage or our health insurance.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Care Systems Issues, Health Insurance Coverage, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 14 - Adams County, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 15 - Arapahoe County

Angela

Angela – Littleton, CO

AngelaC - Littleton, COAngela, of Littleton, shares her health experience. With a family history of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer, Angela has always been very good about her women’s wellness visits. She tells her story about an abnormal test result and the emotional journey that followed.

“The moment was like a slap in the face. Because I knew that I had taken every preventable measure possible. I felt like my gut was being pulled in many different directions.”

Also posted in Featured, Region 15 - Arapahoe County, Stories | Leave a comment

Anonymous

Anonymous

An Aurora resident tells the story about her neighbor with mental health issues.  Despite she and other neighbors’ attempts at help, there is little they can do.  This Aurora resident wants to be part of the solution rather than just complaining about the problem Colorado faces with mental health care.

“We have to address the issue, and it shouldn’t be prison. And I know that that seems to be what our society is doing these days with the mentally ill, they go to prison and they certainly aren’t getting help… if there are solutions, if there is something else I can do, please tell me.  Because I will make as many phone calls as I need to make to fundamentally try to help this woman. “

Also posted in Access To Care, By Topic, Health Disparities, Region 15 - Arapahoe County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Barb

Barb – Aurora, CO

Barb is an Aurora community member who is actively involved in Aurora Health Access and other community initiatives. She describes her bout with cancer and heart disease.

“I don’t know what countries like Great Britain, Canada do, but I do see the pros and cons of national healthcare.  I hope it helps people.  And its not that I want to see this as a socialized country, but we need to make sure that everyone has health which to me is a human right.”

Also posted in Access To Care, By Topic, Complex Health Conditions, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 15 - Arapahoe County, Stories | Leave a comment

Bebe

Bebe – Littleton, CO

Bebe, who works in Littleton, CO shares her health story. She talks about her role as the Executive Director of Doctors Care and the impacts of safety net clinics in Colorado.

“The safety net, as we continue on, is going to be the better guide.  It is not going to change the fact that there are sick people and well people, but when you add that [existing barriers connecting to poverty] all together the safety net is prepared to be the better guide…”

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 15 - Arapahoe County, Social Determinants of Health | 1 Response

Manley

Manley – Denver, CO

Manley is a Denver resident who taught in Aurora Public Schools for over 15 years. After implementing lifestyle changes recommended by his doctor, he lost over 50 pounds. He talks about this journey and his desire to help others achieve similar results.

” Ten years ago, I weighed 50lbs more than I do now, and my blood pressure was very high and so was my cholesterol level and I wasn’t leading the greatest of lifestyles.”

Also posted in By Topic, Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Prevention, Region 15 - Arapahoe County, Stories | Leave a comment

Mariana

Mariana – Aurora, CO

Mariana is an Aurora resident who recently had her second child. She battled with post-partum depression after her pregnancy. She speaks about her challenges and calls upon all of us to embrace mental health as a critical healthcare issue.

” We need to acknowledge how big of an issue, how big of a problem mental illness is in our community.  And it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what language you speak.  It is something that affects everybody. “

Also posted in Access To Care, By Topic, Region 15 - Arapahoe County, Stories | Tagged | 2 Responses

Maya

Maya – Aurora, CO

Maya, an Aurora resident living with diabetes, shares her story about a time in her life when she had to choose between insuring herself or insuring her children.

“My physician is asking me why I am not coming to the doctor’s.  And I’m telling her it’s because I don’t feel I can miss work.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 15 - Arapahoe County | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mesele

Mesele – Aurora, CO

Mesele from Aurora tells his HealthStory

Mesele is an Aurora resident and part of the Ethiopian Community. He is having a very difficult time managing his diabetes because he cannot afford health insurance.

“Healthy means if you go to hospital and they do check-up, you’re healthy.  But if you don’t go, we don’t know anything.”

Also posted in Access To Care, By Topic, Complex Health Conditions, Region 15 - Arapahoe County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Myrenna

Myrenna – Aurora, CO

Myrenna is an Aurora resident who fought for her son’s proper Asperger’s diagnosis and school placement. After several years of doctor’s visits, extensive paperwork, and conversations with school officials, she finally got him the help he deserved.  Now she hopes to increase awareness by sharing her HealthStory.

“The doctors in particular need to be educated in the knowledge that you have to be very careful how you communicate with children who have a developmental disability… children do get misdiagnosed because they won’t always understand.  My advice is EDUCATE YOURSELF.”

Also posted in By Topic, Engaged Patient, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 15 - Arapahoe County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Region 18 - Weld County

Michele

Michele – Weld County. CO

MIchele - Weld County, COMichele is a nurse from Weld County.  She shares a story about the relationship between nurses and the families of their patients.

“I thought, how unique, both nurse and family member used the same exact words, but they were coming from a 180 degrees difference in how they felt this patient should be treated.”

Also posted in Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 18 - Weld County, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 19 - Mesa County

Dr. John

Dr. John – Grand Junction

Dr. John - Grand JunctionDr. John, of Grand Junction, shares a powerful patient story about the importance of mental health care. Despite a dedicated team effort, his patient took their own life after suffering from severe depression.

“It just reminded me of how BAD our mental health system really is… There was nobody who was at fault …”

Also posted in Region 19 - Mesa County | Tagged | Leave a comment

Region 2 - Larimer County

Clint

Clint – Fort Collins, CO

Clint - Fort Collins, CO

Clint, a City of Fort Collins employee, shares his journey to a healthier lifestyle after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol in his twenties.

“Because, with me, you couldn’t have forced me to do it until I was ready…and for me it was really being scared.  It was like, I can’t believe in my 20s, I’m on blood pressure medication, and they’re saying stroke and heart attack in my 30s.  It scared me.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County, Stories | 1 Response

Colton

Colton – Fort Collins, CO

Colton shares his and his father’s health story of chronic Lyme disease and holistic approaches to health. Both he and his father struggled to get their insurance company to pay for alternative treatment methods. His experience has led him to pursue a career path in medicine.

“This experience for me has … inspired me to go into medicine. I want to get to a place where I can be treating people … who went to every doctor in the world and no one could tell them anything.”

 

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Engaged Patient, Health Care Systems Issues, Region 2 - Larimer County, Stories | Leave a comment

Dr. Larry

Larry – Fort Collins, CO

Dr. Larry Kieft, an OB/GYN in Fort Collins, shares a story about learning how to handle adverse birth outcomes. He explains how forming a strong doctor-patient relationship can be done even in tragic circumstances, and these relationships can help both the doctor and the patient heal and move forward together.

“… out of that experience came a relationship, doctor-patient, that was very unique. A friendship that was very unique, and that’s not always based on excellent outcomes.”

Also posted in Featured, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County, Stories | Leave a comment

Karen

Karen – Fort Collins, CO

Karen - Fort Collins, CO

Karen, a public health nurse in Larimer County, does home visits for new moms and babies on Medicaid.  She recalls the story of how she helped a family recover after the loss of their baby.

“I struggled with why this outcome was the way it was, if I felt like I got there in time, but I think I saved this family a lot of grief with child protection.  If this baby would have died at home, I think they would not have been able to forgive themselves; that there was something they had done.”

Also posted in Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County, Stories | Leave a comment

Kiri

Kiri – Fort Collins, CO

Kiri tells her story of being diagnosed with breast cancer and her choice to use alternative treatment options. She illustrates the importance of being an engaged patient.

“In 2010, I felt a lump in my breast, the same story many women have. Then you get swept into a process that very quickly did not feel like my path, and I just had to pull back the reigns and say, ‘hey, wait a minute, I’m going to do this the way I feel right about doing this.’”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Engaged Patient, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County, Stories | Leave a comment

Sandie

Sandie – Ft. Collins, CO

Sandie - Fort Collins, CO

Sandie, of Fort Collins, shares her personal transformation story. After years of yo-yo dieting and unhealthy habits, Sandie was able to lose more than 50 lbs and get off both her cholesterol and blood pressure medication. With her employer’s support, a weight counselor, friends and family, and a trainer, Sandie is supported on her journey to wellness.

“It took me several years to decide that I wanted to really do something about my weight… I found the quick fix wasn’t ideal for me.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 2 - Larimer County, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 20 - Denver County

Aleece and Carol

Aleece and Carol – Denver, CO

Aleece and her mother Carol own and run The Garden, a restaurant in Denver’s Park Hill neighborhood, committed to providing healthy, local, affordable and sustainable foods. After a difficult and devastating family battle with cancer, Aleece went to natural chef school and now prepares a menu that has plenty of options for folks with restricted diets including vegan, gluten-free and raw choices. Aleece and her mother Carol believe that people must take personal responsibility for their own health, starting with the food they put in their bodies.

“One month after she got the terminal diagnosis was when my lightbulb went on and I saw a big bullseye on my forehead. I was like, you better do whatever you can do to minimize your risk of cancer. You better educate yourself, inform yourself of what’s going on, and take some responsibility for your own life.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Region 20 - Denver County | 1 Response

Ben

Ben – Denver, CO

Ben shares his story about his involvement with Denver City Lax, which uses the sport of lacrosse as a means to emphasize the importance of education and health, and instill life goals in today’s youth. Ben and his dad started DCL five years ago, and never could have imagined the impact it would have on both the players, and the surrounding community.

“City Lax is really going to become a community organization…it’s not just the kids who need to get behind it, it’s everyone as a whole. That has probably been one of the biggest assets to our organization.”

Also posted in Health & Wellness, Prevention, Region 20 - Denver County, Social Determinants of Health | Leave a comment

Connor

Connor – Denver, CO

Connor - Denver, CO

Connor, of Denver, shares his story of personal transformation. Feeling like he had little control over his life, Connor seized the opportunity to get in shape and change his outlook through boot camp classes.

“I was looking at myself, I had kind of gotten a stomach, I was sitting at this desk all day, and you just think to yourself… this really isn’t who I am and I feel like my body doesn’t really reflect my personality. You’re thinking, there’s something that I can change here.”

Also posted in Featured, Prevention, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Leave a comment

Daniel

Daniel – Denver. CO

Daniel, of Denver, CO, shares his and his wife’s health story. At five months pregnant, they were struck by devastating news. Daniel tells their emotional journey of extreme sadness and incredible strength.

“…they ended up doing an MRI and I remember her coming out and saying the baby had been kicking her the whole time. Her OB came into the waiting room … and was weeping, she said the cancer was everywhere.”

 

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Leave a comment

Denali

Denali – Denver, CO

denalijohnsonDenali, of Denver, shares her story of a serious ski accident and the subsequent search for quality care while covered under her family’s military health plan.  Although she was able to access the military system, her care lacked consistency and coordination.

“I kept having these spasms and nobody really knew what was going on.  I had no consistent medical records and there was just no conversation between any of these providers that I had been seeing…”

 

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Leave a comment

Dr. Mark

Dr. Mark Earnest – Denver, CO

Dr. Mark Earnest is a Professor in the Division of General Medicine for the University of Colorado and the Co-Founder and Director of the LEADS Program. He is also a Denver resident, and tells the story of a patient who sought treatment for kidney disease and her struggle to afford the necessary care. He wants to share her story to show how the medical system could be different, in a way that overcomes people’s fear about change.

“Isn’t it enough that somebody has lost their kidneys and now has to be on dialysis? Do we have to completely ruin them before we provide care?”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Care Systems Issues, Health Insurance Coverage, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 20 - Denver County | 2 Responses

Dr. Carl

Dr. Carl Clark – Denver, CO

Dr. Carl Clark, a mental health provider in Denver, describes his father’s struggle with bi-polar disorder.  He tells his father’s story of diagnosis and recovery and its impact on his personal career choice.

“I didn’t know my dad had a mental illness.  I thought all dads were full of abundant energy and this hopping in the car and taking spontaneous vacations.  I thought that’s just what dads did.”

Also posted in Behavioral Health, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 20 - Denver County | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gretchen

Gretchen – Denver, CO

Gretchen, a Park Hill resident in Denver, CO shares her family’s health story. She talks about her father, his rural medicine mentality, and the seamless integration between health care and community.

“Health was always important, and it was an important part of our growing up, and an important part of how we interacted with our community.”

Also posted in Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Leave a comment

Jess

Jess – Denver, CO

JessM_Denver

Growing up going to a sleep-away camp, camp nurses played an important role in Jess’s life. She talks about how their immersion in campers’ and staff members’ everyday activities helped teach kids that health care professionals are “real people” too.

“There’s a lot of talk now about medical homes and integrated care… all of these buzz words. I think the camp nurse is the prime example of when this works best, because they’re living with you!”

Also posted in Featured, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | 1 Response

John

John – Durango, CO

John - Durango, CO

John, a medical student in Denver, CO who did his rural rotation in Durango, shares his story about how developed a passion for medicine. He talks about his time volunteering in the Chiapas region in Mexico, and the similar struggles of chronic disease and poor access to care amongst citizens in the United States.

“There’s a big discussion about safety net clinics and safety net health care systems and the people who are making decisions are so detached from the reality on the ground, in terms of health care, that they’re more likely to do away with them.”

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Health Disparities, Patient / Provider Relationship, Patient Populations, Region 20 - Denver County, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Social Determinants of Health, Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jonathan

Jonathan – Denver, CO

Jonathan, a young man living in Jonathan - Denver, CODenver, describes his experience supporting his fiancé as she battled Lyme disease. It is a rare disease in the Rocky Mountain region and there are a limited number of providers able to provide adequate care for treatment.

“My perception was that the doctor would kind of control the path of the care…actually that was not the case.  Looking back at it now the doctor kind of took a stab at what what he thought was going on but didn’t really follow through on that.”

 

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Leave a comment

Karen and Benjamin

Karen and Benjamin – Denver, CO

Karen shares her story about her son Benjamin, who is hearing and visually impaired. She describes their experience with numerous providers, trying to diagnose Benjamin’s issues. Throughout all of it, Karen and her family have stayed extremely positive and built many meaningful relationships within the medical community.

“Some of our relationship with some of our doctors…well it’s almost like a marriage. You have your moments, you just love them so much, and other moments your not sure about this.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Leave a comment

Penny

Penny – Denver, CO

Penny, a lifelong Denverite, shares her personal transformation story. Over the past year she has lost 30 lbs, changed her mental outlook, and completed a Tough Mudder race. From self-control to self-esteem, Penny’s story is incredibly relatable and inspiring for young Colorado women.

“When they were asking us what our goals were, I said ‘I just want to feel healthy.’ Instead of saying … I want to lose 20 lbs, I said ‘I want to be eating better and I want to feel great.'”

Also posted in Health & Wellness, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sara

Sara – Denver, CO

Sara - Denver, COSara is a family nurse practitioner in Denver. She talks about the challenges associated with serving a refugee population and the importance of cultural competency.

“We come from a perspective of Western medicine… [We have to] learn where they are coming from. What does hypertension mean to somebody from Nepal? We don’t really know.”

Also posted in Health Disparities, Patient Populations, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sharon

Sharon – Denver, CO

Sharon shares her story about her family pediatrician and subsequent health care providers. She talks about looking for the same positive qualities in her current physician that kept her family with their pediatrician for over 18 years. It is Sharon’s hope that in the future all children and adults will be as happy with their provider, and that everyone will have a stable medical home.

“I’m hoping that at some point this country will get to that, where we can get the care we need when we need it.”

Also posted in Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 20 - Denver County, Stories | Tagged | 4 Responses

Region 21 - Jefferson County

Adrienne

Adrienne – Golden, CO

adrienne_pic (1)Adrienne, of Golden, shares her story. During her pregnancy Adrienne had no complications, but when her daughter Sylvia was born she could hardly breathe and then spent ten days in the NICU.

“I didn’t know if my child was going to survive. I didn’t know if I could even form an attachment… Everyone says the moment their child is born is the most magical moment of their life, but I kind of feel like I didn’t get that.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 21 - Jefferson County, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 3 - Douglas County

Sharon

Sharon – Castle Rock, CO

SharonASharon of Castle Rock shares her experience responding to her husband’s sudden heart attack.  She speaks about the importance of having family and friends supportive and present throughout such a crisis.

“What I’ve discovered about myself is that I’m not doing stuff alone.  I’m not hesitating, you know, there are people in my life for a reason and I’m like all hands on deck…so, it’s reassuring and it’s calming.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 3 - Douglas County, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 4 - El Paso County

Brittany

Brittany – Colorado Springs, CO

Brittany - Colorado Springs, CO

Brittany, a single mother in Colorado Springs, shares her story of receiving treatment for free through the aid of a local organization. After giving birth five years ago, Brittany developed a painful hernia that she was unable to have treated. The necessary medical procedure was too expensive for her to afford, but Brittany’s clinic helped her get the operation so she could continue to provide for her family.

“I would always worry what if something happens to me, what’s going to happen with my kids…  Life is a lot more peaceful.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Patient Populations, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Chris

Chris – Colorado Springs, CO

Chris - Colorado Springs, CO

Chris is a Vietnam veteran with multiple serious health conditions including hearing loss.  He moved to Colorado Springs and immediately found himself needing medical assistance. He shares his experience navigating various health care settings in order to become healthy and work again.

“When I came to Colorado I had had a stroke, quad bypass, and I had lost my hearing and I had lost my job because of all of it, so I was in pretty bad shape.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Dan

Dan – Colorado Springs, CO

Dan, of Colorado Springs, CO discusses his personal struggle dealing with a serious health condition while having no insurance, living on limited financial means, and having difficulty locating a health care provider that could accommodate him.

“People need to get a lot more education in health care and realize this stuff is important.  They’re telling you the truth and you better pay attention because luckily I had a second chance but some people don’t get that luxury.”

Also posted in Prevention, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Deb

Deb – Colorado Springs, CO

DebCS_SquareDeb, of El Paso County, spent years experiencing pain. She worked unsuccessfully with medical staff who were unable to discover the root of her illness. And as she experienced, they failed to take the right measures to support her.

“There was another clinic that I went to that they would literally give you 15 minutes and you could only talk about one symptom or one thing that was wrong that day.  You couldn’t say, “I have a migraine and I have back muscle spasms.”  You would have to make another appointment and they would literally cut you off at 15 minutes.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Elizabeth

Elizabeth – Colorado Springs, CO

Elizabeth, a student in Colorado Springs, shares her story about struggling with a chronic disease and affording the care and medication needed to live.

“All of these bills every three months are just piling up and so my parents actually had to go bankrupt over medical stuff.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Care Systems Issues, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Jill

Jill – Colorado Springs, CO

Jill moved to Colorado Springs from New Jersey in order to restart her life and access proper medical support. With expensive prescription medication for her chronic disease, she needed help.

“People should be able to have a physical and not worry about paying for the doctor.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Joan

Joan – Colorado Springs, CO

Joan, of Colorado Springs, CO, volunteers at a dental clinic and shares her experience supporting individuals with and without dental insurance. She also describes how invaluable dental care is, particularly for people looking for employment.

“The dental needs that I see here in this city are humongous and there’s no good answer, there’s no real solutions for it…”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Care Systems Issues, Health Insurance Coverage, Oral Health, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

John

John – Colorado Springs, CO

John, a resident of Colorado Springs for nearly a decade, shares his experience overcoming a traumatic personal experience and mental health issues with the support of a counselor at a local clinic.

“Overnight it was all different.  Every area [the clinic] has taken care of.  You know, I’ve had several dental problems and they’ve gotten me in and taken care of it.  My depression and anxiety problems, you know, they just keep solid with me, they don’t give up or whatever.”

Also posted in Oral Health, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Marjorie

Marjorie – Colorado Springs, CO

Marjorie is a mother living in Colorado Springs who describes her experience navigating the independent health insurance system to ensure her preventative procedures were covered.

“I could have called in [to the grievance panel review] but I think sometimes it’s a lot harder to say no…to someone to their face.”

Also posted in Engaged Patient, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Mary

Mary – Colorado Springs, CO

Mary, a parent and grandmother living in Colorado Springs, discusses her struggle to live with the tragic loss of her daughter and debilitating depression.

“Once you start going into the counseling everything turns around…people may think you’re crazy ‘cuz you go to a psychiatrist or to a counselor but I say that all you are doing is trying to help yourself be a better person.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Michael

Michael – El Paso County

Michael, a resident of El Paso county, speaks about seeking and receiving treatment for his escalating poor mental health condition.

“The majority of the time you don’t want to ask for help, you don’t want them to know what’s going on.  You’re scared to ask for help.  But that’s the first step; you have to ask for help.”

Also posted in Behavioral Health, Complex Health Conditions, Patient / Provider Relationship, Patient Populations, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Michelle

Michelle – Colorado Springs, CO

Michelle - Colorado Springs, CO

Michelle is a Physician Assistant at a clinic in Colorado Springs who discusses her commitment to “whole person” care. She shares a particular story about treating a woman from this holistic perspective, the impact it had on her patient’s life.

“It was nice to see that a lot of different aspects could come together and really make a person feel whole in themselves.”

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Nigel

Nigel – Colorado Springs, CO

Nigel speaks about a clinic in El Paso county that went beyond normal expectations to provide considerate and quality care for his brother, a large man who struggled with receiving care due to fear of judgment and unaccommodating providers.

“The respect and compassion that the clinic showed a huge man, I mean he was a mountain of a man.  He barely fit through doors; you know he barely fit in cars.  But the clinic accommodated all of that.  I will never forget what they did.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Featured, Patient / Provider Relationship, Patient Populations, Region 4 - El Paso County, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Response

Rafael

Rafael – Colorado Springs, CO

Rafael, a Colorado Springs resident and Army veteran, was shot while he was in his home and ended up receiving quality emergency care while he was uninsured.

“I think health care should work for the people.  Not for the organizations or the companies.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sarah

Sarah – Colorado Springs, CO

Sarah - Colorado SpringsSarah, a registered nurse in Colorado Springs, shares her story of giving birth to her first child. She experienced unfortunate and unpredictable circumstances during and after her medically induced delivery.

“The moment we got home, my husband called 9-1-1 because I was having seizures.”

 

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Sarah

Sarah – Colorado Springs, CO

Sarah - Colorado Springs, COSarah, a behavioral health provider in Colorado Springs, describes integrated care in her geriatric clinic. At their clinic, they have worked to tweak the “co-visit” to help both patients and their families.

“Her family [wasn’t] understanding how she was experiencing the world. And the provider and I were able to say medication isn’t going to do anything. And that united front really helped that family to understand.”

Also posted in Behavioral Health, Health Care Systems Issues, Patient / Provider Relationship, Patient Populations, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Theresia

Theresia – Colorado Springs, CO

Theresia, previously gainfully employed, shares her story about losing her job and the affect it had on managing her chronic health issues. She describes needing assistance and the impact of a safety net clinic.

“I’ve just kind of learned to be honest, say that there was a need and hold my head up high because I didn’t do anything to cause this to happen and it’s been a very humbling experience.  I’m used to giving, not receiving.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Patient Populations, Region 4 - El Paso County, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties

Cindy

Cindy – Huerfano County, CO

Cindy shares her story about her family and their commitment to health and wellness. As a nutritionist, Cindy tries to help other people take responsibility for their own health and engage in strong preventative behaviors.

“My family, we take really good care of ourselves. We eat well, we all get exercise… We do a lot of preventative health and wellness.”

Also posted in Prevention, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Donna

Donna – Rocky Ford, CO

Donna, of Rocky Ford, CO, shares her story of her husband’s head injury.  She talks about how difficult it was to put him in an assisted living home, and about the importance of patient knowledge.  She recognizes that in the current health care system, good doctors are over worked and it is often up to the patient to ensure proper care is being provided.

“I noticed his personality starting to change.  He’s a big man, very loving, very tender.  All of the sudden he started being angry and I became fearful of him, which I had never been before.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Engaged Patient, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Jacque

Jacque – Rocky Ford, CO

Jacque of La Junta, CO shares her health story.  She describes her experience with multiple sclerosis; the diagnostic process, living with disease, and applying for disability.

“I’m not defined by my disease; I’m defined by what I can do.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Navigating the Health Care System, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

John and Gerry

John and Gerry – Rocky Ford, CO

John and Gerry, father-son residents of Rocky Ford, CO, share their family’s struggles with mental health.  They speak about trust issues with providers and the importance of first impressions and second chances with mental health patients.

“When you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor you don’t want to tell them.  It could be something critical and you’re afraid to even talk to them because you think you’re going to get judged.”

Also posted in Behavioral Health, Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Katie

Katie – Lamar, CO

Katie - Lamar, COKatie, of Lamar, shares her health story. After her husband’s passing, she struggled with grief, depression, and substance abuse. Fortunately, Katie now has an excellent relationship with her therapist and is doing much better.

“I got connected with my therapist, my substance abuse therapist, through my domestic violence therapist and my doctor… We’ve talked over some stuff I’ve never told anybody.”

Also posted in Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ken and Charlette

Ken and Charlette – Rocky Ford, CO

Ken and Charlette, residents of Rocky Ford, CO, share their stories of health care access and navigating the current system.

“I tell you what really irritates me, if we get a divorce, she could get Medicaid.  But we can’t get no help because we make just a few dollars too much.  So what do we do?  Do we get a divorce so she can get more help?  That’s a sad situation, and a lot of people do it.”

Also posted in Health Insurance Coverage, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Lisa

Lisa – Rocky Ford, CO

Lisa, a resident of La Junta, CO, tells her and her daughter’s health stories.  She describes her battle with chronic disease, her daughter’s personal transformation, and their relationship with their provider.

“A lot of the health care I’ve just relied on what I can get here in the clinic and I’m really happy with my provider now.  I think he’s great, and personable.  I’ve had doctors before that don’t want to talk to you, don’t want to explain anything to you.  I mean, he will explain anything, anything, I need to talk about.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Health & Wellness, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Richard and Bette Faith

Richard and Bette Faith – Rocky Ford, CO

Richard and Bette Faith, residents of Rocky Ford, CO, share their story of Bette’s COPD and their gratitude for Tricare and Medicare assistance.

“We’ve been married 26 years and been through a lot of health problems together over those 26 years.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | 1 Response

Terry

Terry -Rocky Ford, CO

Terry, of Rocky Ford, CO, is the business manager for her husband’s private practice.  He is a nurse practitioner, and her story describes their small town patient population.

“There are people, groups of people, or groups of families that share one car, one driver.  Those people will call us and say, “well I can’t come to my appointment today because the person who was going to drive me has to work.”  That was a surprise to me that even as small as our town is, there is real limited mobility among people.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 6 - Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers, Huerfano, Las Animas & Baca Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 8 - Mineral, Saguache, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa & Costilla Counties

Angie and Tony

Angie and Tony – Alamosa, CO

Angie and Tony - Alamosa, COAngie and Tony, of Alamosa, share their inspiring health story. After being told her cholesterol levels were too high, Angie put herself and Tony on a strict diet and started the “couch to 5K” program. Within a few months they had each lost significant weight and were training for a half marathon.

“This has actually helped our relationship too. Losing weight and some of the stress that you get involved in as far as life is concerned … and working through a relationship. Having something to do together really does help.”

Also posted in Health & Wellness, Prevention, Region 8 - Mineral, Saguache, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa & Costilla Counties | Leave a comment

Diana

Diana – La Jara, CO

Diana - La Jara, CODiana, of La Jara, describes her experience with chronic ovarian cysts. She wanted to be as strong as her family, and developed an impressive pain tolerance so she could continue running. Although her doctors have agreed birth control would help, Diana can’t afford the medication and has to live with the uncertainty and pain.

“My family is all really tough…all of them. My dad’s a farmer and he’s like the strongest guy I’ve ever seen. I wanted to be as strong as my family.”

Also posted in Complex Health Conditions, Patient Populations, Region 8 - Mineral, Saguache, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa & Costilla Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Lares

Lares – Alamosa, CO

LaresF - Alamosa, COLares, of Alamosa, shares her health story. She shares her anxieties around navigating the health care system, finding the right provider, and the need for more humanity in health care.

“I think that [in] our health care system, because it’s just so massive, that personal connection and the humanity of it gets lost really easily.”

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 8 - Mineral, Saguache, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa & Costilla Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Logan

Logan – Rio Grande County, CO

Logan - Rio GrandeLogan shares his health story. Growing up, he struggled in gym class hated physical activity, especially running. While on his wellness adventure training for a marathon, Logan needed to return home and prove to himself that he wasn’t that unhealthy kid anymore.

“So the weight when I guess I was at my heaviest was about 230 [lbs], and right now I’m about 145 [lbs] and that’s mainly due to … running.”

Also posted in Health & Wellness, Prevention, Region 8 - Mineral, Saguache, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa & Costilla Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Theresa

Theresa – Alamosa, CO

Theresa - Alamosa, COTheresa, of Alamosa, shares a deeply personal story about losing her daughter. In her story, she recalls the importance of small moments between her family and the hospital nurses that had a long lasting impact.

“The reason I got into the health care field is that through losing her .. I watched what the nurses did and [thought] that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be there when people were going through the hard times.”

Also posted in Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 8 - Mineral, Saguache, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa & Costilla Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties

Christina and Jaden

Christina and Jaden – Durango, CO

Christina explains her family’s decision to move from their home in Durango to Denver for her son Jaden’s specialty care. Despite having formed a close relationship with their primary care provider in Durango, the financial strain of living so far away from a neurosurgeon has forced Christina and her family to make this tough choice.

“Its been a very hard decision to move to Denver, because this is home…I’m losing that large chunk of go-to care for specialty care.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties | Leave a comment

Debbie

Debbie Higgs

My name is Debbie, and I am a yoga practitioner and teacher. I maintain a healthy lifestyle that focuses on clean eating, exploring the outdoors, and yoga. Most would assume from all physical appearances that I am a healthy woman in her mid-twenties, but I have a hidden disability.

Read More »

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Engaged Patient, Health & Wellness, Navigating the Health Care System, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties | Leave a comment

Dell

Dell – Durango, CO

Dell, of Durango, CO shares her health story. She talks about her cancer diagnosis, invasive surgeries, and subsequent care. Dell also describes the benefits of a health navigator and how she took her health care into her own hands.

“That first month [of a health challenge] is hell. Because of not knowing who to believe or what to believe, and all of the opportunities and all of the options that are available to you. That is really difficult.”

Also posted in Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Don Jesus

Don Jesus – Durango, CO

Danny and Mariel, both La Plata County-based Community Health Workers, share the story of Don Jesus. Don Jesus was an elderly gentleman who was found on the ground of his trailer after three days of no water or food and in very bad condition.

“The truth is that Jesus is not only our client, but he is our friend… He is the one who brought us together, who brought this community together.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Complex Health Conditions, Navigating the Health Care System, Patient / Provider Relationship, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Elaine

Elaine and Tracy – La Plata County, CO

Elaine - La Plata County, COElaine, of La Plata County, describes her difficulties with her oral health and her struggle to secure dentures. After failing to navigate the local health system on her own, she found help in the way of an senior health nurse navigator named Tracy. With the help of Tracy, Elaine is on the path toward recovery.

“I suffer depression and it’s mostly because I can’t eat. It takes me a whole hour to eat without my teeth.”

Also posted in Oral Health, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

John

John – Durango, CO

John - Durango, CO

John, a medical student in Denver, CO who did his rural rotation in Durango, shares his story about how developed a passion for medicine. He talks about his time volunteering in the Chiapas region in Mexico, and the similar struggles of chronic disease and poor access to care amongst citizens in the United States.

“There’s a big discussion about safety net clinics and safety net health care systems and the people who are making decisions are so detached from the reality on the ground, in terms of health care, that they’re more likely to do away with them.”

Also posted in Health Care Systems Issues, Health Disparities, Patient / Provider Relationship, Patient Populations, Region 20 - Denver County, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Social Determinants of Health, Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Laura

Laura – Durango, CO

Laura - Durango, CO

Laura, of Durango, is an RN working in one of the local School Based Health Centers. She shares her story about the kids she works with and the pride she takes in her job.

“Being in the school, being accessible, the kids can walk in anytime…Having it in a place that’s familiar to them really makes a big difference.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Featured, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Laurel

Laurel – Durango, CO

Laurel, a Durango resident, shares her story about the local school based health centers. She talks about the impact on kids, their families, and the greater community.

“I would encourage anyone … whether you have kids or not, to check out the school based health centers… because they are making a difference in our community.”

Also posted in Access To Care, Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Stories | Leave a comment

Matthew

 

Matthew – Durango, CO

Matthew, a Durango resident, shares his story about trying to get coverage with a pre existing medical condition. After injuring his knee skiing, it took over a year for Matthew to receive the necessary orthopedic surgery. He finally got the care he needed through the Cover Colorado program.

“I remember the car ride home … thinking, what am I going to do? I don’t have [health insurance] and it was just full of fear.”

Also posted in Region 9 – Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, Stories | Leave a comment