Category Archives: Stories

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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | Tagged | 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 | 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 | Leave a comment

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 | 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 | 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 | Tagged | 4 Responses

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 | 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 | Leave a comment

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 | 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 | 1 Response

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 | 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 | 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 | Leave a comment

Tesfahunega

Tesfahunega – Aurora, CO

Tesfahunega, an Aurora resident and member of the Ethiopian community describes his battle with congestive heart failure and no insurance.  He claims he uses the Emergency Room to seek treatment feels hurt by the lack of empathy amongst health care workers.

“And nobody cares, the way I see it they don’t care.  They see me going back and forth to the emergency room and should get me my insurance card.  They know I’m in trouble; its just there is nothing I can do.  But there is a lot they can do.”

Also posted in Access To Care, By Location, By Topic, Complex Health Conditions, Health Insurance Coverage, Navigating the Health Care System | Tagged | 1 Response

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 | 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 | Tagged | 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 | 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 | 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 | 2 Responses

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 | 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 | 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 | Leave a comment