Stories from Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties

This page features stories from Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit & Grand Counties. Listen to these stories, visit our Featured Stories page, or search for stories by topic or by location.


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.


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.”


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.”

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.


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.”


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.”

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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”