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Community Health Centers Planting Trees to Deepen Roots in Communities


Monday, August 5, 2019   

LAMAR, Colo. – Health centers in Colorado are making good on the theme of this year's National Community Health Center Week – Rooted in Communities.

Trees will be planted Monday in Lamar at an event sponsored by High Plains Community Health Center.

And Sarada Leavenworth, senior director of strategy and development for Axis Health System, says folks who show up in Durango on Thursday will get a tree-in-a-box they can plant in their community.

She says the seedlings represent health centers' common goal of removing barriers to care and improving overall community health.

"Deepening our roots through the tree planting also represents that increased health for folks,” she states. “As they work with a health care team like ours, they can start to thrive just like a new tree."

Colorado's Community Health Centers provide a health-care home to more than one in seven Coloradans, and serve 40% of Colorado's uninsured population.

Leavenworth says this week's events also are meant to remind stakeholders, including state and county representatives, that health centers employ nearly 6,000 people in many communities around the state where good paying jobs are hard to come by.

Over the past decade, federally qualified health centers across Colorado have been on the forefront of lowering overall health costs, in large part driven by the concept of creating a health care home for patients, or what Brenda Brown, a human resources assistant with High Plains Community Health Center, calls a one-stop shop for care.

"From the medical side to behavioral health needs, we also have a dental clinic, we have a registered dietitian on staff, and so we kind of cover the whole gamut of their medical needs," she points out.

Other festivities this week include free dental screenings for children six-months-old and up sponsored by STRIDE Community Health Center in Parker; a free diaper drive by Sunrise Community Health in Weld County and a full-blown classic carnival with games, bouncy castles, food trucks, face painting and an obstacle course hosted by Clinica Family Health in Adams County.

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