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Community Health Forum shares stories

Posted: Friday, Oct 25th, 2013

Gene Akers, project coordinator for GetHealthySLV, shares information about health care resources available in the San Luis Valley as well as upcoming events. Photo by Phil Ray Jack

ALAMOSA — “The discussions surrounding health care in our country have become so political that the stories of the people have been left behind,” Joe Sammen explained at a San Luis Valley Health Forum Thursday evening.

Sammen, who is the Director of Community Initiatives for the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, shared the results of the most recent Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS), introduced the Colorado Health Story project, and led a discussion concerning health services and access to health care in the San Luis Valley.

“There is some good news,” Sammen said. According to the CHAS, a higher percentage of San Luis Valley residents reported that they have a “home source” for health care than people in other areas. Still, many find themselves having to see multiple providers, which means they have to “work their way through” various programs and systems in order to receive the care they are seeking.

“This can be difficult and create barriers to health care,” Sammen continued.

“The numbers are important in helping us to understand what is going on in our communities,” he continued, “but the stories help to add a human face to what is happening. Everybody has a story to tell, and the stories help us to understand the importance of addressing the issues surrounding health care.”

The Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved teamed up with the Colorado Rural Health Center, and ClinicNET to gather the stories told by people across the state about their experiences with health care. Funded by The Colorado Trust and the Colorado Health Foundation, the project has collected more than 230 stories from 27 counties in Colorado.

For the complete article see the 10-26-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-26-2013 paper.

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