Integrated health clinic opens

© 2017-Alamosa News

ALAMOSA — Modeling an example of integrated health care, Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. and the SLV Behavioral Health Group welcomed the public to their new Alamosa South Health Center on Monday.

The new center, which integrates health services from both Valley-Wide and Behavioral Health Group, is located at the SLV Behavioral Health Group facility on Airport Road in Alamosa.

Valley-Wide Health Systems President/CEO Gigi Darricades said, “It’s been a bold step.”

SLV Behavioral Health Group Chief Executive Officer Fernando Martinez recognized members of the two boards “for championing this type of service delivery. I am calling it integrated whole health care.”

Martinez also recognized the leadership and staff member teams of both organizations for embracing the bi-management of the new clinic. He called those who developed the concept and brought it to reality “my dream team.”

Colorado Health Partnerships Executive Director Arnold Salazar, left, presents a plaque recognizing the efforts of Valley-Wide Health Systems in opening the new Alamosa South Health Center. Accepting the plaque are VWHS President/CEO Gigi Darricades, center, and Valley-Wide Board Chair Frances Valdez, right.

Darricades also recognized the staff “because they are the ones who made this work.”

Martinez said the efforts to realize this dream took six years and commendable efforts from both rural health care champion organizations that were willing to “dream big.”

“Magic does happen in rural Colorado,” he said.

Martinez said the new integrated health center would likely serve as a model for other organizations to follow.

Colorado Health Partnerships Executive Director Arnold Salazar, left, presents a plaque recognizing the efforts of the SLV Behavioral Health Group in opening the new Alamosa South Health Center. Accepting the plaque are SLV Behavioral Health Group Chief Executive Officer Fernando Martinez, right, and board member Laurie Rivera, center.

Darricades added, “This project going forward is going to continue to require the openness that our staffs have shown and the interchange of ideas and the candor in communications.”

Arnold Salazar, executive director of Colorado Health Partnerships, which represents several mental health centers including SLV Behavioral Health Group, added, “This is not the end. This is the very beginning. We are barely dipping our toe in what integrated care can be.”

Caption: SLV Behavioral Health Group Chief Executive Officer Fernando Martinez, left, and Valley-Wide Health Systems President/CEO Gigi Darricades, right, cut the ribbon on the new Alamosa South Health Center on Monday. Those on hand for the event included SLV Behavioral Health Group board member Laurie Rivera, back left, and Valley-Wide Board Chair Frances Valdez, back right.

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