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Expanding Children’s Access to Health Care


Starting around 2008, rising unemployment and the accompanying loss of insurance began to exacerbate the demands on safety-net health care providers statewide. Even before the recession, the health needs of the uninsured exceeded the capacity of Colorado’s safety-net clinics and the doctors and hospitals available to provide charity care. The Colorado Trust has long been committed to help strengthen the immediate ability of safety-net providers to care for more children and to provide comprehensive care.

The 14 diverse grantees across the state from this 2008-12 initiative included community clinics, federally qualified health centers, school-based health centers and local public health departments. By the end of the grant period, these organizations helped an estimated 18,000 children annually receive preventive, primary, oral and behavioral health care services that didn’t exist for them before.

A Better Future for Colorado's Communities

Northwest Colorado Community Health Center

In the remote ranching community of Craig, the safety-net clinic used to be open just two days a month. An extension of the local hospital, the clinic was struggling and rarely saw children. The Northwest Colorado Health took over the clinic and successfully mounted a massive effort to win designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center in 2008. Now the Northwest Colorado Community Health Center boasts a full-time staff of medical and behavioral health experts and is open five days a week.

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Learn about the health equity issues affecting Coloradans at Collective Colorado, a publication of The Colorado Trust.