Five Things to Know about the Community Health Center Model

Every August, we celebrate National Community Health Center (CHC) Week. This is a time to celebrate and raise awareness of the important work of Federally-Qualified Health Centers, like Northwest Colorado Health, across the country in ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. As the only Community Health Center in our region, Northwest Colorado Health plays a critical role in our local healthcare system.

As we celebrate CHC Week, take a few minutes to learn five things you may not know about Northwest Colorado Health’s Community Health Center.

  1. We offer a Client Assistance Program for those with and without insurance.

We are dedicated to making sure everyone has access to our care. The Client Assistance Program allows patients to receive services at Northwest Colorado Health on a sliding fee scale. For patients without insurance, this program makes health care services affordable. And for those with high cost insurance, such as a high-deductible health plan, it can help reduce the amount spent on healthcare; potentially reducing costs to between $10 and $50 per visit. All new patients complete an application and if they qualify, costs for services at our clinic are based on family size and income. In addition to our internal Client Assistance Program, we provide support to determine eligibility for Medicaid and CHP+ as well as other cost-saving programs for prescriptions.

2. We meet all your healthcare needs under one roof.

Integrated Care means that we work together as a team – primary care providers, behavioral health providers, dentists and more – to make sure patients receive all of the care they need under one roof. We strive to care for the whole person, and we know that our mind and body are connected. Our team-based care removes financial, language and other barriers that might keep people from seeking behavioral health or other health support. The team also consists of Interpreters, Care Coordinators, Medical Assistants and more to provide assistance with insurance and financial support, share resources or coordinate care with other health providers and community support agencies.

3. We focus on prevention.  

Through our proactive, preventive programs and services, we strive to help people stay healthy and well. While we do treat illness and injury, our goal is for every member of our community to be empowered with the information, tools, and resources they need to stay healthy before major health complications or issues arise. By ensuring access to life-saving screenings, regular testing and immunizations, our patients can reduce their risk of dangerous and costly health complications in the future.

4. We support adolescents and teens in taking control of their own health.

Adolescents and teenagers reach a time when they are ready to make the transition from a pediatrician to a primary care provider. In addition to our integrated care, we also offer confidential sexual health and family planning appointments. Individuals of all ages can make an appointment for birth control, including low- or no-cost long-acting reversible contraception, STI screenings, medication to lower your risk of getting HIV or preventing HIV, HPV screening and immunization and more. A family planning visit focuses on sexual health, but is also an opportunity for a teen to check in with a healthcare provider to discuss safe behaviors and healthy habits, as well as get up-to-date on immunizations and screenings.

5. We ensure everyone has access to affordable, quality healthcare, during and beyond the pandemic.

Our CHCs are locally run yet part of a national network serving nearly 29 million people nation-wide. Together, CHCs save American taxpayers $24 billion a year in health care costs by preventing and managing chronic diseases. CHCs are not ordinary medical clinics; our staff are also problem-solvers who reach beyond the exam room to care for the whole person by providing access to necessities like food and housing resources. Community Health Centers care for everyone, regardless of insurance status.

As part of National Health Center Week 2022, we invite you to celebrate Northwest Colorado Health’s Community Health Centers in Craig, Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek and also our new mobile unit!  To make an appointment at our Community Health Center in Craig call 970-824-8233 or in Steamboat Springs call 970-879-1632, or visit

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