Health agencies awarded grants

Health Dept., Axis included

The Caring for Colorado Foundation recently announced $3.1 million in grant funding. Three area health agencies were included as recipients.

“The latest funding round exemplifies how the foundation is addressing some of the critical health care needs and gaps in Colorado,” said Chris Wiant, president and CEO of the foundation.

Keeping with this year’s goals of building and supporting the state’s mental health, oral health and safety net systems, the Caring for Colorado Foundation awarded more than $3.1 million in grants to 63 organizations.

The Montezuma County Public Health Department, Axis Health System and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains each received grants.

The Montezuma County Health Department received $25,823 in grant funding to provide early diagnosis, education and treatment for high-risk individuals with cardiovascular disease. The grant ensures the Colorado Heart Healthy Solution program continues for another year, said county health educator Cindy Vermeule.

“The program provides free cholesterol and blood glucose screenings,” said Vermeule. “It’s designed to reveal any red flags.”

Some 200 patients have been screened since September. Vermeule said she conducts follow ups to assist patients with lifestyle changes, including how proper diet and exercise, can be beneficial to their overall health.

The Colorado Heart Healthy Solution program has been available locally for the past five years.

Other area agencies receiving grants include Axis Health System, which serves Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties. The agency received a $50,000 grant to help complete facility renovations for a new primary care clinic in Durango. The La Plata Integrated Health Care Clinic, which opened Jan. 6, aims to reduce access barriers to comprehensive care.

Planned Parenthood, which serves Dolores, La Plata and Montezuma counties, also received a $50,000 grant. The agency intends to use the money to help ensure family planning and basic health services, including women’s health and cancer screenings, are accessible to and affordable for underserved or uninsured women and men.