People Working Together for a Common Cause

People Working Together for a Common Cause

Last week I had the opportunity to visit with many of our rural health clinics during the Forum, April 13 – 15, 2016.  We had a 215 attendees and this was the highest attendance to date — thanks for your ongoing support.  I was inspired and energized by so many of the amazing presentations, especially the session by Jim Davidson on resilience.  Jim shared his story in which resilience was crucial for enduring uncertainty and embracing opportunities.  If you weren’t able to attend the conference I encourage you to visit

Resilience is what our rural communities were built upon. Despite facing adversity, you triumph and succeed.  One of the key ways I see you succeed is through teamwork, respect, honesty, integrity, engagement and communication.  These words are more than words at CRHC; these are our core values.

One of the ways we achieve our mission through external engagement.  CRHC is involved on your behalf in the Healthy Transitions Colorado, a collaborative statewide effort focused on improving transitions of care and reducing readmission rates.  CRHC has participated in this initiative since the beginning and serves as an operating partner ( working with critical access hospitals and rural health clinics through our Improving Communications and Readmissions (iCARE) program that start in 2010.  Currently participating critical access hospitals have a readmission rate of four percent and rural health clinics have made a 32 percent improvement in their diabetic patients with an LDL <100mg/dl since 2013.

Innovative ideas are coming out of these efforts, such as engagement of schools, public health and grocery stores to improve the obesity and diabetes rates within the community.  Project ECHO is a statewide professional education initiative aimed at connecting health workforces to topic experts to increase access to specialty care and expert knowledge.  Through use of video-conferencing technology, ECHO provides virtual training experiences that blend brief didactic presentations and case-based learning.  ECHO Colorado builds multi-disciplinary learning communities across the rural and underserved areas of Colorado.  To learn more go to

EvidenceNOW Southwest is part of a larger statewide initiative on practice transformation and provides small primary care practices with the support they need to improve heart health in their patients using the latest medical evidence. CRHC is working with seven rural clinics to provide health information technology support and practice transformation support in this effort.

The State Innovation Model (SIM) is a statewide effort to integrate mental/behavioral and physical healthcare in practices across Colorado. CRHC is working with rural health clinics to accomplish integration through telehealth and other innovative ways.

The Office of eHealth Innovation was created under the office of the Governor, Executive Order B 2015-008, and is tasked with developing common policies, procedures, and technical approaches aimed at enhancing Colorado’s Health Information Technology network.  The eHealth Commission is an advisory board with the vision of accelerating technology-driven health transformation by aligning public and private initiatives to support Colorado’s commitment to become the healthiest state in the nation and the mission is to promote the expanded use of Health IT in Colorado.

The Colorado Health Service Corp loan repayment program is a long-term program providing recruitment incentives for primary care providers, clinical pharmacists, and behavioral health professionals to practice in rural and underserved areas across the state.  CRHC not only reviews all rural applicants, but also works closely with the Primary Care Office to allocate the awards.

It takes a lot of teamwork to pull off our mission here at CRHC, with a staff of only twenty-four.  Over the past year our clinics team completed twenty-six healthy clinic assessments (HCA) with an average score of 94 percent.  This means that those participating in the HCA have a business operations flow performing at 94 percent of its potential.  The HCAs help improve the basic business operations of clinics allowing them strengthen the clinic foundation and focus on quality improvement. Over 200 cultural assessment evaluations were preformed providing valuable insight to clinic leadership and over 100 site visits were completed in the past year.  Internally, we share this information with one another to help you in other ways such as provider shortages, data issues, and a linkage to grant opportunities. The better we utilize teamwork internally, the better we can assist you in sustaining rural health.  Teamwork, together each achieves more.

Communication is central to all aspects of life and is often the hardest thing to do consistently.  At CRHC we strive to provide excellent communication because we believe if we work together for a common cause, sustaining rural healthcare. We will not only triumph; we will do so in the face of adversity.  I want to thank you again for your support of CRHC!

Much is happening in healthcare. Check out my monthly CEO update for the latest in rural healthcare.


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