Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership Executive director Ken Davis and Regional Health Connector Stephanie Monahan.

Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership Executive director Ken Davis and Regional Health Connector Stephanie Monahan. Photo by Teresa Ristow. |

Northwest Colorado organization working to improve community's health

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— Tucked down a long hallway in the Victoria Building in downtown Steamboat Springs is a small organization aiming to make a big impact on health in Northwest Colorado.

The Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership isn’t new — it has operated under Northwest Colorado Health for years — but the organization recently branched off, gaining 501c3 nonprofit status and its independence.

NCCHP will reintroduce itself to the community during an open house from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 15 at its new offices, 941 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 100G.

If you go:

What: Open house for Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership

When: 7:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 15

Where: NCCHP offices, 941 Lincoln Ave., Suite 100G

On a micro-scale, the organization locally houses three community care coordinators, including Routt County coordinator Megan Geraets, who work with health care patients who might benefit from connecting with additional resources, other organizations or information about issues such as housing and food assistance.

Care coordinators think beyond what information is usually given to a patient at a doctor’s office or hospital and instead consider a person’s overall situation — including whether they’re struggling with transportation to medical appointments or stable housing and food supply. Coordinators also consider whether patients would benefit from finding another organization that works with people in specific situations.

“It’s really important to think about all aspects that make up health,” said Stephanie Monahan, a regional health connector at NCCHP.

Care coordinators consider the obstacles facing a person achieving good health and aim to bridge any gaps.

“It’s ongoing support,” Monahan said.

While care coordinators are on the front lines working with patients, Monahan and NCCHP Executive Director Ken Davis consider the bigger picture when it comes to improving the overall health of Northwest Colorado.

Monahan said part of her work includes studying which resources that contribute to improving health are available in the region and what’s missing. She pointed to transportation and housing as two obvious areas of concern.

“These are big issues that will take time to figure out,” she said.

According to Monahan, research suggests that medical care is only a small part of what contributes to a healthy population, and other factors — such as genetics, social circumstances and the environment — combine to play a larger role.

Attendees at Wednesday's open house can meet staff and community care team members and learn about the organization's strategic goals.

For more information about the partnership, visit ncchealthpartnership.org, the organization's new website, which is expected to go live Monday.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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