The experts informing Health is Local are some of Colorado’s top health care leaders, and their work is known around the state. Learn more about who they are and what their perspective is on the issues:
Jan Martin is serving her second term as a City Council Member in Colorado Springs. Council members are responsible for setting policies and passing ordinances and resolutions to govern the city, in addition to other duties. Jan is also the owner of Martin Business Group, Inc, a local information and systems training organization. Her experience working in local government, and serving on numerous community boards and commissions has left her highly in tune with the strengths and needs of the Colorado Springs community.
Local, collaborative health care was occurring in Colorado Springs even prior to the arrival of the Affordable Care Act. Local collaboration benefits our hospitals, it benefits our health care nonprofits, and it obviously benefits the individuals when we can all work together to create a more vibrant health care community. I think that’s what we’ve done in Colorado Springs. And as we go forward, we all hope that we will work in parallel with the Affordable Care Act rather than separately.
Kate Hatten is the Executive Director at the Peak Military Care Network, an organization dedicated to connecting the community’s military service members, veterans and their families to high quality resources. Kate’s job includes a variety of duties which help establish a strong network of information and integrated services, and helping military service members navigate the system. Kate provides a unique perspective on the prominent military community in Colorado Springs, and the relationship between the community health services and military health services they may access.
It may not be in a provider’s financial best interest to see a TRICARE patient, so a lot of providers are considering whether they will continue to provide care for TRICARE patients, which potentially means less access. What does this mean for a transitioning veteran? For one who hasn’t gone on the exchange yet. Do they pay a penalty? If they don’t have a job now, do you include the past year’s income, which includes their service, in Medicaid eligibility? Because then they probably won’t qualify. There are just so many questions for this population.
Jamie Smith is the Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, a two-hospital health system in Colorado Springs. Jamie oversees hospital operations, and works to improve patient care and increase market share for Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center. Additionally, he oversees Cardiovascular, Oncology, and Orthopedic service lines. Jamie’s expansive job responsibilities provide him with a wealth of knowledge on the opportunities and challenges facing the Colorado Springs health system.
No one really knows what to think until everything starts happening, and now it is happening. People are seeing that there is demand for the Exchange and there are people who want to get on to Medicaid. There was a lot of skepticism in our community about how health reform would actually roll out. Now the conversation is, who was really left out.
Pam McManus is the President and CEO of Peak Vista Community Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center with 21 health centers across 15 locations in the Pikes Peak Region. Pam and a staff of over 600 ensure quality primary care for 70,000 patients in the community every year. Pam also serves as Board Chair of Colorado Community Health Network, a network of Colorado community health centers; Past Board Chair for Community Health Partnership, a collaboration of local health care leaders designed to facilitate coordination among existing health care providers and to identify ways in which to work together to address community health issues in Colorado Springs. Her experience and participation in a number of boards and committees throughout the state provide Pam with tremendous insights into the strengths and challenges of the local health care system and how health reform will impact Colorado Springs.
Our community is unique in the fact that so many professionals and organizations are willing to work together to ensure that the people of the Pikes Peak region have access to quality care and services they need. As leaders collaboratively leverage their expertise in the health care industry, our city, our neighborhoods and our families are given the opportunity to live a life marked by wellness and positive health outcomes.
Carol Bruce-Fritz is CEO of Community Health Partnership, a coalition of health care providers in the Pikes Peak Region formed in 1992. As the convener of many community leaders, Carol hears and sees first-hand the conversations about Colorado Springs’ health system–what is working, what needs more attention, and everything in between. Carol feels strongly that this community approach provides the most opportunity for success.
Colorado has very distinct regional differences. What works in Colorado Springs is not the same thing that works in Grand Junction or Pueblo or Sterling. I think we need to get back to the thought that health care is local! The resources in every community are different. The relationships in those communities are different. The needs of the consumers in the community are different.