TOWAOC – As part of a whirlwind tour of health clinics in Southwest Colorado, the Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera stopped by sites in Towaoc and Cortez on April 26.
Primavera spoke with health care providers and community leaders after Gov. Jared Polis’ release of a legislative “road map” aimed at reducing health care costs.
“We hope to continue the relationship,” Primavera said during a tour of the Ute Mountain Ute Health Center in Towaoc, following a conversation with tribal leaders.
At the Towaoc health center, CEO Kyle Gropp showed Primavera and her staff the different parts of the clinic. Some of the features he highlighted included the center’s new X-ray room, additional chairs in the dental office, and the child behavioral health services the clinic offers.
While the site is not an urgent care facility, the clinic sometimes serves as a place to treat and stabilize patients in emergency situations, before an ambulance can arrive on-scene, Gropp said. The Towaoc ambulances, he said, are located within a quarter-mile of the clinic, and don’t take long to arrive.
The health center is hoping to expand to three times its current size, Gropp said. The clinic is currently in talks with tribal leaders to make this happen.
Immediately after the Towaoc tour, Primavera and her team traveled to the Axis Health System health center in Cortez, to speak with behavioral health staff there.
Polis revealed his health care policy proposals on April 4. His bills aim to address hospital charges, a state-backed insurance plan, a reinsurance pool, and prescription drug prices, among others.
Health care and access to affordable health care has long been a stated priority for Primavera. Prior to becoming lieutenant governor, she was a state legislator and CEO of Susan G. Komen Colorado, a nonprofit dedicated to breast cancer prevention, treatment, research, and education.
Primavera’s tour also included stops in Fairplay, Buena Vista, Salida, Saguache, Alamosa, Monte Vista, Del Norte, and Pagosa Springs. It concluded when she spoke at Fort Lewis College commencement ceremonies last Saturday.