Author Archives: Vista Market

National Rural Health Day: The Power of Rural is The Way We Work

National Rural Health Day: The Power of Rural is The Way We Work

By Ruthie Boyd, Marketing Coordinator VISTA

“I Like The Way You Work”

I handed our seven-year-old patient’s mother a bag full of Skippy goodies, including a new toothbrush, floss, and a sheet outlining nearby dentists who accept Medicaid and CHP. And as I did, her eyes smiled at us. She thanked our dental hygienist, Claire, for the great service, saying “I like the way you work.”

As Claire and I waved goodbye, our young patient’s freshly cleaned and polished smile covered by a mask, I was struck by the important work that we do in making healthcare accessible, convenient, and affordable to families in our region. Under my mask, I smiled back at Claire. We like the way we work, too. Since 2008, Skippy has partnered with regional schools to provide more than 7,000 cavity prevention treatments. By providing mobile teeth cleaning services to kids in our communities, we’ve reduced the percentage of kids with untreated tooth decay to 9% below the national average.

The Challenges We Face

More than 57 million Americans live, work, and play in rural communities. The median annual household income for residents of rural areas is well below the urban average, and rural areas face a disproportionate shortage of qualified health are providers- 68% of areas that face health professional shortages are rural.

Tri-County Health Network’s mission is to remove barriers to care and strive for health equity on the Western Slope of Colorado. Tri-County Health Network does what many rural organizations do- a little bit of everything, forging bridges between resources and residents throughout the rural area we serve. Our online therapy and behavioral health programming and trainings, support for Spanish speaking community members, distribution of emergency funds, and insurance enrollment assistance are just a handful of the ways that we help our residents thrive.

And today, on National Rural Health Day, we acknowledge this work. We thank the rural healthcare providers, State Offices of Rural Health, and other rural stakeholders for the work they perform daily to help our communities thrive. Tri-County Health Network is proud to be part of a coalition of partners whose variations on the mission for health equity intersect to ensure that communities members receive the support they need.

The Power of Rural

The pandemic continues to reinforce the isolation that rural communities often face, and Tri-County Health Network has been working diligently to ensure that these newly formed barriers to care are effectively reduced and eliminated. By offering many of our programs online, including online therapy, online cooking matters classes, and online insurance enrollment assistance, we have developed creative and adaptable ways to ensure that our programming continues. Reconfiguring resources to ensure that everyone can access the care they need is what we do best, and the pandemic continues to highlight the resilience of rural healthcare providers and the power of rural.

Today, we celebrate the way that the power of rural shines through the barriers to health we face. We celebrate our partners and the progress that we’ve made, together. We celebrate the small moments, when we hand a child a new toothbrush, and the larger ones, when we are able to achieve systematic change through securing funding to help build community programs that help connect us all. We celebrate resilience, adaptability, and progress. We celebrate all that we have done, and all that we will continue to do, to make the Power of Rural shine loud and clear.

Read more statistics about the barriers that rural communities face:

2021 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period Approaches!

2021 Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period Approaches!

By Greg Fischer, Program SupervisorTri-County Health Network (TCHNetwork) is gearing up to help local residents enroll in health insurance during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period. Open Enrollment officially begins November 1 and runs through December 15to ensure coverage starting January 1, 2021. An extended enrollment period runs from December 16th to January 15th for coverage… Continue Reading

SKIPPY Dental Is Coming Soon!

SKIPPY Dental Is Coming Soon!

By Gina Gurreri, Community Programs Development Supervisor Back-to-school time is often a time to check up on your child’s needs. Do they need a new backpack or new shoes? Do they need a physical for sports or immunizations? Do they have the school supplies and books they’ll need for classes?What about their oral health needs?Tooth… Continue Reading

Be Proactive About Back to School Stress

Be Proactive About Back to School Stress

By Julia Johnson, School-Based Programs CoordinatorAs summer comes to an end, students and school staff start to get ready to go back to school. Transitions are not always easy, and this time there is a lot of stress from uncertainty about what school and even the future looks like.“Chronic stress decreases memory and cognitive flexibility,… Continue Reading

School Lunches That Rock!

School Lunches That Rock!

By Ruth Homan, Community Health WorkerWith back-to-school quickly approaching and new lunch rules being implemented, here are some tips for packing fun and nutritious lunches.  Let’s feed those brains and growing bodies with great meals on the go that are just as fun as leaving campus! Packed Lunch Planning and PrepA great way to get… Continue Reading

Masking Up to Connect with our Communities at the Farmer’s Market

Masking Up to Connect with our Communities at the Farmer’s Market

By Ruthie Boyd, Public Health Marketing Coordinator VISTA Every Friday at the intersection of Oak and Pacific, the Telluride Farmer’s Market turns this usually quiet street into a bustling hub of community activity.On Wednesdays at Heritage Plaza in Mountain Village, Market on the Plaza brings together vendors, artisans, visitors, and the local community to share… Continue Reading

Quarantine 15

Quarantine 15

By Ruth Homan, Telluride Community Health WorkerBy now, many of us have experienced to a certain degree the ill effects of social distancing for multiple weeks.  For most people, a few days of forced social isolation can be an opportunity to be more introspective or partake in self-care which can invoke positive responses in the… Continue Reading

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