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Integrated Care at Safety Net Clinics is Saving Lives

Potentially preventing a teen from suicide by cleaning her teeth might seem like a far-fetched connection. But this was just one example of the power of an integrated team based approach to primary care at safety net clinics that was highlighted at this year’s Colorado Health Symposium. August commemorates clinics serving vulnerable populations through both National Health Center Week and Colorado’s Safety Net Clinic Week. In an effort to identify and promote effective, patient-centered delivery systems, CIVHC has learned that clinics like these that are treating the whole patient – mind, body and spirit – through a multi-disciplinary team approach are finding benefits they never imagined.

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The Power of Collective Impact

Each year after the Colorado Health Symposium I come away proud of the progress we’ve made in health care in our state and re-energized by the commitment and collaboration of so many Coloradans to achieve true systemic change. Through the efforts of many, a plan of action is coming into focus on ways to solve Colorado’s health care problems. Rising costs, mediocre patient experience, a population getting less healthy, and a near total lack of transparent data that can make a broken system work better plagues our state and country. Many organizations in Colorado are pursuing strategies and engaging in interventions to address specific aspects of the solution. However, if Colorado is going to thrive we need to work faster, smarter and in a more systemic way.

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