Peak Vista Community Health Centers has 28 locations that offer primary medical, integrated behavioral health, and dental care services across the Pikes Peak region and eastern plains of Colorado.
In addition to now providing telecare appointments for medical and behavioral health services, the organization serves more than 93,000 patients annually across 28 outpatient centers in Colorado.
Recently, the organization broke ground on its 29th location in downtown Colorado Springs, but their Jet Wing location, which opened in 2019, is still making waves with the service it provides in the 80916-zip code.
“Before Peak Vista was here, there was no medical home that provided services to the individuals in this community,” says Danita Martinez, Director of Clinical Operations at the Health Center at Jet Wing.
The mission of Peak Vista Community Health Centers is to provide exceptional health care to people facing access barriers through clinical programs and education, and they are doing just that in Southeast Colorado Springs. More than 7,400 patients at the Jet Wing location had previously been seen at other Peak Vista facilities before the location opened, totaling over half of the health center’s total patient population. The location is right next to a bus stop making it convenient for people with transportation challenges.
Christine Laramee, P.A.-C. and Nicole Workman, N.P., say the special thing about Peak Vista is that it provides access where there were previously barriers for many demographics. Many people in the area are now able to walk to the center and pick up medications, see their primary care provider, visit the dentist and be provided with integrated behavioral health care.
“I have found it to be really rewarding to treat patients who may not be able to find care anywhere else,” Workman says. “People are always so appreciative that we can help.”
“It makes your job enjoyable and very worthwhile to be helping people who otherwise may not be able to find healthcare they need,” says Laramee.
Workman also says that the centers are helping remove the stigma around mental health by incorporating their integrated behavioral health services, allowing more people to have access to mental health care.
“We have several behavioral health providers at the Jet Wing location that we can tag team with,” says Workman. “They can come in during medical visits if needed, and patients can ask for that help. It is in-house here every single day.”
After collecting data and researching the area, officials say they picked the Jet Wing location to minimize the void, especially for marginalized populations, in the 80916 community. There was a significant shortage of healthcare providers nearby making it very difficult for people who have trouble with mobility and for those struggling to find transportation to access care.
“I think it’s something that is super special that Peak Vista offers care to these patients who have so many barriers,” says Workman.
Since opening, the Jet Wing location has served more than 11,000 people, and since the beginning of the pandemic, has vaccinated more than 15,000. The COVID-19 vaccine is available at all Peak Vista locations and Peak Vista officials encourage people to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Peak Vista celebrates the diversity of its patients. In order to meet the needs of more people, 70 percent of the medical staff at Jet Wing are able to speak Spanish. Forty percent of the people seen at the Jet Wing center self-identify as Hispanic or Latinx.
“Specifically, at the Jet Wing location, we have a high Spanish-speaking population,” says Martinez. “It really helps that the majority of our staff at that location speak Spanish. It really establishes rapport.”
Officials say Peak Vista Community Health Centers, including the Jet Wing location, provide more than just medical services, they provide wrap-around services. In addition to offering medical, dental, and behavioral health services, Peak Vista Community Health Centers also provide care coordination services, help with transportation and even connect to housing services.
Last year, El Paso County Department of Human Services opened a satellite location at the Jet Wing location. This allows people to bring paperwork and documentation to apply for benefits. The location can share information about benefits for individuals and families who may be eligible. The Health Center at Jet Wing is the third location in the county that can process Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. Officials say this addition really rounded out its whole-person care model.
Peak Vista Community Health Centers has been proudly serving the community since 1971, 50 years. To celebrate, they are hosting an open house on Tuesday, October 19, from 6pm to 8pm at the Jet Wing location, 1815 Jet Wing Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80916.
There will be free refreshments, games, a chance to meet the health care team, information about how to become a patient and more!