Quarterly Community Meetings Keep Growing!

Winter Meeting:  We broke attendance records at our Winter Quarterly Community, held Wednesday, January 20, 2016 with at least 72  participants, and we suspect a few more might have sneaked by the registration desk. The Medical Center of Aurora graciously hosted the meeting and provided an abundant array of snacks.  We were welcomed by Ryan Simpson, Chief Operations Officer, and Dr. Diane McCallister, Chief Medical Officer, who provided information on their facility and shared their commitment to the Aurora community.
The "Did You Know?" Panel was as lively as ever.  It included Ben Harris, Colorado Welcome Back Center; Julissa Soto, American Diabetes Association; Shawn Taylor, Families Forward Resource Center; and Jake Williams, Healthier Colorado.  During the AHA updates, we had an energetic discussion about the difference between urgent care centers and free-standing emergency rooms. Click here for the meeting notes, which provide more details.

And, we said a sad farewell to AHA Board Member Amara Frumkin, who is moving away to pursue medical school.  While we are sad to see her go, we certainly wish her well on her future endeavors.

Spring Meeting:  Our Spring Quarterly Community Meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, 900 Potomac St., Aurora, CO 80111.  We are requesting that you register in advance. It is quick and easy. Just click here: it only takes seconds!
Rockin enRollment Event!
by Denise Denton

Bonnie DeHart and I helped out at the "final" enrollment event on Jan 23, organized by ACAN. We don't have the official count, but I believe more than 200 people showed up. Despite a few small glitches, everyone worked tirelessly.  Unfortunately, there isn't room to thank everyone because there were so many acts of kindness; but, here's a shout out to Kevin for his hot spot; Kelly for translating; Claudia and the MCPN staff for frisbees and dedication; Jubilee Roasting Company dudes for the roving coffee cart; and Septu for his consistent smile.  I got to practice my Spanish quite a bit, but need to apologize to the little girl who ran excitedly down the stairs to see the "caballos con gripe abajo." I meant "vacunes de gripe." (Tri-County was offering flu shots in the basement.)  Thank you, Jesse, and everyone who helped make coverage a reality for so many.  AHA was proud to participate.

Urgent Need to Know 

Have you noticed that Aurora has several new health facilities?  In the past few months, new walk-in clinics, urgent care centers, and free-standing emergency rooms (ERs) have opened, which helps improve Aurora's access to care.  Knowing the difference between these facilities can save you time and perhaps a great deal of money.  Free-standing ERs are required to be fully equipped and staffed, much like a hospital-based ER, which is a great resource to have right in your community, if you have a life- or limb-threatening emergency.  Of course, maintaining this level of care and readiness, means their costs are going to be much higher.  Visiting an ER, when you don't really have an emergency situation (or don't realize you are actually at an ER), can cost a great deal more for you in out-of-pocket or insurance co-pays.  AHA's Coverage Work Group and Access to Specialty Care Task Force are working on a consumer information sheet to explain these differences and map out the Aurora facilities.  If you have relevant information to share, contact us at admin@aurorahealthaccess.org.
Senior Circle Hosts Dynamic Meeting

We had a large turnout for the January Senior Circle meeting. The meeting focused on oral health for seniors.  The Circle was joined by several organizations that provide oral health services and support to Aurora's seniors.  We first identified the issues related to senior oral health: Medicare does not pay for oral health services and seniors are the most uninsured group for dental health insurance; dry mouth caused by prescription drugs, which exacerbates cavities and gum disease; arthritis, which makes it difficult to brush; caregivers--at home and even in institutions--not realizing the importance of good oral hygiene; complications due to chronic diseases; and much more.  Thanks to our guest presenters, we were able to identify multiple resources to meet these oral health needs, including several mobile services.  AHA will compile these resources into a guide, which could be completed by March.
Second Annual Senior Forum in June!

AHA is excited to announce our second annual Senior Forum, to be held on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at The Summit Conference and Event Center, 411 Sable St., Aurora, CO.  Based on our turnout last year, and strong positive feedback, we expect more exhibitors and more attendees this year.  And, we've already had one extremely generous donation from a corporate sponsor.  Watch for details soon about registering as an attendee, signing up as an exhibitor, or partnering with us as a sponsor. 
Last Chance to Register for Focus Group! 

Aurora Health Access is partnering with Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) to pull together a focus group to help assess the CoveredU website content and navigation. (See more about CoveredU below under Community News.)  We are looking for people ages 18-64 to participate at an Aurora location on February 4th. Since CoveredU targets those with limited experience with health insurance, we are primarily interested in anyone who is uninsured or has  private insurance. Note that this focus group will be an English-speaking group, and we hope it will be ethnically diverse.

Participants receive:
1) a meal;
2) childcare if needed;
3) a grocery gift card to each participant (King Soopers, $40). 
If you or someone you know would be willing to help provide important feedback, please email Sharon at admin@aurorahealthaccess.org.
Community News
Children's Hospital Needs Your Input!  

As we announced last month, Children's Hospital Colorado completed its 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment. Now they are moving into the implementation phase and they need your input.  If you are an advocate for children, they are counting on your participation to help build healthier futures for kids.  After spending hundreds of hours interviewing community members and gathering information, Children's Colorado has identified six health priorities:  1) mental health; 2) nutrition, physical activity, and obesity; 3) oral health; 4) injury; 5) prematurity; and 6)  respiratory illness.

They need your help in gaining additional insight into these priority areas and identifying partnerships that will address the underlying causes of kids' most urgent health problems. By attending this meeting, you will have the opportunity to give input that will make Children's Hospital's Implementation Plan benefit your community most.

This important meeting will be held:

March 4th
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Children's Hospital Colorado
Mt. Princeton Conference Room
13123 East 16th Ave
Aurora, CO

Free Flu Shots!
Did you know that flu season is still in full force--and wlll be until at least May?  Did you know you can still get last minute flu shots?  The DAWN Clinic provides FREE flu shots for adults 18 and older.  All uninsured or unable to pay are welcome! Tuesday evenings from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. 
The DAWN Clinic is located at 1445 Dayton St., Aurora, CO 80010 inside the Opportunity Center. 
Congratulations to "Unsung Heroes"

Denise Denton, Executive Director of Aurora Health Access, has been nominated for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce's Women In Business Unsung Hero Award, along with eight other nominees.  The nominees and winners will be recognized at a special luncheon on Friday, February 12, 2016 at the Doubletree Hotel on Iliff and I-225 at 11:30 a.m.  For more information about the luncheon, please contact Naomi Colwell at  Naomi.colwell@aurorachamber.org.  Of course, we at Aurora Health Access are not surprised by this, as we see how hard Denise works every day to increase access, expand coverage, and build collaboration in Aurora. We already knew she is an "Unsung Hero."
Give Kids a Smile Day is Back!

Give Kids a Smile Day (GKAS) is the nation's largest proactive approach to help children from low income families with their dental needs, and to draw attention to the problem that many families face when trying to access basic dental care. GKAS takes place in every state, and Colorado is fortunate to boast one of the nation's success stories for this program.  This year the date for "Give Kids a Smile Day" is Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Note that this occurs in multiple locations throughout Colorado.  We know of two of our partners who will be hosting events in Aurora.

CU School of Dental Medicine
  • Who Qualifies? Children without dental insurance from families who cannot afford dental care.
  • When? Friday, February 5, 2016
  • Where? The CU Dental Clinics will offer appointments on the Anschutz Medical Campus, 13065 E. 17th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045
  • For an appointment at CU please call 303-724-CARE (2273).
Metro Community Provider Network
  • When? Friday, February 5, 2016; 8 am - 4 pm
  • Where: MCPN North Aurora Family Health Services, 3292 Peoria St., Aurora.
  • Call for an appointment: 303-360-6276
  • Come and get a free dental cleaning, exam, and treatment for your kids. Enroll your whole family!
Speaking of Teeth!  

The CU School of Dental Medicine senior students are currently screening for patients to participate in clinical board exams. All applicants will receive free dental x-rays and a screening exam. Patients that qualify may receive up to two free filings and/or a free cleaning plus compensation for your time. There are too many details about this program to post here, so please make sure you click here for a detailed flyer.

Last month we told you about CoveredU.  Now we'd like to introduce you to you to CoveredHQ, a one-stop-shop where health coverage guides and other stakeholders can find resources on health insurance literacy! Resources are organized based on when to use them with consumers:  when they're uninsured, applying for coverage, shopping for coverage, using coverage, at tax time, or renewing coverage. CoveredHQ is operated by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI).  Click here to check out this resource!
Ready to Race? 

The Comitis CART RACES are back! They're coming up on Feb. 23, so get your team registered soon. This is your opportunity to help provide a warm, nutritious meal to those in need. Your participation benefits the Comitis pantry and helps provide nutritious meals at the shelter. For more information, see the details below.

 Aurora Expansion of MCPN
By Vanessa Nettingham, Social Media and Communications Coordinator, MCPN
Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) is expanding its services with the opening of a new location in Aurora, thanks to grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration and The Colorado Health Foundation. 
The new health center will provide integrated primary care, oral health, and behavioral health care and will be located at 10680 Del Mar Parkway, which is in close proximity to MCPN's Elmira Refugee Health Center.
Currently, this location is in an existing strip mall that is being renovated to a 20,000 square foot facility for MCPN patients. Inside, patients will be able to access services in two medical pods with 10 oversized exam rooms, in addition to one dental pod with six bays and an area for laboratory work.
MCPN is committed to its ICARE values--Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence--and is committed to bring its services where the patient resides. This results in more efficient workflow for care teams and improves the overall patient experience.
Construction on this location will begin in March and is slated to open mid-July!  Please stay tuned for additional updates! 

AHA envisions a community where all residents
 have an opportunity for health. 

AHA works collaboratively to improve access 
to care and create a healthier Aurora 
with a focus on the most vulnerable and underserved.

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