Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

I_StatewideHealth_2019A 10/01/2019 06:02:00 PM Committee Summary

Date 10/01/2019
Baisley E
Beckman X
Caraveo X
Crowder E
Jaquez Lewis E
Pettersen E
Singer E
Young X
Fields X
Lontine X
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Time 06:02:00 PM to 07:22:26 PM
Place Off-site - Lamar Community Building
This Meeting was called to order by Representative Lontine
This Report was prepared by Amanda King
Hearing Items Action Taken
Call to Order Committee Discussion Only
Presentation by Local Agencies and Organizations Committee Discussion Only
Public Testimony Committee Discussion Only

Call to Order - Committee Discussion Only

06:03:55 PM  
Representative Lontine called the meeting
to order.  She reviewed the meeting agenda and the committee's charge
(Attachment A).

Presentation by Local Agencies and Organizations - Committee Discussion Only

06:05:09 PM  

Chief Kyle Miller, Lamar Police Department, presented to the committee on the law enforcement and health care services in rural areas.  He discussed mental health crises and the use of drugs, specifically cocaine, in the community.  He said that the crime rates are lowering as drug enforcement increases.  Chief Miller answered questions from the committee about mental health provider access and in-service treatment access.  In response to committee member questions, he discussed the types of community members who are experiencing mental health crises and the co-responder program that recently started in the community.

06:14:26 PM  

Cassandra Wyckoff, Regional Health Connector, presented to the committee regarding public health agencies.  She listed the communities she served, while participating in the Colorado Regional Health Connector program that was grant funded through June 2019.  Ms. Wyckoff discussed her experience working with the various communities in the area, how the communities collaborate to provide services, and the shortage of professional personnel.  She discussed the loss of the grant funding for the program and the impacts that had on the support she had been providing the community.  

06:17:28 PM  

Meagan Hillman, Prowers County Department of Public Health and Environment and Kiowa County Department of Public Health, discussed the role of the two departments she oversees and their budgets. She discussed the various services the departments provide, including addressing environmental issues, public health planning, and linking people to services.  Ms. Hillman discussed overseeing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and assisting with options for long-term care, veterans services, and the Nurse-Family Partnership.  She stated her concerns about a possible decrease in funding for the Nurse-Family Partnership.  Ms. Hillman discussed how her departments work with the county departments of human services to address cases involving child abuse and people with developmental disabilites.  

06:22:52 PM  

Jessami Graham, Baca County Public Health Agency, discussed the limited resources in her community   She stated that her department has a staff of three for core public health services, which includes communicable disease investigations.  Ms. Graham discussed the partnerships that are utilized throughout the region, including how she contracts with the county treasurer to provide vital records and statitics for the county.  She discussed a pilot program to provide fresh fruit to WIC clients.  She discussed several efforts her department is involved in, including the local food bank, chore services for elderly to allow them to stay in their homes, immunizations, pregnancy tests, child fatality prevention, and child safety seat education.  Ms. Graham said that often times there is funding for a program, but not for the staffing required to operate the program.

06:29:54 PM  

The panel answered questions from the committee about the Nurse-Family Partnership funding, immunization programs, and the poverty rate for children in the area.  Ms. Hillman discussed the summer lunch program in the area and how the departments connect with the mixed documentation population in the community.  Ms. Wyckoff discussed the need for personnel to leverage resources and submit necessary data to the state about program outcomes.  The panel continued to discuss personnel shortages and how various agencies try to address the shortage.  

06:45:14 PM  

Eric Niemeyer, High Plains Community Health Center, presented to the committee about federally qualified health centers.  He stated his health center provides physical health, dental, and behavioral health services.  He discussed the staff at his center and the federal, state, and private grants his center receives.


06:48:16 PM  

BriAnn Appel and Jackie Brown, Southeast Health Group, discussed the services their agency provides in the region and the various funding sources for their agency.   The services include mental health, substance use disorder treatment, primary care, physical therapy and wellness, peer support services, and vocational training.  The agency's service area includes the following counties:  Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero, and Prowers.  Ms. Brown provided a handout to the committee (Attachment B).  She discussed mental health crisis and providing residential treatment for persons experiencing homeless.  Ms. Brown discussed the challenges in the area with transportation, childhood poverty, and health worker shortages.  She discussed providing educational resources for students to stay in the community, including loan repayment programs.  Ms. Brown discussed the need for affordable housing for at-risk populations, suicide rates, substance abuse rates, and provider reimbursement rates.

06:57:36 PM  

Tammie Clark, Crossroads Turning Points, Inc., discussed the substance abuse treatment offered through her agencies, including treatment facilities and methadone clinics.  She discussed the challenges to educating the community about methadone clinics and of the staff shortages in the region.  She provided a handout to the committee (Attachment C).

06:59:38 PM  

Ms. Brown answered questions about the funding for the services provided at Southeast Health Group.  She discussed jail-based services and residential services for mental health.  She discussed how communities can provide wrap-around services.

07:04:00 PM  

The panel answered questions about the ability of Lamar Community College to offer health-related degrees.  Ms. Brown discussed the success of various nursing programs that could be used as models for other fields, such as therapists.  Ms. Brown and Ms. Appel answered questions about loan repayment programs.  Mr. Niemeyer discussed federal loan repayment programs for various types of providers.  

07:10:03 PM  

Ms. Brown and Ms. Clark responded to committee member questions about suicide rates in the community and the outreach to the farmers and ranchers about suicide and depression.

07:14:17 PM  

Mr. Niemeyer discussed the issues with addressing substance abuse and recruiting dental and medical professionals.  Mr. Niemeyer and Ms. Brown discussed the expansion of Medicaid and how it has benefited the community.  

07:22:26 PM   The committee adjourned.