Mobile Programs Reach Those Who Need Them Most
A new Vail Health program is improving the well-being of Eagle County residents. The Community Health Program offers free access to health screenings, health education, workout classes, support to navigate complex health and social care systems, and more to Eagle County residents who are uninsured, underinsured, and ineligible for Medicaid.
Kyler Hijmans, a Family Nurse Practitioner at Vail Health, and a team of community health workers visit neighborhoods, community sites, and workplaces throughout Eagle County to provide free medical screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. They also offer assistance with applications for Medicaid or other insurance options, connect clients with resources, and provide education about healthy lifestyles. In partnership with the Eagle Valley Community Foundation, the team travels on MIRA (Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance), a 40-foot RV donated by Vail Health Foundation and the Vail Health Volunteer Corps.
“We’re immediately helping patients with diabetes and high blood pressure screenings because they are the important and modifiable risk factors for having a stroke or a heart attack,” says Kyler. “By testing them right on the bus, I’m able to help them to realize that they may have a medical problem and, with the help of our community outreach team, connect them to care.”
Since the program began in June 2021, they have seen over 350 community members, most of whom are Spanish speaking. According to a survey, 100 percent of responding patients reported they were satisfied with their care. “I’ve seen the big impact this has in the community and how safe they feel with the MIRA Bus, especially with Kyler. The population we serve doesn’t have insurance, so it’s very beneficial to have that service come to them,” says Pricilla Solis, Community Health Care Coordinator. In addition, over 440 individuals have been approved for Medicaid and connected to sustainable healthcare options with the support of our community outreach and enrollment team.
“This is my dream job because I’m passionate about offering these services and providing the community with access to quality care. I’m grateful for Vail Health and the support of Vail Health Foundation and our benefactors to make this possible,” says Kyler.
Fitness Programs Create Healthier Lifestyles
As part of the Community Health Program, the Howard Head Performance team delivers a community fitness program that offers free wellness and exercise resources, including fitness and nutritional consultations and weekly workouts in different neighborhoods in the valley led by bilingual personal trainers. This community fitness program helps prevent diabetes, increase energy, improve sleep and mood, develop social connections, and create a healthier heart and stronger immune system.
Philanthropic Giving Makes it All Possible
The program, which is 100 percent funded through philanthropy, is a collaborative effort with Eagle Valley Community Foundation, Mountain Family Health Centers, Vail Health Howard Head Sports Medicine, Colorado Mountain Medical, Vail Health Behavioral Health, My Future Pathways, and others.
“This is amazing because I’m not aware of any other hospitals providing free care or screenings like this,” says Kyler.