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Vail Health Launches Community SafeHealth to Help Improve Health for Community’s Uninsured and Underinsured

Vail, CO – Vail Health has announced the launch of the Community SafeHealth program, which will guide and encourage uninsured and underinsured Eagle County residents to develop healthier habits. With 18 percent of Eagle County residents uninsured, more than triple the state average of 6.5 percent, filling the gap in health care services for the uninsured is essential. The program, which is a proven model used internally at Vail Health to successfully improve employees’ health and wellness, will be offered free of charge and addresses the health and wellness of this vulnerable population. Community SafeHealth is a collaborative effort with experts within the Vail Health system from Howard Head Sports Medicine, Colorado Mountain Medical, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health (EVBH), and community partners MIRA (Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance), Neighborhood Navigators, My Future Pathways, and others. 

The Rubenstein Children have contributed $1 million to launch the Community SafeHealth program at Howard Head Sports Medicine. In this new video, Ellie Rubenstein shares their inspiration for giving and hope for the new program.

“Good health and overall wellness are foundational to living a fruitful and happy life. Community SafeHealth is an innovative program that will bring the healing power of Vail Health directly into the community to those who need information, guidance, and support the most,” said Ellie Rubenstein, CEO of Manna Tree Partners, a Vail-based investment firm. “My siblings and I have personally benefited from Vail Health’s professionalism and care across the past 20 years. We strongly believe in this team’s ability to make our community stronger and healthier. We are proud to partner with Vail Health and humbled by the opportunity to serve our fellow citizens in the Vail community.”

“We are so grateful for the Rubenstein Children’s investment in Vail Health and this new initiative,” said Vail Health Foundation President Dan Pennington. “Their generosity and commitment to health and wellness will be felt across the entire community, helping those who need it the most.”

The pilot program started in January 2021 and provides local individuals and families with:

  • Culturally-sensitive programming, including mobile and virtual options to enhance access to preventative health care;
  • Evaluation of physical, nutritional, and psychological measures to track participant and program success and provide population health metrics;
  • Fitness sessions, nutritional classes, behavioral health offerings, health screenings, supplemented medical services, ongoing virtual support network, and more.

“The Community SafeHealth program will provide enhanced access to wellness services for those most in need, and we are grateful to the Rubenstein Children for their support of this vision,” said Director of Operations of Howard Head Sports Medicine MaryEllen Broersma. “We believe that bringing together physical, nutritional, and psychological wellness will provide a comprehensive approach to improving the health of those with limited access to care in our community.”

As part of the program, Howard Head Sports Medicine and EVBH have hired Dr. Harlan Austin as the Sports and Performance Optimization (SPO) Clinician. In this newly-created role, Dr. Austin will utilize his specialty training and certifications in addiction, sport and performance psychology, and psychological assessment to develop an integrated behavioral health care model embedded within Howard Head Sports Medicine. Dr. Austin’s expertise in sports psychology will play an integral role in the Community SafeHealth program. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the number of individuals who no longer have access to health care, resulting in a much larger concern for the community than previously reported. Community SafeHealth will address this need and work to achieve the following goals: 

  • Provide wellness training, coaching, and support for uninsured and underinsured individuals in Eagle County;
  • Reduce household expenditures on preventable health care needs;
  • Document an overall health improvement of our community.

This new program is an integral part of Vail Health’s overall population health strategy, led by Vail Health Chief Population Health Officer Chris Lindley. This new model takes a holistic approach and considers the physical, medical, behavioral, and social determinants of health care in the communities Vail Health serves. 

“By addressing underlying health issues, individuals and families can prevent complications caused by COVID-19,” said Lindley. “Community SafeHealth will play an important role in encouraging the most vulnerable people in our community to be healthier and improve their overall wellness and prevent issues from compounding.”

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About Howard Head Sports Medicine

For more than 30 years, Howard Head Sports Medicine, a service of Vail Health, has provided world-class rehabilitation services in Eagle and Summit counties and serves a growing destination orthopedic clientele. Howard Head Sports Medicine also provides specialty care, such as Brain & Balance care, men and women’s pelvic health, oncology care, pediatric care, along with performance and wellness programming. Learn more at howardhead.org.

About Vail Health Foundation

Vail Health Foundation aims to foster and grow lasting relationships with community members throughout Eagle County, Summit County, and the communities we serve. The Foundation generates philanthropy and awareness that support the programs and services offered by Vail Health, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, and our affiliated entities. To donate or to learn more, visit vailhealthfoundation.org.

Colorado Gives Day is ON!
Now through Dec 6, 2022, donations will be enhanced! Give where you live to help elevate health and wellness in our mountain communities.
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