News Column

Neighborhood Health Care Expands in Colorado

Jan 29, 2013

Loretta Sword

"Medical" homes and neighborhoods are quickly becoming part of Southern Colorado's health care landscape, even if they're not readily visible. Centura Health last week announced its plans to open or expand medical neighborhoods in 13 regions, including Pueblo, Canon City and Alamosa. One such neighborhood already is in place near St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center and two more -- on Pueblo's North Side and another in Pueblo West, will open this summer.

The North Side medical neighborhood will incorporate the building that houses Centura Center for Rehabilitation and a Centura-affiliated orthopedic practice. It soon will offer some lab and many imaging services, as well as other services that will be divulged later. Nearby is Rocky Mountain Sports and Family Medicine, a group of Centura primary care doctors who are working toward certification as a medical home.

As statewide chairman of Centura's Health Neighborhood Board, Pueblo's Dr. Steven Milligan, has been a leader in the effort to define what health neighborhoods will look like and provide to those they serve. He also reconfigured his own practice, Comprehensive Family Care Center at 916 Indiana Ave., as one of the first medical homes in the local and statewide Centura networks.

Milligan's practice is a model for others that will provide varied levels of services, including health coaches and system navigators who will help even the healthiest patients stay on track with screening tests and other services.

Milligan said he was excited to be a leader in the creation of Centura's statewide system, and still is a bit surprised that the entire board of directors for the project is made up of fellow physicians. The corporation's CEO sits in on meetings just to answer questions and offer feedback if asked.

"I don't know of any other initiative like this, where physicians aren't just part of the board, but they're the entire board," said Milligan. "That's unheard of."

He's also excited about the increased level of patient interaction and personal care his new system will provide. He said medical homes are intended to motivate and empower patients to take a leading role in their health by utilizing the system most efficiently -- before they're sick.


Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2013 The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.)

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