August 19, 2022
R.J. Montgomery Center
Springs Rescue Mission
Peak Vista's Health Center Downtown
Colorado Springs, Colo.On Tuesday, August 16, Peak Vista Community Health Centers (Peak Vista) donated 1,000 solar-powered, portable battery chargers to Colorado Springs organizations who serve community members in need, including individuals experiencing homelessness. The donation concluded Peak Vista’s National Health Center Week activities, which also included canned food drives and appreciation events for patients and staff.
Recipient organizations of the solar chargers included the Salvation Army R.J. Montgomery Center, Westside Cares, and Springs Rescue Mission. Peak Vista’s newest facility, the Health Center Downtown, along with Peak Vista’s Care Coordination team, also received a supply of solar chargers to provide to patients in need.
“Our patients experiencing homelessness have the same need to charge their phones as the rest of us, but lack the access to do so,” stated Director of Health Equity, Anne Beer. “A phone is a lifeline to important services. It is needed to schedule health care appointments, view maps and bus schedules, speak with various support services around the city, and stay connected with friends and family. A phone is not a luxury; it is a necessity.”
According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, across the country, health centers collectively serve 1.3 million individuals experiencing homelessness each year. The rate of disease, behavioral and mental health concerns, and other issues that lead to poor health outcomes, are higher amongst populations experiencing, or at risk for experiencing, homelessness. As part of its effort to improve access for these individuals, Peak Vista served 1,073 individuals experiencing homelessness in 2021 and conducted 204 housing assessments to help patients find a home.
“Our mission is to break down barriers to care,” said Peak Vista President and CEO, Emily Ptaszek, PsyD, MBA, FACHE. “Oftentimes, that means more than providing affordable, primary health care. It is crucial to address the social determinants of heath – insecurity in housing, food, income, and more – and to support our partners who do the same. I am thankful that the city has so many dedicated organizations aiding this population, and we are proud to help support them in any way that we can.”
National Health Center Week is an annual celebration of community health centers across the country, honoring their mission and accomplishments. Each day presents a different focus in health care, from Public Health in Housing to Children’s Health. This year, the celebratory week was held August 7-13.
About Peak Vista Community Health Centers
Peak Vista Community Health Centers is a nonprofit organization providing exceptional health care to people facing access barriers through clinical programs and education. Celebrating over 50 years of community health service, Peak Vista offers primary medical, integrated behavioral health and dental care services. We proudly serve over 89,000 patients annually through 23 outpatient centers in Colorado’s Pikes Peak and East Central regions.