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Club 20 forum considers health care in Pagosa Country

Is this a serious problem?

Can I afford care?

Will I get quick, efficient, competent care?

These are questions the majority of Archuleta County citizens ask themselves when an ailment befalls themselves or a loved one.

What is the range of personal responsibility? What services should local health care providers offer? How can the town and the county help improve the local health care system?

These are the serious questions that various community members and leaders discussed during the Club 20 “Sustainable Health Care Solutions” health forum held last Thursday afternoon at the Ross Aragon Community Center.

The goals listed at the beginning of the session were: identify health care strengths and weaknesses in your community, identify commonalities in health care issues across Western Colorado communities, connect communities having best practices in health care with other Western Slope communities experiencing challenges, and continue dialogue towards experiencing challenges.

The participants broke into three groups to discuss the topics of access, quality, personal responsibility and cost in terms of what these mean in context of the Pagosa community. According to the Club 20 Powerpoint presentation, each of these topics are key elements in a sustainable health care system.

For Archuleta County, in particular, cost is a very important issue, as 21.8 percent of the residents are uninsured, compared with 15.7 percent in all of Colorado.

However, Pastor Don Ford commented on the lack of socioeconomic diversity amongst the participants at the discussion, in particular, the lack of participants from the lower economic bracket. Ford noted that, though 42 percent of residents in Archuleta County are either uninsured or on Medicaid or Medicare, those involved in the discussions were in the middle to upper class bracket.

Participants at each table discussed the key elements, then shared their discussions with the larger group.

After the meeting, Club 20 personnel were to compile a summary from the notes of this meeting then will work to identify themes regarding health care throughout Western Slope communities.

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