JUNE  2021

Dear Health Community Colleague,

Welcome to the second edition this month of the Navigator. In this issue, as we celebrate Pride Month, we’re including some LGBTQ resources that may be of interest. You’ll also find information about an innovative opportunity regarding Black maternal mental health, a provider partnership story highlighting our collaboration with Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity, information related to COVID-19, and a deeper dive into social determinants of health.

If you want to learn more about anything in this issue of the Navigator or just have a question, please contact us. You can also follow us on any of our social media channels using the links below.

In good health,
Colorado Access

Photos provided courtesy of Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity

At Colorado Access, our mission is to “partner with communities and empower people through access to quality, equitable, and affordable care.” The mention of equitable is important, especially when talking about health equity for the underserved populations that comprise much of our membership. Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity has been working years prior to the current pandemic with a focus on health equity. Their mission and vision is “to improve the health of Colorado’s immigrant communities through culturally and linguistically appropriate prevention, health education, wellness activities, early detection, and self-management of disease.” The partnership between these two organizations has only been strengthened with the focus on health equity and the underserved populations.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought an opportunity for the two organizations to partner together. With supplemental funding from Colorado Access, Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity was able to focus time and attention on what mattered most, rather than having to devote time and resources to chasing grants, they were able to put more energy towards providing culturally and linguistically appropriate care, especially as it related to COVID-19. This also resulted in Family Medicine Clinic being able to provide COVID-19 testing early during the pandemic. The focus has now shifted to building systems that support telehealth and telemedicine, with a focus on language and cultural barriers, in addition to continued vaccine distribution.

“Our partnerships with the community are very important to the success of Colorado Access,” said Elina Navarro, senior provider relations representative at Colorado Access. “Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity is unique in that they are a community-based nonprofit and have been focusing on health equity for the underserved for a long time.”

The clinic consists of three main components: family practice, dental services, and wraparound grants. They provide support to the patient at intake, but then also check for and offer language and cultural support, conduct behavioral health screenings, provide dental services, and then also primary care services. All services are provided on a sliding fee scale, so that all who need services are provided them. However, the medical services they provide are only part of what they do. Examples of wraparound grant services consist of community outreach efforts, health fairs and most recently, census work.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided a shift in work operations, but one that Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity adapted to with support from Colorado Access. On a typical day, the clinic has been able to provide upwards of 50 to 60 vaccines. They applied for and became a vaccine delivery agency, giving out both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson doses. Their strategy includes coordinating with community-based sites, religious organizations, and local city and municipal governments on vaccine equity clinics.

When speaking of health equity and the COVID-19 vaccine and testing, Alok Sarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Colorado Alliance for Health Equity Practice (CAHEP), the nonprofit side of the Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity, says “everyone should have access to the vaccine if they want it. Vaccine access is becoming one of the biggest barriers to health equity. Not getting vaccinated will limit a person’s access to other things, and our goal is to level the playing field.”

With Colorado Access there to help navigate the Medicaid system and be one organization that offers occasional targeted financial support, Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity is able to focus more directly on the patient. The clinic continues to adapt to focus on the needs of the patient, from providing access to COVID-19 services (vaccines and testing), to implementing innovative telehealth and telemedicine systems that combat language and cultural barriers, to spending time with the patient to fully understand and address all needs.

To learn more about Family Medicine Clinic for Health Equity and Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice, visit
LGBTQ Youth Find More Acceptance Online
Than At Home
Nearly 70% of LGBTQ youth polled in the annual mental health survey from the Trevor Project said they found more validation and community online than at home or school. This can be problematic. Learn more here.
LGBTQ Resources
Here are some resources to help support LGBTQ+ children and youth. There are many resources available here in Colorado. These are just a few of the many Colorado organizations and affinity groups that provide support, affirmation, and resources for LGBTQ youth:

  • Ignacio Out and Equal Alliance and Southwest Rainbow Youth
    LGBTQ and Two-Spirit serving organization in Ignacio, CO that supports Indigenous youth on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and all LGBTQ youth in La Plata County. Learn more

  • Inside Out Youth Services
    IOYS involves LGBTQ youth, 13-24 years old, in programs and advocacy to make the Colorado Springs and El Paso Co community safer and more accepting of gender and sexual orientation diversity. Learn more

  • Colorado Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Network from
    One Colorado

    This network supports students to start and run GSAs at their schools. GSAs have the goal of empowering LGBTQ students and their allies and eliminating bullying and harassment in their schools. Learn more

  • Rainbow Alley at The Center on Colfax
    Rainbow Alley, in Denver, provides "a drop-in space, youth-led events and activities, counseling and support groups, health services and life skills." Learn more
Connecting the Dots - Social Determinants of Health
This  series will illuminate social factors that lead to health inequalities and disparities or help to decrease them. We hope this monthly series will support your existing efforts by providing resources and educational opportunities while exploring current trends and best practices. Click here to read this month's column, which highlights Men’s Health Month and offers an opportunity to consider the unique barriers to optimal mental health faced by men.
Community Events

Youth Engagement Pop-Up Event Series:
The Youth Violence Prevention Program is a newly funded initiative to implement a public health approach and intervention level efforts that are based on national models and best practices to prevent and address the youth violence crisis occurring in the City of Aurora. Both intervention and prevention level strategies will be implemented through a multi-disciplinary approach to include community-based efforts such as youth engagement pop-up events to increase neighborhood protective factors. The grant period is from June 20,2021 to October 31, 2021. Learn more here.

Colorado Families With School-Aged Students to Again Receive Pandemic-EBT Food Benefits: Coloradans with eligible school-enrolled children will begin to receive food benefits through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer
(P-EBT) program starting in late May. This effort will help support Colorado's families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The P-EBT program reimburses households for meals missed during school closures or reduced hours for students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals and attend a school that participates in the national school lunch program. This is a continuation of the
P-EBT program that began in July 2020 to reimburse families on free and reduced-price lunch for meals missed at school due to COVID-19. Qualifying families will receive a cash-like benefit for August through May of the 2020-2021 school year for food-eligible purchases. Click
here for more information.

The City of Aurora has created a new economic development program to connect people in the community who are experiencing food insecurity with free meals at local restaurants. If you work with people or groups that could benefit from this program, please contact Frank for more information at 303-739-7272 or email

If you have an upcoming community event that you'd like us to share, please email us.
COVID-19 Resources

For COVID-19 utilization management information, click here.

For COVID-19 pharmacy information, click here.

For COVID-19 administrative information, click here.

For COVID-19 training information, click here.

For COVID-19 practice support information, click here.

Children Face Added Mental Health Struggles During Pandemic
Psychiatrist Tami Benton was recently called to the emergency department about a child whose family had concerns about the girl’s suicidal threats to run into traffic and end her life. The child was only 5 years old. Both of the child’s parents had lost their jobs. The mother was struggling with depression, stressed by the demands of the pandemic. Read more here.
The Colorado Access Community Innovation Pool Presents:
A Workshop Series on Black Maternal Health in Metro Denver

WHAT?: Colorado Access is organizing a group of mothers and families, community organizations and leaders, medical providers, and others for a four-part series of innovation workshops. 

WHY?: Our goal is to co-create, design and fund solutions to overcome inequities in the health and wellness of Black mothers during pregnancy, childbirth and new motherhood. We want to make sure our health care system and support from the community ensure healthy moms and healthy babies.  

WHEN?: This is a series of four workshops with one workshop per month. They will take place in July, September, October and November 2021. The July meeting will be conducted online with the possibility of hybrid or in-person meetings for the remainder of meetings.

WHO?: We are looking for people who represent four distinct perspectives:

  1. Personal perspective – a willingness to share your personal story.  We are looking for women who identify as Black and are currently pregnant, or have had a child (or children) within the last five years.

  2. Family and community perspective – an understanding of the concerns from a variety of experiences of Black women and Black families.

  3. Medical perspective – an understanding of medical services and supports that are provided to pregnant women and new moms.

  4. Policy perspective – ability to discuss how policies are impacting pregnant Black women.

Do you need our support to participate? We offer financial help for your time, and other supports if needed (technology, childcare, language interpretation, transportation, etc).

If you don’t have access to a computer, please call us at 720-744-5505.

OPEN HOUSES – We’ll be hosting a series of ‘Open Houses’ through Zoom or by phone where you can ask questions and learn more about the innovation workshop series. For more information, click here.

To learn more: For more information about this opportunity and to let us know if you are interested, click here.  

We are committed to shifting our approach from simply providing services to families (the community) to actively partnering with families (the community).  We know that partnership depends on valuable engagement of the community members with lived experience, so we invite you to join us in an important conversation.

If you have questions, send an email to the Community Engagement Team at  

  • Grant opportunity – due June 29th: The “Together We Protect – Colorado’s COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Fund” is a partnership between Immunize Colorado, funders, and the Vaccine Equity Task Force to provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to community-centered Colorado-based organizations to help reduce barriers to access the COVID-19 vaccine. The grant deadline is next Tuesday, June 29th, at 5:00 p.m.

  • Mask and vaccination guidelines for businesses: The state has clarified that it is not a violation of any federal or state law for a business to ask customers about their vaccination status; masks are still required in certain settings for certain people; and employers can mandate vaccinations of their employees, but some exemptions apply.

  • Free webcast on COVID-19’s collateral damage: Join the American Medical Association on Tuesday, June 29th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for a free webinar on public health challenges, such as uncontrolled blood pressure and drug-related overdose and death, that have only gotten worse during the pandemic. Click here to learn more and to register.

  • COVID-19 tracker: Click here to view The Denver Post’s tracker, which covers vaccinations, cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and more throughout Colorado.
11100 E. Bethany Dr.
Aurora, CO 80014

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