Nonprofit provides care to those uninsured

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For those uninsured, Clinica Colorado in Westminster is filling the gap. The nonprofit organization provides low-cost, quality health care for the uninsured in Adams County and other surrounding areas.

Founded in 2011 by Dr. Jim Williams, who saw a growing need for health care services in Adams County, Clinica Colorado services include a full range of preventative and primary care for people of all ages. Patients are asked to pay $25 for each office visit, followed by any additional fees for lab tests and other procedures, charged at a reduced rate.

Williams said prenatal, pediatrics and dental care for children are just a few of the many programs and services he provides at Clinica Colorado.

“There are so many uninsured people in Westminster, and I don’t think people realize that,” Williams said. “A large percentage of the uninsured are Latino, but I see all ethnic backgrounds. And since opening we have really grown.”

The increase in growth continues every month. Williams said in October he had 920 patient visits, with an average of about 45 per day. For a clinic that doesn’t advertise, the need is apparent. Williams said word of mouth is his most effective form of advertisement.

“We see one patient, and he tells all the members of his family, which can be a lot of people,” he said. “I have a physician’s assistant who sees patients, and we also have volunteer doctors who come in and help out too.”

Executive director Sally Reed joined the team in May 2012. She describes Clinica Colorado as “a secret little treasure in the community.” Also called safety net clinics because care isn’t based on ability to pay, Reed said Clinica Colorado is filling a big need in the community, especially in Adams County.

“Even if people can’t pay the $25, we will work it out with them. We aren’t going to turn anyone away,” Reed said. “We have so many great programs like free mammograms once a month and even counseling. We provide another option for those uninsured, so they don’t have to go to the emergency room and pay a ton of money.”

For 35 years, Williams has been practicing medicine, but he says this job is his favorite. He said instead of seeing annoyed patients who have waited half an hour to be seen by a doctor, he gets to see grateful patients who are happy by the simple fact that they get to see a doctor.

“My patients are so appreciative. They leave here with smiles,” he said. “They are happy to be here and a fun group to take care of.”

Clinica Colorado, at 8406 Clay St. in Westminster, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.clinicacolorado.org or call 720-443-8461.

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