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Child Health Clinic in Aurora provides care for 13,000 low-income kids - The Denver Post

Author: income kids

Source: https://www.denverpost.com/2023/10/29/child-health-clinic-aurora-season-to-share/

Image of Child Health Clinic in Aurora provides care for 13,000 low-income kids - The Denver Post

Children’s Hospital Colorado, which began in 1897 as a summer tent camp in Denver’s City Park for sick babies, is refocusing on primary care at its Child Health Clinic in Aurora to help low-income kids and their families.This clinic, with 32 rooms, allowed doctors and nurses to provide primary care for more than 13,000 kids last year — 85% of them uninsured or from families unable to afford health care, relying on Medicaid, and often wrestling with hardships.Run by the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, the clinic is listed among the essential institutions for this year’s Season to Share charitable giving campaign.For many of the patients, just getting to the clinic is a challenge, said Dr.Daniel Nicklas, the medical director, pointing to broader labor and economic policy problems.“If the parents take time off work, they could lose their jobs.”The Denver Post Season To Share is the annual holiday fundraising campaign for The Denver Post and The Denver Post Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.Grants are awarded to local nonprofit agencies that provide life-changing programs to help low-income children, families and individuals move out of poverty toward stabilization and self-sufficiency. Visit seasontoshare.com for more information.Innovations aimed at “making it more convenient,” such as extended hours and flexibility for quick rescheduling, will make a difference, Nicklas said.“If a family canceled, an auto-text could be sent out and say: ‘Hey, could you come at this other time?’” These kids and their parents often speak other languages, including Somali, Arabic and Nepali — requiring translators.“We love and care for our patients.We want to be able to connect.The more patient-centered you can be, the more likely that patient will come back to you and the more that patient will trust you.We have to improve our access for kids who are sick.”The young patients seen here are hard hit by health problems related to obesity, sitting around too much and mental turmoil — exacerbated by the spread of technology that constantly appeals to kids to be online instead of the physical world around them, Nicklas said.“When kids have to have a presence online and also in-person, it’s a lot of pressure. It takes a lot of time.There’s a lot of stimulation when you have kids on Snapchat having to respond in 30 different conversations.It causes their brains to move very quickly.And people project only their best selves online.These things are contributing to a mental health crisis,” he said.“In an ideal world, we would have more therapists for these kids.”The Child Health Clinic is located a mile southeast of Children’s Hospital Colorado, which moved from Denver in 2007 to a campus in Aurora near the juncture of Interstate 225 and East Colfax Avenue, with more than 450 beds for carrying out its mission of acute care and surgeries. The clinic sits on the first floor of a four-story reflective-glass building, called the Health Pavilion, at 860 N.Potomac Circle.Staffers cast the clinic as “a medical home” that emphasizes relations with a trusted doctor for comprehensive primary care, including examinations classified as preventative — different from hospital care.The doctors at the clinic, beyond patient care, also increasingly engage in advocacy work, urging action to tackle societal problems that hurt kids, such as air pollution.“How many kids with asthma are ending up in our emergency department with an asthma exacerbation?We want to minimize that,” Nicklas said.“How many kids are missing school with an asthma exacerbation? How many parents are missing work because of that?”While at the clinic with children, parents can head to a fourth-floor pantry where the staffers display healthy food that families can take home.The clinic serves as the state’s largest training site for medical students studying pediatric medicine.Care at the clinic is provided by certified doctors, pediatric and family medicine medical residents, and some of those students.Clinic workers make a point of connecting families with social service agencies around metro Denver that help families deal with non-medical problems that affect child health.Doctor Gretchen Domek, left, examines Eli Alber, 9, in the Child Health Clinic on Tuesday, Oct.10, 2023.(Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)Child Health ClinicAddress: 860 N. Potomac Circle, Aurora, CO 80011Number of employees: 52Annual budget: $3 millionClients served last year: 13,000Get more Colorado news by signing up for our daily Your Morning Dozen email newsletter.

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