McManus helps direct Peak Vista growth, partnerships

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As senior vice president of Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Pam McManus juggles the needs of a staff of more than 630 doctors, nurses and administrators at 18 outpatient clinics. Peak Vista provides primary care services to low-income, uninsured working families from all over the Pikes Peak Region.

What are the biggest challenges facing Peak Vista?

The economy left many people without insurance and unable to afford out-of-pocket expenses. That means more people than ever need Peak Vista. We have a waiting list for some patients now, but we are committed to providing care to children, seniors and pregnant women. It can make juggling resources more difficult. Nationally, there’s a shortage of health care providers. Fewer medical school graduates want to go into family practice. We’re a family practice clinic, so we’re constantly seeking new doctors as we expand. There is also a shortage of nurses nationwide, and we’re trying to compete for a small group of employees. However, we have found that for people who really have the mission in their heart, want to work here. They want to do this — that’s encouraging.

How has Peak Vista grown?

Just this week, the Moreno Health Center opened at 825 Moreno. This is an Aspen Pointe facility, so it provides the physical health care and Aspen Pointe (formerly Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group) has therapists on hand to help with any mental health issues.

That’s a collaborative effort?

Yes, Peak Vista has several partnerships in place. We really rely on our partners in order to meet as many needs as we can. We work with Aspen Pointe, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek to provide clinics. It’s a real integrated model now, and it’s a way to address the whole person. Earlier this month, we opened a developmental disability health center with the Resource Exchange, HealthSouth and Aspen Pointe. We’ll be providing health care within a culturally sensitive environment. The staff is going to be very well trained to assist with that particular population. There’s been a bit of disparity with the health care needs in the past for that population. Our mobile clinics are also part of that collaboration. We have a grant for the Ronald McDonald mobile clinic, and we’re about to start a new mobile service that signs people up for health care programs like Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan. The message we want to send from Peak Vista is that collaboration is critical. The economy is bad, but people stepped up to help us meet our mission. Those relationships are critical for us.

Audio excerpt of the interview with Pam McManus.