UCCS awarded $25,000 grant

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78492687The COPIC Medical Foundation awarded the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Aging Center a $25,000 grant to implement a new integrated chronic pain management program in collaboration with Peak Vista Community Health Centers.

A nonprofit community mental health agency and training clinic affiliated with the UCCS HealthCircle, the Aging Center has a long-standing collaboration with Peak Vista, where the Center’s clinicians provide integrated behavioral health services. The majority of older adults bring their pain concerns to their primary care provider, who may not have time to address them during a brief office visit. The new chronic pain management program will help providers deliver safe, effective pain management for patients by reducing the use of prescription pain medications and teaching patients to more effectively manage pain with cognitive-behavioral techniques.

The program will roll out initially at Peak Vista’s two Senior Health Centers, one of which is co-located with the Aging Center in the new Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences on the UCCS campus.

“We are very grateful for this grant from the COPIC Medical Foundation, which provides crucial support for a much-needed program,” said Michael Kenny, director of the Aging Center. “More than half of older adults suffer from chronic pain, significantly affecting their overall well-being — physically, mentally and emotionally.”

“Through this collaboration, we hope patients will see better quality of life and less reliance on medications as a result. If effective, our team will be able to share this cost-neutral alternative with other integrated behavioral health and medical entities,” said Scott Robinson, assistant vice president of medical providers, Peak Vista Community Health Centers.

Brian Harrington, chair, COPIC Medical Foundation Grants Committee, praised the program and the partnership between the UCCS Aging Center and Peak Vista.

“With opiate abuse a major concern for providers in our state, we are excited to fund this opportunity to bridge the gap between patients requiring medication and providers delivering the best possible care,” Harrington said.

COPIC Medical Foundation works to improve health care outcomes by providing grant funding for programs and initiatives focusing on improving patient safety, quality of care, reducing medical errors, and improving disease management and transitions in care. For more information, visit www.copicfoundation.org.

Located at 4863 N. Nevada, the Aging Center is the only senior mental health center in El Paso County offering its services on a low-fee sliding scale or at no cost to adults age 55 and older. The center also functions as the primary training site for students in the UCCS geropsychology Ph.D. program, one of only four in the country.