Pagosa Springs Behavioral Healthcare Reopens, Offers Crisis Support

By Karla Sluis

In times of crisis, our tight-knit community pulls together, and the fire that demolished the Old Adobe Building and Bear Creek Saloon on Oct. 22 is no exception. In less than 24 hours, the Pagosa Springs Behavioral Healthcare clinic found a temporary home at the Catholic Education Center at 462 Lewis Street to ensure that patients and community members impacted by the fire have access to care and support.

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The staff at Axis Health System (Axis), a regional nonprofit that operates Pagosa Springs Behavioral Healthcare, worked together with various community partners to ensure access to behavioral healthcare remains available. Continuity of care and communication with patients were and remain Axis’ highest priorities. The temporary space for the clinic’s operation has been relocated across the street to a small house located between the Catholic Church Parish Hall and the Immaculate Heart Catholic Church.

“We are grateful for the fast response and tireless effort of emergency responders and the Pagosa Fire Protection District,” said Bern Heath, Axis CEO. “We were not alone in the significant impact of the fire; but we’re also not alone in receiving an outpouring of support from the community.” Heath praised Anne McGarry, the religious education and youth ministry coordinator at Pope John Paul II Catholic Church, who quickly and generously offered the temporary space for the Pagosa Springs Behavioral Healthcare clinic to relocate. This allowed the transition plan for staff and patients to be developed and communicated quickly and effectively. As early as Saturday afternoon, staff and equipment were mobilized.

“We were working diligently to get up and running with the technology we needed over the weekend, and as a result we were seeing patients by Monday afternoon,” said Erik Foss, Axis Clinical Manager. “We are committed to our patients and continue to be here for the community.”

Axis recognizes that this fire impacts both the clinic’s patients and the community. In light of this, as an essential community provider and emergency responder, Axis is also ready to support any community members who may be impacted or anxious about this event. Anyone affected by this fire is encouraged to call the clinic for support related to the crisis under Axis’ Emergency Response program. To access care or support, clinic staff are currently available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached by calling the office at (970) 264-2104, or walking into Catholic Education Center at 462 Lewis St. In addition, the Axis 24/7 Crisis Response team is always available and can be reached at (970) 247-5245.

Axis plans to quickly find office space for the Pagosa Springs Behavioral Healthcare clinic for the next six months. The staff will be relocating to the new Archuleta Integrated Healthcare facility in May 2017. The new clinic is under construction at 52 Village Drive.

Axis Health System has been providing quality care across the lifespan in Montezuma, Dolores, La Plata, San Juan and Archuleta counties for more than 40 years. Our integrated approach to healthcare includes: primary healthcare, behavioral healthcare and oral healthcare.

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