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Clínica Tepeyac's Mission is to provide culturally competent health care and preventive health services for the medically underserved.
The following goals support this mission:
•Providing health care in an atmosphere of respect and in a culturally appropriate manner
•Facilitating community education about the benefits of preventive health care
•Increasing health resources available to the community
Clínica Tepeyac was established in 1993, when members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, located in one of Denver's low-income and primarily Latino neighborhoods on the northwest side, decided to address a problem they saw firsthand -- the lack of health care for working poor individuals and families. The original founders included Marshall Gourley (Former Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe) and Jim Garcia (President of the Parish Council). Mr. Garcia conducted a needs assessment on health issues in April 1993. The assessment revealed:
•Working poor in the community, many with two or three jobs had no health insurance and little or no access to health care they could afford
•Drug/alcohol abuse and teen pregnancy were of primary concern to parishioners and community stakeholders
•Local residents were at greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, low birth weight, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, suicide, accidents, cancer and teen pregnancy
•There were several barriers to health care access – language, cost, available services, etc
In response to this identified need, more than 200 dedicated community members and volunteers from local hospitals and healthcare facilities led a two-year effort to transform an abandoned house into a modern, functioning health clinic. In 1995, Clínica opened its doors and began providing healthcare services to the local community. Patient demand soon exceeded the physical capacity of the clinic and the clinic was expanded in 1998. In 2002, the administrative and education staff moved to rented office space to relieve overcrowding in the clinic.
On December 1, 2006, Clínica Tepeyac moved into a new and much larger clinic facility. In 2007, the number of patients doubled over the previous year to 8,000. In 2008, the number increased to 12,000. The trend in 2009 is to host 18,000 patient visits. In addition, clinic services have expanded to include the full range of preventive and primary care delivered in a family medicine model, creating a true medical home for thousands of uninsured families in the Denver metropolitan area.
Since its founding, Clínica has grown tremendously and become a model for providing health education, prevention, and primary medical services to the Latino population. Clínica also refers patients requiring specialty care to the community of providers willing to accept these uninsured and underserved patients. In addition, Clínica Tepeyac carries out a robust program of preventive health education in the community, teaching thousands about health care services, preventive care and self care.