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Celebrating 80 Years - “Quality, Accessible Healthcare,” 1988, Peak Vista Community Health Centers

Tags: #Celebrating80Years

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El Pomar's Russell Tutt & Peak Vista's Karen Marczynski, 1988



#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.


Organizations working to promote the health of Coloradans have been a focus of El Pomar grant making since the Foundation’s inception. Peak Vista Community Health Centers, which provides access to exceptional healthcare for underserved Coloradans in the Pikes Peak and East Central regions, has been a grantee since 1976 and is the Foundation's 7th-largest grantee to date.




Grantee Spotlight: Peak Vista Community Health Centers

Peak Vista Community Health Centers (Peak Vista) was established in 1971 to assist Coloradans overcome access barriers in their search for quality, affordable health care. The organization began as an all-volunteer organization open two days a week to serve walk-in patients in Colorado Springs and received its first federal grant in 1976. Peak Vista opened the first of many additional centers in 1988 and, in 1995, became Colorado’s first community health center to receive national quality accreditation.

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Peak Vista logo installation at 3205 N. Academy office

Today, Peak Vista serves more than 92,000 patients across its 26 outpatient centers in Colorado's Pikes Peak and East Central regions, in furtherance of its mission to provide premier medical, dental and integrated behavioral health care in a collaborative setting and for people of all ages. In 2017, 87% of Peak Vista’s patients were at or below 200% of the Federal poverty level ($23,760 for a single person or $48,600 for a family of four).

El Pomar first granted to Peak Vista in 1976 with a $50,000 capital grant for the construction of a new addition to the clinic. To date, El Pomar has provided more than $13 million in support for this outstanding community asset, making Peak Vista the Foundation’s 6th-highest grant recipient to date. Support has included a $2.5 million capital grant in 1988 for the purchase and renovation of a new building and annual general operating support from 1998-2008. El Pomar has also been the lead sponsor of the “Breakfast of Champions,” which brings gold medal Olympians to share their stories and connections to health care, since the fundraiser’s inception in 2005.

In 2018, El Pomar granted $310,000 toward the operation of four of Peak Vista’s impactful direct service programs: pharmacy services (Peak Vista fills more than 150,000 prescriptions each year); Well-Child Waiting (free care for children while parents attend clinical appointments); nurse triage staffing; and the “First Visitor” program (free, in-home support to parents and caregivers of children age three and younger). Peak Vista is positioned to give back to southern Colorado for years to come, and El Pomar is proud to support the organization’s consistent efforts to provide high-quality care to working families in our community that are in critical need of affordable health care.


El Pomar in 1988:

In a large leap in the number of grants provided, El Pomar awarded more than $10.6 million in 124 grants. Grants ranged from the $2.5 million in capital support for Peak Vista Health Centers to a $500 program grant for administration to Colorado Lawyers for the Arts. The average grant size was $86,000, with a median of $25,000, a result of a number of smaller gifts as the Foundation expanded its geographic reach across the state. This was also the first year that the Foundation provided a grant to every one of the 11 geographic regions across the state. 


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Peak Vista's All Staff Breakfast, April 2009

Images courtesy of Peak Vista Community Health Centers

Spotlight by Jack Gurr