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Congressman John T. Salazar, Third District of Colorado

Congressman Salazar's Funding Priorities for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

As a new member of the Appropriations Committee, I have new oversight responsibilities for the spending of federal dollars, as well as an increased role in the prioritization of federal spending.

For too long, the process of Congressional funding requests lacked transparency and accountability, leading some members of Congress to abuse it and the public trust. Since assuming the majority in 2007, Congressional Democrats have significantly reformed the process, including ensuring that every American can easily determine which member of Congress has submitted a requests.

Below you will find a list of my funding requests for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill.

Improving Patient Safety through Health Information Technology
San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center
106 Blanca Avenue
Alamosa, CO  81101
This project will provide indispensable funds to complete the implementation of an electronic medical record system (EMR) at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center (SLVRMC).  SLVRMC is the only full service hospital in the San Luis Valley and provides approximately one third of the primary care and over 90% of the specialty care to the residents in the Valley.  SLVRMC is not in a health district, does not receive federal tax dollars and over 72% of our income is from patients who are Medicaid/Medicare or self insured, limiting revenue needed to purchase all the necessary components needed for a fully operational EMR.  Completion of this project is essential to strengthen the safety and quality of health care services in the San Luis Valley.

Emergency Department Expansion
Parkview Medical Center
400 West 16th Street
Pueblo, CO 81003
Parkview Medical Center seeks funding to enhance the quality health care in Pueblo by expanding their ED and enhancing the services provided in the ED. Parkview's emergency department was built to adequately care for 40,000 patients per year, yet they are on track to serve over 60,000 patients this year.  Parkview's facilities as they exist now present challenges for both patients and staff.  The average daily census in the emergency room has nearly doubled in the past 9 years, going from 89 per day, to 161 per day.  ED patients being admitted to the hospital wait an average of 62 minutes to be transferred to an inpatient area, creating a challenge in being able to serve more patients, and longer waiting times for patients seeking emergency care.

Primary Care and Dental Care Facility, Rifle, CO
Mountain Family Health Centers
1905 Blake Ave., Suite. 101
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
MFHC in Glenwood Springs is the only FQHC in a 90 miles radius and provides care to over 7000 residents of Garfield and adjacent counties. The Glenwood facility is the fastest growing rural health center in the state and has reached full capacity. Over 60% of patients are uninsured and 20% are on Medicaid. Numerous studies have shown that health centers hold down the cost of health care for government and taxpayers by preventing inappropriate use of hospital emergency rooms and by early and effective prevention, intervention and treatment of persons with chronic diseases such hypertension, diabetes, and asthma.

Cortez Health Clinic
Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center, Inc.
281 Sawyer Drive
Durango, CO 81302
The Cortez Clinic will be built from the ground up to combine primary and behavioral health care into a single practice.  The Clinic will not simply colocate services; rather, it will develop a single practice capable of serving as a Health Care Home.  Services will be built around the existing population of patients. The integrated health care model will use the structure and pace of the primary care/specialty care model and transform it by infusing mental health, substance abuse and public health.

Northwest Colorado Community Health and Wellness Project
Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Inc
940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
The Northwest Colorado Community Health and Wellness Project covers Jackson, Routt and Moffat Counties in rural frontier Northwest Colorado. The project will support community facilities to foster the improvement of overall community health infrastructure. Four focus areas include nutrition, fitness, prevention and chronic disease management. The project will expand upon and develop innovative systems to prevent chronic disease.

Colorado Rural Literacy Program
Save the Children
126 Valencia Ave, NE, Suite F
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Save the Children operates a rural literacy program at two schools in Alamosa, CO providing an educational intervention that has a proven track record of improving children’s reading skills.  Beyond their educational benefit, Save the Children’s literacy programs create and sustain skilled jobs in economically-disadvantaged rural communities, and our services target underserved children living in these communities. 

Southeastern Colorado Center for Nursing and Rural Health
Colorado State University-Pueblo
2200 Bonforte Boulevard
Pueblo, CO 81001
Colorado State University-Pueblo seeks funding to improve and expand nursing education to meet the health-care needs of southern Colorado. Funding will be used to increase nursing skills laboratory space to meet an undergraduate enrollment that has doubled over the last five years and create a regional simulation laboratory in collaboration with Pueblo Community College and local health care agencies. This project will provide much needed resources in the form of diagnostic and technical equipment for the Graduate Program subspecialties of Psychiatric Mental Health, Acute Care and Family Nurse Practitioners, as well as Nurse Educators and will also help develop a recruitment program for minority students and provide a tracking system for all pre-nursing and nursing students to assist with more efficient tracking of qualified applicants.

STEM Education Programs for Southern Colorado
Colorado State University-Pueblo
2200 Bonforte Boulevard
Pueblo, CO 81001
This project will improve and expand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in southern Colorado and meet the national challenge to increase graduates in STEM disciplines. The STEM program at CSU is designed to address the President's challenge of STEM education reform and expansion. CSU-Pueblo’s existing collaboration within the CSU System and partnerships with rural Colorado school districts positions the University to make a difference in both STEM education and the economic development that will result from meeting this challenge.

Southwest Colorado Innovation, Simulation and Education Center
Mercy Health Foundation
1010 Three Springs Blvd.
Durango, CO 81301
Mercy Regional Medical Center and Fort Lewis College will collaborate to build and equip a new Southwest Colorado Innovation, Simulation, and Education Center for the purpose of advancing education, health care and medicine, research, and job creation and placement in health care and related fields.

Tribal Nation Building
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive
Durango, CO 81301
Drawing on our long history of service to Native American tribes in the region and nationally, Fort Lewis College will develop and administer the Tribal Nation Building (TNB) program that provides experiential learning to students at the request of tribal governments and organizations in the Four Corners Region and nationally.  Fort Lewis College students, Native and non-Native, under the guidance and mentorship of FLC faculty, will be provided the opportunity to contribute to tribal communities in meaningful and significant ways by applying classroom knowledge to real world problems defined by tribal entities.

San Juan Basin Health Department Infrastructure Improvement
San Juan Basin Health Department
281 Sawyer Drive
Durango, CO 81303
San Juan Basin Health Department is in need of an infusion of capital for infrastructure, both in terms of improving physical plant of the main and branch offices and technology/communications systems.  Without this, the department will be unable to meet its core responsibilities as the local public health department, and will be unable to respond to pandemics and other emergencies.  Further, it will leave the department without the capability to connect with partners to implement health care reform. State and local funds have been stretched and are inadequate to even provide the staff required to meet community needs, leaving no funds to shore up infrastructure now or in the near future.

Disease Control, Research and Training
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive
Durango, CO 81301
The Southwest Colorado Innovation, Simulation, and Education Center will be used for the purpose of advancing education, health care and medicine, research, and job creation and placement in health care and related fields through a modern integrated approach to rural health care. Through this innovative partnership, Mercy & FLC will transform the way medical education, undergraduate education, and health care services are delivered, while serving as a model of replication for rural communities across the United States.

Health Professions Pipeline for Rural Colorado
University of Colorado Denver
13001 E. 17th Place
Aurora, CO 80045
Partnering with the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) throughout Colorado, the Health Professions Pipeline for Rural Colorado will offer many medical, dental, and nursing students the exposure, support, and incentive to serve in rural areas by establishing and expanding new interprofessional rural clinical rotations with support for local preceptors. Students will work with rural health care clinicians, providing care to underserved populations, and have an intensive clinical experience in a community where they might practice in the future. The rotations established train medical, nursing, and dental students periodically in rural clinics, but more rotations and rural experiences are needed.

Southern Colorado Higher Education Consortium Veterans Educational Assistance Program
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
The Southern Colorado Higher Education Consortium Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (Program) will develop and implement a model access, persistence and completion program in Southern Colorado for veterans and their families. The Program aims to increase the higher education participation and completion rate of veterans in the region, particularly those aged 35 and under, and consistent with the purposes of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, enhance the employability of these veterans and stimulate economic growth in the region.

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