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Empty Stocking Fund: Peak Vista clinics offer many health services

By: CAROL MCGRAW Special to The Gazette
December 6, 2017 Updated: December 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm
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Will Driscoll has seen a multitude of doctors in his 35 years. He was born with a heart defect and various other physical problems, and was diagnosed as having developmental disabilities.

Finding help for a wide range of needs has at times been a challenge until he moved to Colorado Springs with his parents several years ago. A friend told them about Peak Vista's Developmental Disabilities Clinic, a facility that has won awards because of its uniqueness in treating adults.

Those 18 and over with intellectual and developmental disabilities - autism, cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol syndrome and other cognitive health issues - receive a full range of services including primary health care, behavioral and psychiatric services, and referrals.

"They have helped me figure out my health care and genetic stuff," Driscoll said.

His mother Lizz Driscoll added, "Many places treat only children. We were so surprised to find an all-around clinic just for adults with developmental disabilities."

The staff knows their patients personally and have made Will feel comfortable, she said. The also have access to a Peak Vista convenient care clinic in off hours.

Another perk is accessibility. "We can get questions answered without going through layers of staff," she said.

Besides the Developmental Disabilities Health Center, there are 25 other Peak Vista clinics in the region which serve more than 90,000 patients. Health services include primary care, chronic and acute care, women's health, dental, pediatrics, behavioral health, and educational programs. Peak Vista also helps with prescriptions, lab work, and referrals for specialties and hospitalization and coordinates with hospitals on finances. There's a convenient care center open from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week and on weekends. There are well-child waiting areas within some clinics where children are cared for free of charge, while the adult patients are seen.

Peak Vista helps anyone in need of care regardless of ability to pay or what insurance they might have, explains Carolyn Wilson, Peak Vista development manager. One example is providing medical services to someone who can't find a doctor who takes Medicare patients.

Driscoll noted that the services her son has received have been a stress reliever for the family. Will's independence has grown with his health care needs being addressed. He attends the Goodwill Possibilities program, which offers classes, job training and activities for those with learning challenges.

"The doctors have been so creative in finding solutions to his many health mysteries," she said.

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