On Nov. 1, the Littleton Health and Wellness Center, a clinic operated by the Metro Community Provider Network, will close its doors at the Buck …
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On Nov. 1, the Littleton Health and Wellness Center, a clinic
operated by the Metro Community Provider Network, will close its
doors at the Buck Recreation Center and shift about 5 miles north
to the Englewood Clinic.
MCPN, which provides primary healthcare for people who have no
other access to healthcare, has suffered a $4 million budget cut as
a result of the $320 million in cuts to balance the state budget
for the current fiscal year.
Community health centers across the state have lost more than
$32 million this fiscal year.
“It’s unfortunate that these valuable resources are seen as
expendable especially at such a critical time when we need the
revenue the most,” said John Reid, vice president of Metro
Community Provider Network.
Caught in a deficit spending situation, MCPN Board of Directors
approved the closure of three locations — the Littleton Health and
Wellness Center, the Platte Canyon Clinic in Bailey and the
Jefferson County Head Start Clinic in Wheat Ridge — to reduce
expenses and “stabilize the financial picture.”
Patients from these locations will continue to be served at
other MCPN clinics and letters to the patients are in the process
of being sent out.
The Englewood Clinic, 3515 S. Delaware, has the capacity to see
more patients and to absorb the Littleton staff.
The facility boasts 16 exam rooms compared to four at the Buck
“Because Englewood is a five minute drive from Littleton we
thought it would create minimal impact,” Reid said.
“MCPN remains steadfast in all its efforts around providing
critical medical and health services to call Coloradans in need,
and as a regional ‘safety net’ provider will continue these
The Network, which serves Jefferson, Arapahoe, Adams and Park
counties and the City of Lakewood and Aurora, will try to stave off
the closure of the Littleton Clinic during the next month,
according to Reid.
They need between $200,000 and $300,000 to keep the clinic
So far, there haven’t been any layoffs or cuts in services but
Reid says it’s not over yet.
“Our biggest fear is that they’ll continue to go deep into the
Primary Care Fund. That’s been the staple of community healthcare,”
And with nearly 8,000 new patient calls each month, the centers
are already struggling to serve everyone.
This year to date, MCPN has experienced a 60 percent increase in
demand for services.
“It’s the working-class people who have lost their jobs,” Reid
The majority of new patient calls are coming from Adams,
Arapahoe and Aurora counties. Nearly 16.5 percent of Arapahoe
County is uninsured, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
There are an estimated 800,000 people without health insurance
in Colorado, and 14 percent are children.
“If these people don’t get an appointment at MCPN, nine out of
10 will go to hospital ERs,” Reid said.
And that will place an even larger financial burden on tax
payers, he said.
MCPN is subsidized by state funds and federal funds from the
U.S. Public Health Service. It benefits from the largest population
bases of any community health center in Colorado, as well as the
largest number of underserved individuals in the state.
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