Colorado Springs Clinic Update

Understanding KIND’s decision for Closure of the Operations of the Colorado Springs Clinic:

Over the the last year, KIND has worked diligently to form specific, measurable missional goals in order to serve more effectively, and quantify the impact of those services. KIND is dedicated to serving children across the state of Colorado with low-cost, high-quality dental treatment and education, and all three of our missional goals center around themes of sustainability, long-term outcomes, and self-sufficiency for the communities we serve. 

As a non-profit organization entrusted with financial support, we believe these same themes must be prioritized in the stewardship of our resources, especially as it relates to the effectiveness of our service delivery and programmatic design.

It is with this consideration in mind that we faced both a challenge and an opportunity in our Colorado Springs clinic, in 2019. Having observed a steady decline in both our community support and patient base at this location, as well as our costs out of proportion to the need being demonstrated by the community, our leadership was forced to reconsider this service model. 

The first step was reducing overhead costs, moving into a collaborative space partnership in 2018 with Mission Medical Center, which also created new health resources and opportunities for under-served families in one location. With the leadership of our Colorado Springs Coordinator, Sharon Fabrizius, KIND and Mission Medical Center were able to build a referral relationship that benefited our patients, and Mission Medical was able to leverage KIND’s historic knowledge to build a care model that attracted strong dental provider service support and patient experience efficiencies.

Ultimately, a decision was made to fully close KIND’s clinical operations site in Colorado Springs, as of February 17, 2020. In this difficult decision, our leadership also recognized an opportunity to carry out our third missional goal of empowering dental advocacy in and by the communities we serve. Without a dedicated presence in Colorado Springs, KIND’s ability to garner necessary support had proven unsuccessful, and simultaneously accompanied a realization that the community offered our patients duplicate forms of dental support. Rather than continue to “compete” for patients, KIND’s decision will empower community-driven support with the transfer of KIND patients to local providers, including Mission Medical’s newly offered uninsured pediatric dental clinic care – an offering made possible through the aforementioned partnership with KIND.

While we recognize this is a big change for the organization and the community, our leadership is in agreement that the decision to step back from operating the Colorado Springs physical clinic location is the right one at this time. It allows our organization to use resources to most effectively serve our missional goals. We plan to work collaboratively with both the Colorado Springs Dental Society and the Colorado Springs public health community at large to evaluate and identify a better model for KIND to continue to support children in this region in the future.

Our partner, Mission Medical Center will be opening its services to uninsured children in the area and continuing to serve them in the same physical location that KIND has operated out of for the past year.

Our top priority in the program transition has been and will continue to be the children we have served, reflecting our mission of serving Colorado children in need of dental care. We are working with patient families individually, to identify how best to continue their dental care.

Thank you to our patients, personnel, volunteers, and community.

Sharon Fabrizius has been a faithful and passionate servant to KIND’s mission over the years. It is of great importance to our organization and its core values to recognize and support Sharon for the service, commitment, and passion that she has given to the organization over the last 10+ years. We appreciate her impact on every aspect of the organization – she has overwhelmingly exemplified our core value of KINDness in her years serving Colorado’s children in need.

KIND is also grateful to all of our volunteers for the dedication to serving children in need over the years with KIND, and we recognize this would not have been possible without their service and commitment. We know volunteers empower our organization to remain collaborative, community-focused, and innovative in our service.

We would like to recognize Sharyn Markus, Exec Dir of CO Sprgs Dental Society, Dr. Darrell Kneupper, Dr. Ronald Palmer, Dr. Michael Lovato, Dr. Tim Stacey, Dr. Amanda Tomlinson, Dr. “Sam” Samantha Shipley, and all of the countless community individuals that have supported KIND kids in Colorado Springs over the years.

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The KIND Colorado Springs phone number will remain active and help direct local patients to alternative care options in the year following the clinical closure.

While KIND intends to take this time to step back and evaluate our model of support for the Colorado Springs community, we intend to continue nurture and value our relationships with our area volunteers and stakeholders. It is often these relationships we learn from the most in times of change, and we hope to hear from our Colorado Springs community of supporters to better understand how our organization can provide innovative and effective support to area children in need going forward. 

FOR QUESTIONS OR MORE INFORMATION:
Please reach out to KIND’s Executive Director Ellie Burbee: 720-795-9791, eburbee@kindsmiles.org

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