WALSENBURG- The Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Council has awarded $2.035 million in grant funding to strengthen health care delivery in rural communities. The Council awarded 54 grants ranging from $8,000 to $50,000 to physical, mental and oral health care providers in 42 counties. Huerfano County will receive $46,869 to go to the Spanish Peaks Mental Health (SPMH) facility in Walsenburg.
The World Journal spoke with Danielle Kolalowski, acting director for SPMH’s rural program in Trinidad and Walsenburg. Kolalowski says, “The funds will be used to build an addition to the mental health center in order to add a play therapy room and office space and storage.” SPMH CEO Dorothy Perry has indicated the plan is also to purchase numerous therapeutic rehabilitation toys, including a Wii system, with acompanying software “Wii-habilitation,” which has a focus of incorporating the nintendo wii into an integrated approach with clients to deal with physical and behavioral health. In addition they will be purchasing a height and weight scale, a blood pressure monitor and a blood sugar monitor so mental health clinicians are able to monitor vital signs over the course of treatment.
An engineer is scheduled to tour the Walsenburg facilities in July to gather ideas for the design of the addition. Current maintenance staff are already beginning some of the improvements on site.
SPMH’s Trinidad mental health facility will receive $40,625 which will be split between similar improvements to the Trinidad office as well as to the office space it will be occupying at the new Mt Carmel site on Highway 12 just west of Trinidad. At some point there will be medical practicioners at the Mt Carmel facility and the City of Trinidad will also use it for community art and music events.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward