The San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center (SLV AHEC) is responsive to the needs of the communities that we serve. By partnering with local hospitals, clinics, our FQHC, public health agencies, behavioral health providers, and numerous other organizations, we have been able to address community needs in innovative and unique ways.
From programs addressing the opioid epidemic, to those that focus on improving health outcomes at early ages, to community-based educational offerings, the SLV AHEC is working hard for our communities, filling needs where gaps exist.
SLV Health Access Risk Reduction Project (SHARRP)
Colorado's first rural comprehensive harm reduction program.
SHARRP is a collaboration between the SLV AHEC, the Alamosa Health Department, Valley-Wide Health Systems, the SLV Behavioral Health Group, Rio Grande County Department of Public Health, and numerous other partners. It offers clients who are using injection drugs the ability to prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C through sterile syringes, the safe disposal of syringes in the community, free HIV and Hepatitis C testing once a month, emergency overdose response training and free naloxone for clients, and access to mental health counseling, substance use treatment, primary medical care, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and case management.
The program is open to people who inject drugs on Wednesday mornings from 9 to noon at the counseling center located at 1123 West Avenue in Alamosa.
Opioid Case Advocacy
Long-term support for individuals suffering from opioid use disorder.
Opioid Use Disorders continue to greatly impact the entire San Luis Valley. The Opioid Crisis Response Program addresses this epidemic head-on by individual and family supports. The Case Advocates take aim by working directly with our community members and their families who are struggling with an OUD.
Case Advocates provide long-term support to persons and families in accessing resources and navigating services. They offer guidance to persons with housing, employment, job skills, mental health issues, medical issues, appointments, substance abuse issues, food, clothing, transportation, etc. Case Advocates are available to help clients and family members establish treatment options through local facilities, manage risk reduction options, and much more! Referrals can be made by calling 719-298-7041.
Screenings and links to resources.
Colorado Heart Healthy Solutions is a statewide program that aims to prevent, detect and control cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The SLV AHEC is proud to have a full-time Community Health Worker (CHW) who provides screenings, referrals, and ongoing support to members of their communities at no cost. Screening includes a brief health history, height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. For those at-risk, referrals are made to local healthcare clinics and healthy living programs. The CHW also helps participants set and achieve realistic health goals. Participants have opportunity to engage in the community resources such as walking groups and nutrition programs. To demonstrate improvements in health and reinforce behavior change, CHWs provide retesting once a year.
CHARLAR is a shared community program for adults to learn, build skills, and improve health behaviors to lower their changes of getting heart disease, with a series of 11 weekly classes facilitated by CHWs. Participants learn about changing their lifestyle through nutrition and physical activity to prevent or control diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Classes are currently held in the Spanish language.
Un currículo dedicado a la prevención de enfermedades del corazón, diabetes y otras enfermedades crónicas, y en la promoción de actividad física. Contacta Silvia, 719-298-2397.
There is much evidence that early childhood experiences help shape future socio-emotional health. In order to address this, the SLV AHEC provides a Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program. With the HIPPY program, home visitors who are part of the communities they serve partner with parents utilizing an evidenced-based family support model that works directly with parents in their homes. Peer parent educators deliver 30 weeks of high quality school readiness curriculum activities and books directly to parents, who then work each day with their own three, four and five year old children.
The San Luis Valley was the site of the Colorado's first HIPPY program, and the SLV AHEC is proud to continue the tradition. The program is offered to parents in the San Luis Valley in either the English or Spanish language.
The HIPPY program has been shown to improve home environments, increase parental involvement, decrease attachment-related stress, and has a variety of other positive health outcomes.
Alamosa VOICES (Valley Opportunities and Innovations in Community Engagement for Students) will reduce social, emotional, and behavioral health problems using an upstream focus by providing middle school aged youth with healthy activity opportunities, with new and strengthened connections between peers and caring adults using an evidence based Sources of Strength model, and with opportunities to engage and improve their communities, ultimately helping to change unhealthy norms and culture. The project’s planning has been a multi-year effort by a grassroots community group representing the cultural and ethnic diversity within Alamosa.