Grand County Rural Health Network Advocates for and Supports Community-Wide Healthcare Access

The slower pace of life, endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, views for days, and minimal traffic are just a few of the many perks of mountain living. And here in Grand County we enjoy the benefits of our close proximity to Denver, making it easy to take advantage of all the Front Range has to offer while still returning to our mountain haven. Even with all its beauty, some might equate rural living with minimal resources to care for the community. Thanks to a strong and dedicated network of nonprofits, we can say with confidence that is not the case here in Grand County. 

Grand County Rural Health Network (GCRHN) is one of our many local nonprofits committed to ensuring our community members thrive. The team at GCRHN recognizes that a thriving community starts with the health of its community members - physical, social, and mental health are fundamental to our quality of life, and our rural health network is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of people who live, work, and play here in Grand County.  

GCRHN works in partnership with healthcare providers, businesses, local nonprofits (like Building H.O.P.E.), and community members to maximize healthcare access and ensure community members are living their healthiest lives. They work to educate us all about options and processes, providing supplemental support when necessary. The crew at GCRHN, along with countless volunteers who genuinely love our community, dedicate themselves to the vision of easy-to-navigate, timely access to affordable, comprehensive health and human services for all.


One of our favorite programs the Grand County Rural Health Network started and maintains in the Aches + Pains Voucher Program. We honestly can't speak highly enough of the way this (initially temporary) program has changed the lives of Grand County residents. Aches + Pains had its inception in 2005 as a solution to offer access to care to people who are uninsured or underinsured, but the long-term value of the program quickly became evident. With no local community care clinic or school-based health center, having a program that offers free or reduced-cost care has been a game-changer for our community.

Depending on insurance status and income level, vouchers can cover costs of medical visits, mental health visits, and prescriptions. Well-child exams for children and dental visits for children and pregnant women are also covered by the vouchers. They even cover gas and hotel stays for doctor's appointments. The need for the program is evident: just since 2015, 2,021 adults and children have received 3,167 healthcare vouchers to support their medical, dental or mental health. What a genuine gift to our community! 

Voucher program enrollment packets are available at most Grand County medical, dental, and mental health providers, who can pre-screen you to see if you qualify. Enrollment packets must be completed before your appointment. Income limits, insurance and residency requirements apply - just reach out to your provider to get the packet if you qualify!

If you're in a position to support the program, they would definitely welcome your contribution! The program has been so widely utilized that they've gone into a deficit of over $73,000 to cover healthcare vouchers and work involved managing the program - and voucher usage is forecasted to increase 80% in 2024.  Donate here if you'd like to support the work GCRHN does to provide healthcare services for our community!


While the Grand County Rural Health Network always welcomes donations, they also have plenty of other opportunities to get involved:

  • Join the monthly Community IMPACT Team meetings. These Grand County residents work to address important issues facing our community. Their current focus areas are affordable housing, behavioral health (specifically suicide prevention), and preventive health. They meet the third Thursday of every month from 6-8pm  (with both in-person and virtual options).
  • Volunteer! Join the board, help with fundraisers, assist with office tasks, drive patients to medical appointments, and more. 

Should you donate financially, here's quick breakdown of how funds are utilized:

  • $300 supports at least two mental health therapy visits
  • $600 supports at least three well-child exams
  • $1,000 supports a full intake with a patient navigator, assessing barriers to health and available resources and care options
  • $1,500 supports at least three ACHES dental vouchers
  • $2,500 supports approximately one month of health coverage guide services
  • $5,000 contributes to our local behavioral health systems change initiative


Whether you're thinking about making the move to the mountains or a long-time local, being in the know about healthcare options and resources is key! Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. We might not have all the answers, but our decades of community connections make it easy to point you in the right direction when we don't!

Posted by Angela McDonough (Sandstrom) on


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