News and Events

Family Health West Welcomes New Surgical Manager

Fruita, CO (May 3, 2013) – Family Health West has recently welcomed Tarji Bond as the surgical services manager. Tarji was born in Michigan but grew up in Los Angeles. She began her healthcare career as an OR technician in the U.S. Army. She was stationed at Walter Reed, DC and then moved to Atlanta, GA where she attended Dekalb Nursing School and graduated in 1994. In addition to being an RN, Tarji has fulfilled the role of Clinical Supervisor, Perioperative Educator, and Clinical Manager in surgical settings.

“We are thrilled to have Tarji on board,” said Chief of Nursing, Lori Henderson, “Tarji not only brings her breadth of experience, but an uncompromising commitment to patient care.”

Tarji enjoys snowboarding and activities with her family, which includes her husband and three children. “Most of my free time is centered around my family. We recently bought bikes and look forward to riding the Riverfront Trail,” said Tarji. “I think Family Health West has a great surgery team. The potential and opportunity for growth here is amazing.”

Family Health West Brings Colorado STRIDES Community Health Needs Assessment to Fruita

Fruita, CO (May 1, 2013) – Family Health West is undergoing a Community Heath Needs Assessment in partnership with Colorado Strides, a program of the Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC). This assessment consists of three meetings involving residents of the Lower Valley and representatives of certain Mesa County agencies to determine where the community is in terms of health, healthcare and healthy living. “Together, this series of meetings, along with a community-wide questionnaire, will allow Lower Valley residents and local leaders to engage with Family Health West in order to ensure that the organization is best meeting the health care needs of the people we serve and well as plan for the future,” said Family Health West CEO and President, Marks. J. Francis.

Using a model based on the work of the National Center for Rural Health Works in Oklahoma, Colorado STRIDES works with Communities on issues associated with community and local leadership development. “We recognize that communities with vibrant economies, well developed amenities, and engaged leaders are the very communities best able to provide the best quality of care, as well as to recruit and retain professional healthcare providers, an issue that hampers access to care in many parts of rural America,” said Jason McCormick, Family Health West CFO.

The Community Health Needs Assessment is made possible by funding from Family Health West, the Colorado Rural Health Center and through a grant received from The Colorado Health Foundation.

Family Health West Welcomes New Nursing Home Director

Fruita, CO (February 5, 2013) – Family Health West has recently welcomed Cheryl Dean as the adult extended care director. Born and raised in upstate New York, Cheryl attended Cornell University where she obtained her degree in Nutritional Sciences and then moved to Boston to complete her dietetic internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University’s teaching hospital. She began working in long-term care in 1998 and enjoyed 9 years as a dietitian and dietary manager. As she became more involved in the field, she found that she wanted to pursue an administrative role, “In 2007, I became a nursing home administrator and have worked in that capacity ever since,” said Cheryl.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Cheryl on our team,” said Lori Henderson, Family Health West Chief Nursing Officer, “She brings a wealth of experience and a passion for long-term care that will certainly benefit our residents and their families, not to mention our staff.”

Cheryl is married with 4 children and enjoys spending her free time with them and her horses outdoors hiking, riding, camping and fishing.

Family Health West Celebrates Art for Health

Fruita, CO – January 29, 2013 Family Health West announces Jera Gross as the winner of the bi-annual Art for Health competition. The Art for Health Reception will take place February 14, 2013 from 4:30 – 6:00 in the Family Health West Hospital lobby. Jera is a local artist who works in many mediums, but prefers watercolor.

Jera was born in Telluride, but has been in the Grand Valley since 1951. She began painting in 1989, “I took my first watercolor class at what was then, Mesa State College,” said Jera, “I enjoy watercolor for its fluidity and the wonderful surprises that show up when the colors flow together.”

“We are thrilled to have Jera’s work in the hospital,” added Angelina Salazar, Director of Community Relations, “Our patients, our staff, their families and friends all have the opportunity to not only view what our local artists are doing, they get to experience an environment that promotes healing. We thank the Fruita Arts and Culture Board for selecting us as a venue for this very important endeavor.”

This Year’s Red Baron Ball Recipient: The Willows

Fruita, CO (January 21, 2013) – The Willows, secure assisted living at Family Health West in Fruita, is getting a face lift…or a roof lift. Family Health West is pleased to announce that The Willows will be the recipient of the upcoming 24th Annual Red Baron Ball fundraiser to be held April 20th at the Double Tree by Hilton in Grand Junction. The proceeds of the Red Baron Ball will help renovate The Willows to enhance thelives of the residents, and the staff who work there.

According to Kayren Goss, Director, the primary needs are a new roof, new carpet, and new windows for all of the residents' rooms. "We need shingles, the carpet is too old, and we would love to have energy efficient windows for the comfort of our residents," said Kayren, "And if anything is left, I have some other ideas!"

Kayren has been with The Willows for 4 years and director for 2, but actually has been working at Family Health West for over 39. She says, "I started out in the nursing home and never left!" Kayren, a Registered Nurse, was born and raised in Fruita and takes pride in running one of the most sought after residences in the valley for elderly experiencing dementia. "We are small, family-oriented, and though we're not fancy, we are clean…and we truly care," said Kayren.

Kay McDaniel, who lives in Arizona, agrees. Her mother is a current resident at The Willows. "Well you don't have enough time or space for what I have to say about The Willows," Kay exclaims, "The entire staff is so caring. They extend that care to the whole family and Kayren is totally awesome. The volume of communication I receive from her about my mom is truly wonderful."
Mark Francis, President and CEO, looks forward to renovating The Willows. "The care is what sets The Willows apart. We consistently get feedback from families that let us know how much they appreciate the way they and their loved ones are treated. The Willows is close to the hospital, the recreation center, downtown shopping, and restaurants," added Mark, "With some upgrades, we know our families will be that much more satisfied."

Widow/Widower Support in Fruita

Fruita, CO (December 11, 2012) – Family Health West is now offering a widow/widower support group gathering to be held the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month beginning at 3:00pm at the Fruita Community Center’s Senior Center. The support group meets to share memories and challenges of losing a life partner. “The meetings last between an hour to an hour and a half,” says Carolyn Tanksley, Family Health West Social Worker and coordinator of the support group, “We started the group because we were often asked where people who had lost their spouse could gain support and coping skills in Fruita.”

Reservations are not required. For more information, contact Carolyn at 858-2139 or visit

Ladies’ Night Featuring Dr. Rebecca Glasser & Canyon Creek Plastic Surgery

Fruita, CO (November 27, 2012) – Canyon Creek Plastic Surgery with Dr. Rebecca Glasser opens officially January 2, 2013, but that hasn’t prevented her from joining in community education efforts early. Family Health West and the Fruita Community Center are proud to have Dr. Glasser kick off their winter speakers’ series with “Ladies’ Night” on December 11th, 5:30 – 7:00pm. Dr. Glasser, a plastic surgeon and the most recent addition to Family Health West’s surgical team, will discuss women’s beauty and answer questions related to aging, breast health, beauty inside and out, and more. “We are really excited to have Dr. Glasser, one of the only female plastic surgeons on the Western Slope, here to educate women on options they have for looking their best, while focusing overall on health and wellbeing,” said Angelina Salazar, Family Health West Director of Communications, “The first night will be dedicated to discussing what beauty is and how to discover it within ourselves.”

Ladies’ Night will be held the 2nd Tuesday of every month through April providing women the opportunity to learn, socialize, and enjoy light refreshments as part of this special series. It will be held in the Peach Meeting Room at the Fruita Community Center and is FREE, but space is limited so call now! RSVP by calling 858-0360. (the word please is in RSVP)

Born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dr. Glasser attended medical school at the University of North Carolina. For her general surgery training, she attended the University of Florida in Gainesville. She trained a year at the University of Florida in Jacksonville in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and then went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to complete her plastic surgery training. She is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Due to her passion for helping patients with breast cancer, in 2004 she became involved with The Donna Foundation, an organization dedicated to assisting breast cancer patients with the financial strain of health costs. She served on the Board of Directors as well as hosted “An Evening on the Pink Carpet” for three years where 20 of her breast cancer patients were the models in a fashion show to raise money for the Foundation. “I decided to move to Colorado after spending several vacations with friends here,” said Dr. Glasser, “I look forward to continuing my work in plastic surgery and enjoying the incredible lifestyle of the Western Slope.”

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Family Health West Announces New Wound Care Center

Fruita, CO – October 23, 2012 Family Health West is proud to announce the opening of their new Wound Care Center providing care for patients with wounds that will not heal properly.

The Wound Care Center, located at 551Kokopelli, Suite H, provides exceptional treatments for wound care, including therapies with electrical stimulation and ultrasound to accelerate wound closure. “The Wound Care Center’s therapies have proven results that reduce healing time by more than 50%,” said Dr. Fred Barbero, Family Health West Wound Care Team member and Medical Staff Director.

Some of the types of wounds treated by the Center include the following:

• Diabetic Ulcers
• Burns
• Ischemic Ulcers
• Post -Surgical Wounds
• Pressure Ulcers
• Traumatic Wounds
• Venous Ulcers
• Wound Flaps

“The goal of the Family Health West Wound Care Center is to provide a much needed service for our community that is professional, convenient and staffed with the professionals who are dedicated to learning and applying the best in health care services ,” said CEO and President, Mark J. Francis. The Wound Care Team includes, Dr. Fred Barbero, Dr. Diane Dill, Val Herrera, RN and Trudy Hoffman, PT.

For more information about the Wound Care Center , call 970-858-2586.

All appointments do require a physician referral and Medicare and Medicaid patients are welcomed.

1st Monumental Challenge Ride October 20th!

Fruita, CO (September 18, 2012) –Family Health West invites you to take the Monumental Challenge on October 20th, 2012! This difficult road ride is not for the average rider. The route covers over 65 miles that include 3 strenuous climbs up the Monument, (both entrances), and Little Park Road. The Ride is part of the Fruita Rotary’s Gear Down F-Town event that same weekend to celebrate biking for all ages. The ride begins at 7:30am in the Family Health West Hospital parking lot and heads up the west end of the National Monument. It then heads back down to traverse hwy 360 to Little Park Road. Coming back down and back across hwy 360, the ride climbs up the east end of the monument to take the final stretch back to Fruita to end at the Fruita Community Center.

Sponsors of the event include Precision Promotional Products, Alpine Bank and Wells Fargo Advisors who are dedicating their aid station in memory of a former employee, Tim Sewell. “We were thrilled when Fruita Rotary approached us to be the recipients of the funds raised by this truly unique ride,” said Angelina Salazar, Family Health West Development and Community Relations Director, “We appreciate our sponsors and the amazing riders for supporting us.”

Riders can register on and look under Monumental Challenge Ride. Riders will receive a new pair of riding socks, a free shower at the Fruita Community Center, a free lunch sponsored by Family Health West and a free beer ticket to the Gear Down F-Town festival that follows the ride. The ride is limited to 100 riders. “This event is truly one of a kind,” said Tom McNamara, Fruita Rotary President, “We invite everyone to come to the Gear Down F-Town festival afterwards to listen to live music and congratulate our fearless riders.”

For more information, please visit or call Angelina Salazar at 970-858-21204.

UPDATE: Congratulations to the first Monumental Challenge conquerors!

To view more photos, please visit our Facebook page

New Respiratory Therapist Manager Joins Family Health West

Fruita, CO – August 23, 2012 Family Health West is proud to welcome Daniel Vorse as the new hospital respiratory therapist manager. Dan completed the Respiratory Therapy Program at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington. With 30 years in respiratory therapy acute care medicine, he has worked in 28-400 bed hospitals in Washington, Oregon, and the last 13 years in Colorado. Dan says, “As Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes ‘A friend is the hope of the heart.’ This quote sums up small community hospitals. The community is our friend and a small community hospital will treat that community with respect, honor, and compassion. It’s great getting back to a similar hospital like where I started 30 years ago at Mark E. Reed in Washington.”

“We are excited to be able to provide respiratory therapy and are fortunate to have Dan leading the way,” said Mark J. Francis, Family Health West President and CEO, “Dan not only has extensive experience, but shows enthusiasm and dedication to what he does. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team.”

Dan and his family moved to Grand Junction in 1999. His eldest son Joshua will be attending Colorado Mesa University this fall and his son Matthew will be entering his senior year of high school.

When Dan isn’t working, he enjoys hunting, hiking, climbing, camping and most recently, attending Grand Junction Rockies Baseball games.

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