News and Events

Family Health West Offers Lunch and Learn

Fruita, CO (October 15, 2013) – Family Health West invites you to have lunch and learn about their extended care services. During the month of November, Family Health West will provide lunch every Thursday at Noon (excluding the 28th due to the Thanksgiving holiday). “It’s a difficult decision to make when choosing long term care for yourself or a loved one,” said Administrator of The Willows Assisted Living facility, Kayren Goss, “We want to ease the process for people as much as possible.” Jason Davis, Administrator of The Oaks Assisted Living, agrees, “Over a delicious lunch, the extended care team will provide information on how we take care of those who can no longer live independently, as well as share the convenience of having access to our ten other healthcare facilities in Fruita.”

The lunches will take place in the Adult Extended Care building located at 228 N. Cherry Street in Fruita. Long-term care professionals will be on hand to answer any questions attendees may have and provide information on the full continuum of services available for the entire family at Family Health West.

Seating is limited so please reserve your space by calling 970-858-2211.

Arthritis Center Of Western Colorado Welcomes New Rheumatologist

Dr. Jessica Baer Mears

Fruita, CO (October 9, 2013) – The Arthritis Center of Western Colorado, a service of Family Health West, is proud to welcome Dr. Jessica Baer Mears to the practice. Located at 576 Kokopelli Blvd, Suite D, in Fruita, the Arthritis Center of Western Colorado specializes in complex rheumatologic diseases and conditions. Dr. Baer Mears will join the Center due to an increased community need. “The Arthritis Center of Western Colorado is already booked out months in advance,” said Family Health West CEO and President, Mark Francis, “We are thrilled to have Dr. Baer Mears here to provide her expertise in helping people improve their quality of life and achieve disease control.”

Dr. Baer Mears attended Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, California, and then completed her internal medicine residency at Michigan State University, Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies. She completed her rheumatology fellowship at Michigan State University/McLaren-Greater Lansing Hospital. She is a member of several associations including the American College of Rheumatology, the American College of Osteopathic Internists, the American Osteopathic Association and a member of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry.

Dr. Baer Mears looks forward to joining the Family Health West team of health care professionals, “I am very excited to join Dr. Horvath-Dori and to be a part of Family Health West and the Arthritis Center of Western Colorado!" Her interests outside of work include genealogy, playing the piano, spending time with her husband, Dr. Roy Mears and enjoying her Yorkshire Terrier, Snickers.

Dr. Baer Mears is accepting patients, but they must have a physician’s referral. Please call 970-858-2590 for more information.

Dr. Larry Tice, New Family Health West Medical Director

Dr. Larry Tice

Fruita, CO (September 9, 2013) - Family Health West is proud to announce Dr. Larry D. Tice as their Director of Medical Affairs. Providing a mission and strategic guidance for all medical programs, Dr. Tice will advance hospital staff to higher standards of health care for the community. He will work with other department leaders to design new programs to better serve patients and residents. He will also be involved with the recruitment of medical staff members and ensure the organization maintains compliance with all laws through the use of audits and trainings. “We are so fortunate to have Dr. Tice fulfill the role of medical affairs director,” said Mark J. Francis, Family Health West CEO and President, “His experience and expertise are exactly what we need as we expand services and continue to provide the best care possible to our community’s individuals and families.”

Dr. Tice received his MD from the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in 1972. After interning in general surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NY, he spent a year in general surgery at University of Colorado affiliated hospitals in Denver before returning to Oregon for his neurosurgery training. Before starting practice in Grand Junction in 1979, he spent a year fellowship in micro vascular neurosurgery. Over 30 years in neurosurgery in the Grand Valley allowed him to treat many problems. He now enjoys providing care for spinal and nerve conditions at Family Health West. His expertise enhances the Family Health West Outpatient Procedure Center, which specializes in chronic pain management.

“I’m honored to accept this role at Family Health West,” said Dr. Tice, “It’s an exciting time to be in health care and I look forward to further advancing the organization with the dedication and commitment of the staff who care for our patients and residents.”

Family Health West Welcomes New Psychologist

Fruita, CO (September 10, 2013) – Family Health West has recently welcomed Dr. Katrina Katen to provide services to Family Health West residents and patients. Dr. Katen is a clinical psychologist and owner of Individual Matters, LLC, a local, private practice providing comprehensive psychological services to the Western Slope. In collaboration with the medical treatment team of Family Health West, Dr. Katen and her team of clinicians will offer complete psychological services tailored to meet the individualized needs of patients and residents of the nursing home, assisted living facility, and hospital.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Katen on board,” said Family Health West Chief Nursing Officer, Lori Henderson, “Services will include consultation and assessment, as well as individual, family, and group therapy.” Family Health West CEO and President, Mark Francis agrees, “We recently conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment that further demonstrated the need for mental health services in our community. We are fortunate to be able to bring to our patients and residents the expertise and experience that Dr. Katen provides.”

Dr. Katrina Katen, Psy.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with several years of experience and advanced training in working with individuals of all ages. She holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a master's degree with specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. She completed her doctoral internship at a neurobehavioral and specialty hospital, where she conducted neuropsychological evaluations and provided an array of psychological services to individuals with brain injuries, neurobehavioral impairments and severe emotional difficulties. Her post-doctoral residencies included training in the fields of geriatric and pediatric psychology. Currently she offers individual, couples, family, and group therapy, as well as comprehensive psychological assessment for children, adults, and the elderly. “I am excited by this opportunity to work alongside an amazing group of individuals, families, and professionals,” said Dr. Katen, “I am passionate about my work with the elderly and am so thrilled to be part of the lower valley community!”

In her free time, Dr. Katen says she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring new places and experiencing all that is offered in our beautiful state.

Family Health West Youth Volunteer Pursues Girl Scout Gold Award

Fruita, CO (September 4, 2013) – Carly U-Ren of Fruita Monument High School and Girl Scout Troop #136 is pursuing a Girl Scout Gold Award (the equivalent of an Eagle Scout) and has compiled “Memory Books” for Family Health West nursing home residents with themes such as camping, pets, weddings, and fishing.

Pursuing the Girl Scout Gold Award is a multi-step process that starts with an 8-page application in order for her project to be approved. One aspect of the Gold Award is that the project be sustainable – one that can be continued by others.

Carly learned the values of giving back early. She has been volunteering since she was in the Brownies at the ripe old age of eight (8). She learned about the Memory Unit of Family Health West's nursing home during M.A.S.H Camp at Colorado Mesa University, a camp for middle school students interested in healthcare careers. Since December 2012, she has spent most of her Family Health West volunteer time on Main Street, the name of the Alzheimer's floor of the nursing home. While on Main Street, she observed that there were binders with photos of different topics for the residents to enjoy. This gave her the idea to develop "Memory Books."

She has sent out letters and flyers to almost 70 Girl Scout troops in Mesa County and brochures to many schools and academies in the Grand Valley describing her project and providing information for others to continue either at Family Health West or other facilities.
Chief of Nursing, Lori Henderson, is appreciative of Carly's efforts, "Carly is a true delight and the residents really enjoy her. The staff is impressed with her efforts and inspired by her dedication."

Carly has enjoyed volunteering on our Memory Care unit, “I’ve always known that I wanted to work in health care.”

Family Health West Welcomes New Emergency Services Manager

Fruita, CO (August 29, 2013) – Family Health West has recently welcomed Rhonda Miller as the emergency services manager. Rhonda was born in Grand Junction, but was raised in Colorado Springs. She returned to the Western Slope to attend Montrose High School and went on to obtain her nursing degree from Mesa State College and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Rhonda has worked at the major hospitals in Grand Junction and has experience in emergency and surgical services. “I started out in the ER in 1990 and I decided to try surgery four years ago. I enjoyed that, but emergency services fits my personality,” says Rhonda. “I like the variety and constant stimulation that the emergency department brings.” Rhonda says that she looks forward to growing the department at Family Health West and developing a trauma center.

“Rhonda is an outstanding addition to our healthcare team,” said Chief of Nursing, Lori Henderson. “She brings not only her breadth of experience, but a drive to learn and develop herself as well as the organization.”

Rhonda enjoys reading, walking, hiking, being a soccer mom, and seeing her six grandchildren who happen to all be girls. She has three sons. One is a senior at Central High School; one is finishing chiropractic school; and one is an engineer for NASA.

Dr. Rebecca Glasser To Host the Survive Fashion Show

Fruita, CO (August 6, 2013) – Dr. Rebecca Glasser of Canyon Creek Plastic Surgery is proud to host the fourth annual Survive Fashion Show on October 12, 2013, beginning at 6:00pm at The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Grand Junction, Colorado. Unlike past years, this year will feature cancer survivors as the models.

Survive Fashion Show is an annual event benefiting St. Mary's Cancer Survivorship Program. Started in 2010 by Brandi and Bonnie Eaton with ANEWU Salon, the Survive Fashion Show was originally created to raise awareness and funds for Breast Cancer Research. In 2012, ANEWU Salon partnered with the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation to raise funds locally for cancer survivorship. All proceeds benefit St. Mary’s Cancer Survivorship Program. The Cancer Survivorship Program is an essential component in helping to ensure long-term health and quality-of-life for cancer survivors in western Colorado.

Due to her passion for helping patients with breast cancer, in 2004 Dr. Glasser 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’m honored and excited to be a part of the Survive Fashion Show,” said Glasser. “This event speaks directly to what I care about most and what makes my job so rewarding.”

Family Health West and the Fruita Community Center Partner in Pain-Free Speaker Series

Fruita, CO (July 16, 2013) – Family Health West and the Fruita Community Center are proud to present the Pain-Free Speaker Series providing health education to the community on topics surrounding chronic pain. “The presenting doctors are experts in chronic pain issues and are known for getting results,” said Angelina Salazar, Family Health West Director of Development and Community Relations. “In this series, each specialist will discuss an issue, his or her approach, and how he or she collaborates with other experts to get maximum benefit for patients.”

The presenters include Drs. Kenneth Lewis, Larry Tice, Lynda Hamner, and Ellen Price. They make up a collaborative team at Family Health West and are housed at their Outpatient Procedure Center in Fruita.

All talks take place on Tuesdays, beginning at 6:00pm. The series begins on July 23, with Dr. Larry D. Tice, Neurosurgeon, discussing the spine. On July 30, Dr. Lynda Hamner, Physiatrist, will present how physiatry as a field of medicine helps control pain. Dr. Kenneth C. Lewis, Anesthesiologist, will talk about "Injections for Low Back Pain: What Works and Why" on August 20; and Dr. Ellen Price, Physiatrist, will cover “Myofascial Pain Syndrome” on August 27. Then on Tuesday, September 24, 2013, the specialists will provide a panel discussion to talk about their collaboration and answer any questions the community may have. The event is free, but space is limited. Reserve your seat for one or all of the presentations, by calling 970-858-0360.

Young Philanthropist Organizes Regional Combine Event

Grand Junction, CO (July 15, 2013) – Austin Lewis, Grand Junction High School rising Senior, has organized and will host an athletic combine sporting event to raise money for the Mesa County Junior Football Association (MCJFA). The event will take place July 20, 2013, at Colorado Mesa University, beginning at 9:00 am. Austin formed his own nonprofit, Western Rockies Sports Combine ( last year and is excited about the fourth event this July. “Western Colorado and Eastern Utah youth, along with coaching staff from many high schools, have been invited,” said Austin. “This year, the Grand Junction Tigers football team has as its main fundraiser this "free to the athletes" NFL style combine that allows athletes to record accurate athletic test event results,” said Austin. “These are a standardized group of speed, agility, and strength tests that are used by sporting teams around the country to accurately measure the athletic readiness of athletes.”

Austin’s father, Dr. Kenneth Lewis of Western Rockies Interventional Pain Specialists, thinks the event is a huge benefit, “Typically an athlete would need to travel from Western Colorado and pay a fee to have this testing done. This is a wonderful opportunity for the community.”

“We have decided to combine this event with a free “King of the Western Slope” seven-on-seven football tournament to add some more excitement to the day,” added Austin. “This tournament is also free to the kids who participate.”

Sponsors are necessary for the event to remain free to participants. “We couldn’t do this without the generous support of our sponsors,” said Austin. “All of the funds raised will be used to serve the athletes at the combine and to help with the cost of the 2013-14 football season.”

A sports combine is usually a combination of certain sport specific conditioning drills to determine speed, strength, and skill level depending on the sport. These abilities are put on display for coaches, scouts, and whoever would be interested in watching the evaluation of the athlete. For the athlete, it is a chance to display his or her abilities, speed, strength, and skill set for a specific sport. It usually involves some kind of weight lifting, agility drills, sprinting, and depending on the sport, a set of specific sport drills.

Flagship Sponsor, Family Health West’s CEO and President, Mark Francis thinks the event is important, “It’s a great cause and the results obtained can be used to gauge improvement of an athlete’s speed and agility over time. We are proud to promote our youth’s athletics.”

Combine events are appropriate to evaluate athletes in all field-related sports including football, lacrosse, soccer, rugby, baseball, and softball. It’s open to boys and girls of any age. 7 on 7 teams must be registered by a high school coach. For more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Austin at 970-263-4250 or visit

Family Health West Offers Sports Physicals to District 51 Students at New Access Clinic

Fruita, CO (July 10, 2012) – From July 15 – August 9, 2013 , Sports Physicals for School District 51 Students will be available at Family Health West’s Access Clinic located at 215 N. Plum in Fruita, from 2 pm – 5 pm Monday through Friday and with extended hours 1 pm – 5 pm July 29 – August 2. The cost is $25. Students should bring appropriate paperwork. Appointments are preferred, but not necessary.

“We will perform a physical exam required for sports participation,” said Lori Henderson, Chief Nursing Officer. “These physicals ensure that the student is physically fit for his or her particular sport interest. Physicals will be done on a first-come, first-served basis unless student has scheduled an appointment.” Appointments can be made by calling 970-858-2190.

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