Clinic Hallway

Behind the Numbers: Grand Junction

Medicaid Expansion Drives Real Jobs in Real Colorado Communities

There are at least 50 new hires attributable directly to Medicaid expansion at Mind Springs Health, the primary mental and behavioral health care provider in a sprawling 10-county region on the Western Slope. Mind Springs recently finished out new office space for expansion in Routt County, in addition to refurbishing offices and adding a new rental building in Grand Junction, to accommodate Medicaid growth. Executive Vice President Michelle Hoy said Mind Springs has hired 145 fulltime equivalent positions since January of 2014, when Medicaid expansion began, and at least 50 of those are to directly serve Medicaid clients. Chris Lawrence is one of those hires, a recovery case manager for Mind Springs Medicaid clients and also a graduate student of counseling and health care administration. Lawrence assists clients with multiple medical, addiction and social services that enable them to get back on their feet. “We have learned so much about mental health and behavioral health care,” Lawrence said. “I helped one client get into an apartment who had numerous barriers because of past criminal and substance use issues. We got that person to a property management company that was willing to work with the situation. This person was living in a car, as a parent.”