Summit Community Care Clinic names Helen Royal new COO |

Summit Community Care Clinic names Helen Royal new COO

Helen Royal was recently promoted to COO at the Summit Community Care Clinic.
Courtesy Summit Community Care Clinic |

The Summit Community Care Clinic announced on Monday, Oct. 5 the recent promotion of Helen Royal from behavioral health director to chief operations officer.

“The organization,” said Sarah Vaine, who has been the clinic’s CEO since 2008, “has grown just so significantly over the last six to eight years that I feel like I could do a better job of getting back to people and managing growth, so Helen is going to be my right hand. I feel very excited to have someone of her caliber.”

Royal joined the care clinic in 2006 and has been instrumental in the creation and maintenance of the clinic’s integrated-care program as well as the implementation of integrated care for the School Based Health Centers.

Before that, she worked at Colorado West Regional Mental Health Center for 19 years, starting in 1991, where she was a therapist, project manager, quality-assurance manager and regional business director for a multi-county region. She earned a master’s degree in counseling in 1996 and is a licensed professional counselor.

She lives north of Silverthorne, loves to ride horses and has done equine therapy in the community, Vaine said.

The clinic is the only safety-net health-care provider in the county. The nonprofit clinic is a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike that offers low-cost integrated health care — including primary care, oral health, behavioral health and reproductive health services — to uninsured and underinsured local residents.

Clinic employees also offer care to the county’s public-school students, staff and their families in school through five School Based Health Centers.

Vaine said the clinic is responding to growing need for low-cost health care in Summit and added pressures to provide services in surrounding communities.

The clinic did roughy 300 patient visits in its first year in 1993, she said, and, in 2014, those visits totaled more than 20,000.

Since she arrived, the clinic’s annual budget and staff positions have risen from just under $1 million and 23 employees to $6.2 million and more than 90 employees. The clinic now is expanding its dental offices, and county government officials are looking at ways to provide the clinic with more physical space.

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