Preventative Care Remains a Top Priority for CHPG High Country Healthcare | SummitDaily.com
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Preventative Care Remains a Top Priority for CHPG High Country Healthcare

Primary care here is unique in that we have quite a healthy population in the county, but we need to try to keep the healthy healthier. Photo courtesy of Summit Medical Center
Primary care here is unique in that we have quite a healthy population in the county, but we need to try to keep the healthy healthier. Photo courtesy of Summit Medical Center

We have all been forced to make serious changes in our lives due to the pandemic, and healthcare is no exception. And as many of us have shifted our focus to cope with acute health challenges – or constant COVID tests – we may have neglected to keep up on important diagnostic tests and screenings.

Dr. Colby Jolley has become a familiar face during her four years at the CHPG High Country Healthcare office in Silverthorne, where she offers primary care services to hundreds of local patients. As Jolley notes, while the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to pose day-to-day concerns for Summit County residents, a more serious concern is the extended disruption in preventative services patients would normally receive.

“Primary care here is unique in that we have quite a healthy population in the county, but we need to try to keep the healthy healthier,” she said. “Unfortunately, the COVID interruption meant so many preventative services stopped, and we weren’t able to do stuff that wasn’t absolutely necessary. It’s time for us all to get back to health maintenance routines after a long hiatus – we can’t have an entire year of cancer surveillance left out of our care plans.”



And while this winter’s COVID surge has once again become a top priority, CHPG High Country Healthcare is also focusing its energy on prioritizing routine annual checkups and arranging screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. Jolley emphasizes those and other screenings whenever she interacts with locals during office visits.

“It’s been tough for many of my patients to get out, and they’re still in need of care. So, I try to encourage them to get back doing those routine annual checkups. I ask them what they haven’t done in the past two years, and what their priorities are. I’m also a big advocate for the annual wellness visit, which is covered by most insurance plans.”



Other common preventative tests include cardiovascular screenings, such as blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar, plus discussions about lifestyle risks for heart issues.

We all see COVID as a new way of life, to some degree, but that doesn’t mean we can stop taking precautions. I ask my patients to think about getting back to taking care of themselves. Photo courtesy of Summit Medical Center
We all see COVID as a new way of life, to some degree, but that doesn’t mean we can stop taking precautions. I ask my patients to think about getting back to taking care of themselves. Photo courtesy of Summit Medical Center

Jolley’s Silverthorne office includes four providers, two family PAs, and a nurse practitioner caring for more than 1,000 regular patients. The CHPG High Country Healthcare system also includes clinics in Breckenridge and Frisco, with a total of 14 providers in the county.

The seasonal and weekend warrior portion of Jolley’s patient population also means reaching out to many part-time residents who use her office as a primary care hub, letting them know that care is still available, especially for those annual checkups.

“We all see COVID as a new way of life, to some degree, but that doesn’t mean we can stop taking precautions. I ask my patients to think about getting back to taking care of themselves. We also tell them to be patient, as our system is strained, but that we certainly arrange to take care of stuff that will serve as preventative health.”

In addition to physical wellbeing, Jolley said she and her fellow primary care specialists do a lot of work in dealing with mental health, which is such a significant issue in mountain communities.

“I don’t go a day without touching on anxiety, depression, and substance abuse in my patient population, and I often ask people about their drinking habits. We’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of substance abuse in the last two years. We integrate behavioral health into every visit and find that it’s often easier for people to address those issues with a doctor.”  


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