Family Health West, located in Fruita, Colorado, has remained on the leading edge of rural health care service delivery for over 60 years. The original 20-bed hospital was a result of a community effort in the mid-1940s to provide health care for residents of rural Mesa County in Western Colorado. Local farmers and ranchers drove to Utah and brought back loads of bricks and supplies to build the hospital. Although the hospital weathered many crises in the early years, it survived because of the community’s commitment and dedication to maintaining local health care.
In the 1980s, Family Health West began to implement a broader range of healthcare services to meet the needs of the community. The Continuum of Health Care was developed to include senior, elder and Alzheimer’s care services. Family Health West is now recognized as a pioneer and leader in healthcare services for individuals of all ages and in the implementation of innovative Alzheimer’s and elder care.
In 1997, Family Health West unveiled their “Main Street Experience” – a social model for Alzheimer’s and elder care. This approach is designed to positively stimulate the long-term memories of Alzheimer’s patients in a non-threatening, enjoyable environment.