History and Background
Park County is home to many isolated, rural communities with nearly 16,500 residents. Mountainous terrain isolated neighboring towns and cities. Any community member currently seeking medical care must cross at least one pass in order to access a provider. Because of its geographical isolation, Park County is designated as a Primary Care Health Professional Shortage area, Medically Underserved Area/Provider, and a Dental Health Professional Shortage area indicating a shortage of Medical and Dental health care in the county. A primary care facility that offers affordable, accessible and coordinated care with long term commitment to Park County is the best solution to address these issues.
The struggling community lost its medical provider in 2013 and has been unable to replace care since then. The primary care practice at 525 Hathaway Street was privately owned and operated from 2003 to 2013 by a local physician. In late 2013, and into early 2014, the practice changed ownership to an urban group practice with multiple offices throughout the state. The group practice left Fairplay in the summer of 2014, leaving the community without access to primary care locally.
In 2016, Park County’s only nurse practioner retired and Park County has been without access to health care once again. In November 2017, the South Park Health Service District was approved as a measure to gain health care access in Park County sustainably. The Board of Directors are all residents of South Park that are dedicated to seeing health care access return to the county.