Eagle Valley Behavioral Health designated a Community Mental Health Center

Vail, CO (Oct. 12, 2021) ― Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, an outreach of Vail Health, has been awarded Full Designation as a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC), becoming only the 18th CMHC in Colorado and the first since 1989. 

“Vail Health developed Eagle Valley Behavioral Health to transform the landscape of behavioral health in our community. The full designation as a Community Mental Health Center is a historic and groundbreaking achievement,” said Will Cook, Vail Health President and CEO. “This designation will hopefully lead to an increase in rural behavioral health services that helps to meet the needs of those they serve and ultimately will be the first step toward transformation of the behavioral health landscape across our community, the state, and the nation.”

A CMHC is a physical facility or a group of services under unified administration or affiliated with one another that provide services for the prevention and treatment of behavioral or mental health disorders in a particular community in which the facility or organization is located. The behavioral health services provided by a CMHC include: inpatient services; outpatient services; partial hospitalization; emergency services; consultative and educational services. A CMHC is eligible to receive additional funding through state and federal grants. 

“Access and affordability are two of the most common barriers to seeking behavioral health services,” said Dr. Elaine Sandler, MD, a double board certified psychiatrist and Colorado Mountain Medical’s Director of Psychiatry. “We are incredibly excited to be part of an initiative that ensures our rural residents have access to exceptional, high-quality, community-based care at a local level.”

The designation occurs following a formal CMHC site visit with The Office of Behavioral Health and required a tremendous amount of work and dedication across the Vail Health enterprise, the Colorado Mountain Medical system, and through crucial community partnerships, such as The Hope Center, Bright Future Foundation, Eagle County Public Health, Eagle County Health and Human Services, the Multicultural Intercultural Resource Alliance (MIRA), Eagle County Paramedics, Speak Up Reach Out, Early Childhood Partners, My Future Pathways, Eagle County School District, and local Law Enforcement. 
“This is an incredible achievement that could not have been possible without an incredible team and community of support,” said Chris Lindley, Vail Health Chief Population Health Officer and Executive Director of EVBH. “This designation demonstrates statewide recognition of our community-driven efforts to address the behavioral health crisis in our community and highlights the tremendous work of our community organizations who have been the cornerstone of behavioral health services across our community continuum of care.”

In April, Vail Health submitted applications to amend the Planned Unit Development (PUD) that currently regulates land use of its Northstar Center property, located at 429/439 Edwards Access Road. The focal point of these proposed amendments is to allow for the development of a new building dedicated exclusively to behavioral health. Proposed amendments will also modify permitted uses to allow for a range of health care-related uses and to allow for additional future development to ensure that Vail Health can provide necessary health care to residents and guests of the Eagle River Valley. Subject to the County’s approval, Vail Health envisions an initial phase of construction of a new 50,000-square-foot behavioral health facility that will feature beds for short-term stays and treatment located in the rear parking lot west of the two existing buildings. 

“The CMHC is significant because of our long-term commitment to addressing the gaps in behavioral health care in this community through the development of a short-term, in-patient facility centrally located in Edwards,” said Cook. “The goal is to create a continuum of care that ensures our community members, from adolescents to adults, receive the best care and support possible while remaining close to home.” 

Colorado’s 18 Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC)
AllHealth Network, 1955
Aurora Mental Health Center, 1975
AspenPointe, 1875
Axis Community Mental Health Center, 1960
Centennial Mental Health Center, 1979
Community Reach Center, 1957
Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, 2021
Health Solutions, 1962
Jefferson Center for Mental Health, 1959
Mental Health Partners, 1966
Mental Health Center of Denver, 1989
Midwestern Colorado Mental Health Center, 1969
Mind Springs Health, 1972
North Range Behavioral Health, 1929
St Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group, 1972
Solvista Health, 1965
Southeast Health Group, 1957
SummitStone Health Partners, 1961


About Vail Health
With a focus on providing access to higher quality, more affordable care, Vail Health is a nonprofit community health care system offering one of the world’s most advanced mountain hospitals. Vail Health includes award-winning oncology care and a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab, as well as internationally renowned orthopaedic specialists led by The Steadman Clinic and Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery. Primary, specialty and behavioral health care are provided through its partner, Colorado Mountain Medical. Vail Health is committed to meeting the growing and ever-changing needs of the diverse region and encouraging wellness and prevention through effective population health management. Vail Health is locally operated and governed by a volunteer board of directors. For more information, visit www.vailhealth.org.