Low-Cost Communal Health Clinic Revived
by Samuel Adams
Feb 10, 2014 | 5708 views | 0 0 comments | 124 124 recommendations | email to a friend | print

TELLURIDE — Receiving affordable acupuncture treatment in Telluride will be easier next Tuesday. The Elks Club in Telluride will be the home of a new low-cost community health clinic, featuring licensed acupuncturists Benjamin Hawes, Ramie Holmquist and Joshua Geetter. Together, they will offer acupuncture treatment integrated with other forms of Oriental medicine. 

Geetter, the clinic’s director, said he’d like the clinic to offer other forms of affordable health care, and encourages practitioners from other medical disciplines to join his team. Joanna Lyons, for one, of the San Miguel Wellness Center, will offer nutritional consultation. 

“We have a commitment to health care and professionalism in the realm of oriental medicine, but we welcome anyone who is licensed and insured to contact us about offering their services alongside ours,” said Geetter.

Geetter’s philosophy of providing treatment is to make it as accessible and affordable as possible; patients do not need to provide proof of health insurance to receive treatment. 

“This not about making money and doing insurance claims. That would be onerous,” Geetter said. “The point of this clinic is to make affordable health care accessible to anyone who needs it.”

Geetter knows the Telluride community well: he ran a similar clinic at the Ah Haa School from 2002 to 2006, and has since run the same sort of clinic in Hotchkiss, Colo.

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the Elks Club on this,” he said. “They have such a great history of community service, and I’m grateful for their giving me this space on Tuesdays.”

Patients will pay only $50 for each session, but the pay structure is on a sliding scale.

“If you can’t afford $50, $40 will cover liability, expenses and running the clinic,” he said. “On a real-needs basis, I personally will do pro bono work, but I can’t speak for my colleagues on that.”

Geetter, who has been practicing medicine for more than a decade, encourages the Telluride community to explore the world of acupuncture, which he said can treat a myriad of ailments.

“It’s a complete body of medicine, supported by an entire society for thousands of years,” he said. “People can come to us for pretty much anything, except for surgical intervention,” he added. The clinic will not resemble a conventional medical facility: it will be held in an open room, without partitions or dividers between patients.

“You’re essentially sacrificing privacy and chatting time with the practitioner,” said Hawes, who runs Cortez Acupuncture. “And while that doesn’t sound appealing, the communal experience of receiving treatment alongside your neighbors really is wonderful. I think it can be kind of magical in a way, and most people will find it really nice.”

Geetter echoed Hawes’s view on the clinic’s communal aspect.

“We could talk about it for days, but there are particular therapeutic benefits that happen in a group setting that do not happen in a one-on-one doctor-patient setting,” he said.

“This clinic is like so many across Asia in the sense that it’s held in an open space; these clinics have been around for hundreds and thousands of years.”

The clinic will operate at the Elks Club on Pacific Avenue on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Geetter encourages those interested in scheduling an appointment to visit www.telluridecommunityhealth.com.

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