Contact: Michelle West
(719) 476-3143

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, November 3, 2015 – In the interest of creating better health outcomes for people with disabilities, The Independence Center joins a cohort of eight community-based organizations in The Colorado Healthcare Foundation’s pilot program Colorado Linkage Lab. The Colorado Linkage Lab is a 19-month executive and senior leadership program with the goal to promote integration between the health care sector (hospitals, insurers, health care providers) and long-term services and supports (LTSS) community-based organizations that provide day-to-day support to older people and people with disabilities in Colorado.

The Linkage Lab program will help The Independence Center design a fee for service program to bring their independent living and home health services directly to the health care market. “This is another step for The Independence Center to create better health outcomes for people with disabilities,” offered Patricia Yeager, CEO of The Independence Center. “We believe that the health care sector will be interested in keeping re-admissions low through the utilization of transitional programs and services that address ‘social determinants of health’ for persons with disabilities. We plan to offer such services after Linkage Lab training is complete.”

While Centers for Independent Living and the health care sector share the goal of good health for persons with disabilities, their approach often differs. The Linkage Lab will enable The Independence Center to gain an understanding of the language and processes to link programming successfully to the health care sector. Colorado Linkage Lab replicates a successful California model supported by the SCAN Foundation, an independent public nonprofit devoted to transforming care for older adults in ways that preserve dignity and encourage independence.

Independence Center CEO Patricia Yeager, Director of Home Health Katey Castilla, and Controller Indy Frazee attended the first of four didactic sessions October 28 – 30, 2015 in Colorado Springs with three more sessions occurring throughout Colorado. The last session occurs on May 11, 2017. Expectations for the program involve the didactic session attendance; participation in webinars; group calls and progress reports; as well as completion of surveys; hosting site visits; completing assignments and conceiving, designing, implementing, tracking and evaluating a community health integration project (CHIP).

About The Independence Center
The Independence Center is a local nonprofit organization that provides traditional and self-directed home health care, independent living, and advocacy services for people with disabilities. These services range from providing peer support, skills classes, and employment assistance to individual and systems advocacy. The IC’s mission is to work with people with disabilities, their families, and the community to create independence so all may thrive.