Rocky Mountain Health Foundation (RMHF), in its current configuration, started in 2017 when United Health Plans purchased Rocky Mountain Health Plans, resulting in a $38 million corpus dedicated to the health and well-being of the 22 Western Slope counties. Today RMHF is an independent foundation overseen by a board made up of representatives from across the Western Slope.
RMHF proudly traces its roots back 40 years to Rocky Mountain Health Plans in Grand Junction, Colorado where the Foundation headquarters are located today. As one of the first HMO insurance companies in the nation, Rocky Mountain Health Plans was started by physicians and community leaders to ensure people of all population groups had access to innovative, quality, affordable healthcare at reasonable costs. Rocky Mountain Health Plans, incorporated as a nonprofit insurance company, was a good neighbor in communities by supporting both the people and the medical professionals in collaborative and participatory ways. Rocky Mountain Health Plans has earned a national reputation by always doing the right thing to provide for those among us most in need.
Rocky Mountain Health Plans Foundation was incorporated as a state-wide nonprofit organization in 1997 with a purpose of being a catalyst for innovative health care solutions for communities large and small throughout the state. Then, as now, it was recognized that many people with long-term health problems or being of modest means were in urgent need of help. It’s the heart of what Rocky Mountain Health Foundation does today: we care for vulnerable populations.
One of the Foundation’s first grants provided access and financial support for dental care for pregnant women suffering from dental disease to prevent preterm deliveries. That very first grant then led the Foundation to one of its legacy programs, BABY & ME – Tobacco Free Program which incentivizes pregnant women to stop smoking early in their pregnancy with free baby diapers for a year after their baby is born. The program has one of the highest cessation successes anywhere in the United States at 89% and every $1 dollar spent on the program results in $6.73 costs savings by mothers delivering fewer preterm babies, having babies at a healthy birth rate, and fewer babies being admitted to neonatal intensive care programs.
Today, Rocky Mountain Health Foundation prioritizes our funding around efforts that address critical needs and increase access to health for the underserved. For those struggling to provide for themselves and their families, we support nonprofits that provide essential human services in response to social determinants of health – namely food, housing, healthcare, and transportation.
The legacy of Rocky Mountain Health Plans is one of compassion, innovation and collaboration. It is the intent and purpose of Rocky Mountain Health Foundation to boldly advance these principles. We are fully committed to doing all we can to nurture and improve the health of all who live in Western Colorado.