The Mt. Carmel Health, Wellness and Community Center in Trinidad received $325,000 in grants from the Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation.
“The trustees of El Pomar Foundation are committed to supporting projects in rural Colorado that have potential to make a significant and long-lasting impact on entire communities,” said William Hybl, Chairman and CEO of El Pomar Foundation. He adds, “We believe that the Mt. Carmel project is exactly this type of effort. It will have a dramatic effect on the quality of life in Trinidad and surrounding areas.”
The innovative center is pioneering integrated health-care in Colorado, and will be the first facility of its kind in the state.
The goal of Mt. Carmel is to drop the walls between medical and behavioral medicine, offering people a place for the mind, body and spirit.
"In the 60s there was a sign, 'Entering Trinidad: The City of Champions.' Well that sign went away, it blew over like the town. And it never was resurrected, never came up again. The reason is because the spirit died. And what we are hoping to do is bring that spirit back up again,” said Jay Cimino, Mt. Carmel Founder.
Not only will the facility provide integrated health care services but also state-of-the-art venues for a wide variety of social, cultural and artistic events. Organizers also hope to stimulate economic growth by creating partnerships that attract business and development while preserving the rich culture and heritage of Las Animas County.
The center was founded by Jay and Emily Cimino. The Trinidad natives wanted to create a health and wellness center to serve all the people of Las Animas County.
The Ciminos bought the reknown Mount Carmel church in 2007. The church and adjoining rectory were left to rot after it closed in the late 1990s. It was originally built in 1907.
After renovating the facilities the Ciminos came up with the idea to create a health and wellness center. A study showed that health and wellness were Trinidad’s greatest needs, followed by economic development, cultural activities, and historic and cultural preservation. That’s why they came up with the idea for the facility to meet all these needs.
Phase 1 of the project is complete; it includes a health clinic, chapel, theater, community center, atrium, upper lobby and mezzanine.
Spanish Peaks Behavioral Health is the first to move into the newly renovated facility at Mt. Carmel. The mental health clinic moved into its new office on September 1. The rest of the complex, and its non-medical attractions, will open in summer 2012.
Mt. Carmel is a project in collaboration with Spanish Peaks Behavioral Health, Mt. San Rafael Hospital, and Head Start.
El Pomar’s contribution came from three internal grant-making pools: $200,000 from the Foundation’s competitive process; $75,000 from the Trustees Council; and $50,000 from El Pomar’s Southeast Regional Council.
Over $3 million has been raised for the project that has a total budget of $11 million.