Dr. Valerie Borsa founded Mt. Rose Health Center Palliative Care and Hospice to bring her passion for quality end of life care to the people of Huerfano and Las Animas counties.  Even more than her passion for hospice care, is her passion for health and wellness.  She lives what she believes and, in a desire, to share that with others, the HeARTworks Outreach program was created.  The goal was to bring new options, particularly for “olders” to have more paths to live fulfilling, healthy lives.

There is solid science behind the importance of being an active participant in not only one’s life, but also in the greater community.  That has been a challenge with the terrible Covid pandemic.  Many deaths that were attributed to Covid were undoubtedly exacerbated by the enforced social isolation. We are wired to need human touch and interaction.  It is fascinating that recent studies have shown that people who are connected to social circles live 7 years longer than those that live in relative isolation. HeARTworks programs are an antidote to social isolation.

HeARTworks was fortunate to receive two major grants in 2022 to further this work.  The Next 50 Initiative is funding a project to bring basic health care screening and information on a monthly basis to area communities.  The HeARTworks Health and Wellness program not only provides basic vital sign monitoring by healthcare professionals accompanied by health education, but also serves as a resource for increased awareness about other services available in the community.  It is a collaborative project with the Area Agency on Aging and Spark the Change, a local agency that has a primary goal of eliminating food insecurity. The first major (and ongoing) project is providing free Vial of Life materials to assure that EMS/first responders have the information to not only optimize emergency care, but to also know who to notify in case of emergency.

Our second major grant is from Art in Society through Colorado Creative Industries.  This grant, El Arte de Nuestros Abuelos (the Art of Our Grandparents), embraces several major concepts that enhance the lives of olders.  First it recognizes and honors the wisdom that comes with a long life. Secondly, and even more important, it is an invitation for the Wisdomkeepers to become the Wisdomsharers.  This is being done by numerous programs occurring this next year that taps into the older generation both teaching and being invited to participate in many activities that honor the wisdom through sharing or participating in stimulating activities.  It is a call of awareness about the rich traditions in our area and one way of keeping them alive. Again, science has shown a strong link between creativity and longevity; being able to offer programs that both encourage social participation as well as exercise the creative muscles is a recipe for a life well lived!  Mt. Rose is honored to be able to make that a reality!

Feel free to contact Sandy Dolak at if you want any additional information.  Watch our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming events.

Categories: Uncategorized