Dena Guttridge wears many hats to keep operations running smoothly at Dove Creek Integrated Healthcare.

“I love the variety; no two days are ever the same,” said Dena. “I get to interact with everyone at the clinic, including patients, staff and community partners. Dena’s advice on how to thrive in a multitasking administrative position is to stay open-minded and flexible. “Respect and appreciate everyone for their differences and embrace change in order to grow.”

Dena was the operations director prior to the merger between Frontier Community Health Clinic and Axis Health System in May 2020. She oversaw billing, pharmacy, maintenance, and dental and medical operations, including opening an additional dental clinic in Cortez – now called the Cortez Oral Health Clinic. Post-merger, Dena is now the clinic manager at Dove Creek Integrated Healthcare (DCIH).

She said the merger has brought benefits for the clinic and the community. “We are still the same staff. We offer the same services and, in fact, we have been able to expand services and adapt quicker and easier in this challenging last year during the pandemic.”

Dena appreciates that DCIH patients receive whole-person care, including behavioral healthcare, primary care, dental care and crisis care – all under one roof.

“I think that everyone should know that there is a commitment to taking care of each other in this clinic, and that feeling is palpable from the moment that you walk in the door,” she said. “Every member of our staff is entrenched in our communities, and often we are caring for several generations of people from the same family while embracing new patients to our clinic.”

Dena says she wants the community to be aware of DCIH’s many services, including advocacy services, a very affordable pharmacy, Women’s Wellness Connection Program (free or low-cost mammograms and cervical cancer screenings) and affordable healthcare options. “We create relationships with our patients,” she said. “We work together as a team to provide assistance that many of our patients didn’t even know was available.”

Dena was born in Cortez and has strong roots in Montezuma County. Her great-grandparents homesteaded in Lewis, Colo. She married her husband right out of high school and together they raised four boys that have all moved back to Cortez. They plan to continue to call the area home and raise their own families there.

“Our area is the perfect size in my eyes,” said Dena. “I enjoy being able to catch up with old friends at the grocery store. I find comfort in the knowledge that if I happen to break down on the side of the road within a hundred-mile radius of home that before too long, someone will drive by me who knows me and will stop to help. Yes… I’ve unintentionally tested this theory!”