June 2023 Year in Review





Dr. Claire Reed


High Plains Community Health Center Announces Appointment of New Chief Medical Officer

High Plains Community Health Center (High Plains) has announced the appointment of Dr. Claire Harrison Reed, MD, as the organization’s new Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Reed succeeds Dr. Barbara Taylor, MD, who has served as Interim CMO since October 2022. Dr. Reed begins her new appointment with High Plains on Monday, August 7, 2023.

As Chief Medical Officer of Pueblo Community Health Center in Pueblo, CO, where she has served as CMO since 2018, Dr. Reed grew and stabilized that organization’s staff of physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, while increasing access to healthcare among the region’s underserved patient communities. “My focus [in Lamar],” offers Dr. Reed, “will be to build on the great work already done at High Plains in chronic- and acute-care services and lead the charge in growing the ranks of resident medical and behavioral health providers.”

In Pueblo, Dr. Reed also oversaw further growth of the center’s integrated behavioral health services, a program launched, as well, at High Plains in 2022. “A great number of primary care visits are actually triggered by a patient’s psychological problems,” says Dr. Reed. “Integrated care improves outcomes. Patients who receive a referral from a primary care provider to a mental health provider have a greater likelihood of following up on that referral if it’s co-located.”

Dr. Reed brings to High Plains more than 30 years of clinical and 15 years of healthcare leadership experience with nonprofit community health centers across the United States, including chief medical officer appointments at Mid State Health Center in Plymouth, NH, Bridge Community Health Clinic in Wausau, WI, the Community HealthCare System in Onaga, KS, and most recently Pueblo Community Health Center.


Lamar Community Building Get New Gym Floor

New Gym Floor Installation at LCB

Estimates are about 25 years for the last time a new gym floor was installed at the Lamar Community Building.  Work has been underway since May, installing a new floor which will help correct some oversights which went into the first one.

Lamar Recreation Program Manager, Tyndan Marquez, explained the new board surface will run north to south, court-to-court when completed, while the original bottom supports will remain east to west as they were embedded into the cement when originally laid.  The old top surface was also installed with an east to west direction.

“This will eliminate about 80 to 90% of the dead spots that were in the old flooring as well as some of the squeaks that resulted from the first floor.” He added that the project is expected to be completed by August 1st, just in time for the start of volleyball season.

The controversial Savage Thunder logo is gone and the main emblem in the center of the court will feature a traditional orange colored “L”.
By Russ Baldwin


Lamar School District Re-2 Welcomes Three Outstanding Students as New School Board Members

In an exciting development for Lamar’s education system, three exceptional high school students have been appointed as new members of the school board. Drew Durst, Vanessa Chairez, and Hallie Mackey, all renowned for their exemplary academic records and leadership skills, will play a vital role in shaping the future of our school district.

These talented individuals were selected from a pool of highly motivated and accomplished candidates who demonstrated a passion for education and a deep commitment to their community. Their addition to the school board marks a significant milestone as they become the youngest members ever to hold such a position in Lamar.

Drew Durst, a senior at Lamar High School, has consistently impressed both teachers and peers with his dedication to academic excellence. He has not only excelled in the classroom but has also contributed extensively to extracurricular activities, showcasing his strong leadership abilities. He founded the LHS Media Club at Lamar High School his freshman year, which produces a weekly news broadcast for the school, showcasing events across the school and the community. His appointment to the school board is a testament to his exemplary character and drive to make a positive impact on his fellow students’ lives.

Vanessa Chairez, a senior at Lamar High School, has already demonstrated remarkable leadership skills by actively engaging in student government by serving as the LHS headgirl and various community service initiatives. She has remarkable talents when it comes to marketing and communications, and her ability to listen to diverse perspectives and collaborate with others to find common ground will be invaluable in addressing the challenges facing our school district.

Lastly, Hallie Mackey, a senior at Lamar High School, has proven herself as an advocate for inclusivity and equity in education. She has actively worked to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all students, regardless of their background or abilities. She currently serves as the Colorado DECA State President, and is committed to serving as a role model and leading students across the state. Her commitment to fostering a sense of belonging will undoubtedly help shape policies that prioritize the well-being and success of every student.


Ribbon Cutting at Cobblestone Inn

June 13th Cobblestone Inn Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon cutting ceremonies were held today, June 13th for the Cobblestone Inn at 1215 North Main Street in Lamar.  The hotel has been in operation for the past several weeks just in time for the start of the summer travel season along Highway 50 to various destination points in the region, including Lamar.

It has been a long process to completion, remarked Tim Shelfchik of BriMark Builders, the principal driver for bringing together investors and municipal organizations who helped support the financing for construction, from the land purchase to today’s official grand opening.  Shelfchik began talks with the City of Lamar as far back as December 2017 for various incentives to help get the project started.  Other developers included local groups such as banks and lending institutions, SECED, PEP and Prowers County.

The three-story hotel features 45 rooms and suites as well as numerous amenities, from a breakfast bar, workout room swimming pool and even local photography from Karen Voepel.  The official groundbreaking event was held October 6, 2021.
By Russ Baldwin


City Launches Webpage for EPA Revitalization Grant

The City of Lamar has recently launched a website for its Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assessment Grant. This interactive site will update the community on grant progress, including environmental assessment statuses for project properties, redevelopment visioning opportunities, and other public engagement efforts.

The website will be maintained by the City’s consultant for the project, Ayres Associates.  The project team envisions the site to be a one stop shop for all grant materials and information.

EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. A brownfield site is real property that the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance (such as lead-based paint or asbestos), pollutant, or contaminant. The City of Lamar was awarded a $500,000 Assessment Grant in this cycle. Eligible uses of this funding include:

  • Inventorying, characterizing, and assessing sites to determine the presence or absence of contamination.
  • Identification of redevelopment sites
  • Redevelopment planning to identify feasible land uses
  • 3D visualization to generate understanding about opportunities
  • Cleanup redevelopment planning
  • Community engagement

This is the second EPA assessment grant that the City of Lamar has received. This important project leads to revitalization and redevelopment of contaminated properties and provides an exciting opportunity for the community to be involved in the visioning process.


Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of LamarFeatured


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