Fort Lewis College becomes accredited Medicaid provider

DURANGO, Colo. — College can be stressful for students, mentally and financially. It can get even worse when a student gets sick.

Now, a Four Corners college is helping relieve some of that stress for students. 

“Our campus population right now about 10-15% of our student body have Medicaid, and we anticipate that number to be quite a bit bigger, a third of our population is eligible,” said Jeff Dupont, dean of student engagement at Fort Lewis College.

Dunport says one of the main goals is to remove barriers to health care. That’s why the college is now an accredited Colorado Medicaid provider. 

The school believes this will do a lot more than just lower medical fees for students. 

“They don’t have to go home to seek services, keeps them on campus, in class, their needs are met and keeps them successful at school. So in the end, we hope this will continue our graduation rates,” said Rene Klotz, clinical director at Fort Lewis College Health Center.   

The self-pay medical service for students stopped during the fall of 2023. The need for student medical insurance and electronic health records became apparent as more students came in with health benefits in other locations, like Indian Health Services. 

“So that became more and more apparent for our services here at the clinic, which is a cash-based system, that there was more of a need for students to have help,” Klotz said.   

Now all students have to worry about is working toward that degree.

“All the hard work that’s gone into the process is worth it because we just want to do what we can for the students to help them succeed here at Fort Lewis College,” Klotz said.