Celebrating 40 Years
Kids First Health Care was founded in 1978 as School Health Corporation with a five‐year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The agency had two goals: to provide primary health care to school‐age children in Commerce City at a reasonable cost; and to develop a cost‐sharing model between educational, medical, and community sectors to make the program cost‐effective and practical.
In November 1978, the agency brought on a physician and nurse practitioners and began providing services to children in Commerce City. In 1982, School Health Corporation was awarded 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service.
In 1984, the agency changed its name to Commerce City Community Health Services and broadened its reach by establishing an additional pediatric health center that offered services to any child, regardless of their family’s residence.
The agency began providing school nursing services in Adams County in the 1980s and started a health insurance outreach and enrollment program in 2000. These additional programs enable the organization to also address the social determinants of health for Colorado children and youth who otherwise could not afford health care.
In 2014, the agency changed its to Kids First Health Care to better reflects its mission and pediatric focus.
Since its inception 40 years ago, Kids First has provided more than 175,000 health visits to nearly 68,000 children.
Our vision has remained consistent throughout our history – that all children have health coverage and access to quality health care, regardless of the family’s insurance status or ability to pay. By focusing on children and youth, we have the opportunity to build towards a lifetime of health and wellness for the lives that we touch.