Helping End the Opioid Epidemic (HEOE) Project Moves Forward

Article by Travis Nelson – CEO of HEOE

DENVER—On January 27th the Steering Committee for the Fight Opiate Addiction and Overdose with Medical Cannabis and the Faris Green Campus met at the Appaloosa Grill in Denver.  This was the group’s third meeting discussing how they will move forward in Huerfano County, both the Faris Green Campus which will be located West of the truck stop at Interstate 25 and Colorado State Highway 69 and the Helping End the Opioid Epidemic (HEOE) project which will be launched at La Clinica in Gardner Colorado.

HEOE STEERING COMMITTEE (L to R): Rob Axley, Patrice Clark MBA, James Priest, Assistant Director Kyle Dijon Hill MS, Adrian Bruneau, Kelly Williams MBA, Jennifer Richardson RN, Kathryn Gentry, Jonathan “Gio” Stelly, Derrick Martin, COO Kimberly Lincoln PhD, Ali Ahmed, CEO Travis Nelson, Amber Wick, Sam Faris, Dr. Sana-Ara Ahmed MD, Dr. Uma Dhanabalan MD, MPH, FAAFP, Nick Faris, Olivia Faris, Jennifer Fulker FPC, PHR, Christa Potter RN, Ty Gunderson, Joseph Orgel PhD, Kebra Smith-Bolden RN, Anita Sommers,Danielle Espinel, Hitch Hickerson, Susan Hickerson, Melanie Rose Rogers and Eric Roley MBA.

Around forty members of the steering committee were able to attend this recent meeting.  These members included various PhDs, Medical Doctors, nurses, students and various players from the legal cannabis industry.  A presentation was given to the Steering Committee by the board members of Helping End the Opioid Epidemic.

Assistant Director of HEOE Kyle Dijon Hill MS, gave a presentation on the history of how La Clinica was founded by Doctors Leonce Evans and Mai Ting in the 1970’s in Gardner Colorado.  She presented points on how the HEOE project aligns with the original mission of La Clinica. HEOE expressed a sincere interest in restoring a fully functional medical clinic to the town of Gardner to serve its aging population.

Hill spoke about The Colorado Cannabis Growers Association’s participation in fundraising efforts to preserve La Clinica from pressing tax liens during the summer of 2016. The Colorado Cannabis Growers Association is an ongoing fundraising partner for this project.

Medical Director Dr. Uma Dhanabalan MD, MPH, FAAFP

Medical Director Dr. Uma Dhanabalan MD, MPH, FAAFP spoke about how the Total Health Care© model will be donated to La Clinica and Helping End the Opioid Epidemic for implementation. This THC© model is a substantial donation with a value of $250,000.  The model will be donated to the project for a term of 18 months.  Volunteer attorneys for the project are currently in the process of drafting a legal operating agreement between La Clinica, Dr. Uma and HEOE outlining how this will take place.  Dr. Dhanabalan explained that the THC© model of “Educate, Embrace, and Empower,” will provide comprehensive compassionate care, counseling, support and education to patients.  Dr. Uma’s THC© Model focuses on preventing illness by promoting wellness.  Friendly negotiations are currently underway with the La Clinica Board laying out how clinic space will be used by Dr. Dhanabalan and HEOE through a lease or cooperate fundraising agreement.

The plan for the HEOE project is to open La Clinica doors on April 24, 2018 to begin prescreening patients who are struggling with opioid addiction in Colorado. Any of these individuals struggling with opioid addiction will be given the option to sign up for the HEOE project. They will participate in a scientific clinical study, measuring the effectiveness of medical cannabis and other forms of nonconventional therapy on opioid use cessation. The participants of this study will be provided with complementary care including a Physician’s Recommendation for a state medical cannabis license.  These patients will also receive complementary quarterly follow up appointments and access to  monthly support meetings led by Dr. Uma Dhanabalan at La Clinica.  The patients will be provided with a renewal appointment to update their medical cannabis license at the end of the study.  Throughout this process data will be collected to measure the success rate of the HEOE project. Upon completion of the pilot project at La Clinica the THC© Model will be expanded to an additional five locations in Colorado.

COO Kimberly Lincoln, PhD gave a presentation to the group about fundraising efforts taking place to raise the funds needed for the opening of the HEOE project.  Dr. Lincoln explained how the “Helping End the Opioid Epidemic” turquoise bracelets fundraiser was started after the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe donated the first $5,000 to catch La Clinica up on last years taxes and pay for needed repairs to heating and plumbing at the medical facility.

CFO Eric Roley, MBA spoke to the Steering Committee about the ongoing efforts to locate various State and Federal grants that could be used to fund a community health clinic and the HEOE project at La Clinica.  The HEOE project is in the process of writing grants to secure necessary funds in order to complete the pilot program.


Sam Faris of Snowy River Ranches gave a quick update about the ongoing annexation efforts and survey work on the campus site which is being conducted by local surveyor Dan Wachob.  Sam expressed a sincere thank you to architect Electra Fowler-Johnson who generously donated all the top notch architect work for the Faris Green Campus.  Electra is a native of Gardner Colorado and is the head of SALT Workshop.

The Steering Committee meeting was followed by a two hour fundraising event where a healthy  Mediterranean lunch was served and additional guests showed up.  Two time Super Bowl champ Derrick Martin came to show his support for the HEOE project and expressed excitement about bringing a free football and cheer camp to Huerfano County in the near future.

POLIS DINNER (L to R): Anita Sommers, Eric Roley, Jarrod Polis, Jennifer Richardson, Kyle Dijon Hill, Nick Faris, Melonie Rose Rogers, Christa Potter, Kimberly Lincoln PhD, Joseph Orgel PhD and CEO Travis Nelson.

Following the fundraiser HEOE board members met with US Congressman and Colorado Governor candidate, Jarrod Polis for a delicious Italian dinner at Magiannos to discuss the Faris Green Campus and the HEOE project at La Clinica.  Congressman Polis was supportive of the group’s efforts to create and study solutions for this State’s opioid epidemic.  The positive impact that having six satellite university campuses coming into Huerfano County’s rural economy was also discussed.

HEOE is currently seeking medical professionals including physicians, PhDs, and laboratory scientists who are interested in Helping End the Opioid Epidemic. Anyone interested in volunteering please reach out to Chief Operations Officer Kimberly Lincoln PhD at

Article by Travis Nelson – CEO of HEOE


  1. I would love to get envolved in some way I’m an ex opioid addict and am now envolved in cannabis cultivation

    1. Do you live in Colorado or are you able to make a trip out there to attend one of our steering committee meetings? We’re always looking to add new talent to the team!

  2. I have an Associates in Arts concentration in Psychology and an Associate of Science concentration pre nursing. I currently hold a KY CNA licence that can be transferred to Colorado easily. I am interested in researching the application of cannabis as a medication and health supplement. I am willing to start work immediately.

    Thanks for your time.
    Angela Senaida Bennett
    I have resume, proof of certifications, high distinction designations, and transcripts should you need them.

    1. That is fantastic to hear Angela! We are always looking for volunteers to help get this project moving full force in the right direction. please reach out to Chief Operations Officer Kimberly Lincoln PhD at to learn how you can be a part of this amazing team. Thank you for reaching out, have a blazin and amazin week!

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