Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence Mission
To collaborate with community partners providing best practices in transition and wellness services for Veterans, Military and their Families by delivering expertise, resources, space and sustainability.
What We Do
Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence has changed the way the Military and Veteran community in the greater Pikes Peak Region receives support and services. Our community is incredibly focused on supporting our military heroes and there is truly a “sea of good will” here with dozens of reputable organizations poised to take care of the varied challenges that Veterans, Military and their Families face every day. The greatest hurdle to accessing this support had been knowing where to begin, and subsequently knowing how to navigate all of these great programs. Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence makes it EASY by bringing together, under one-roof, many of these passionate partners to simplify the process of getting the help and assistance these men and woman so richly deserve. Along with bringing the best of our community together, we also offer our own proprietary programming in areas where there were gaps in service. All of these efforts together, in one location, has had a positive impact in our community!
Today, at Mt. Carmel Military, Veterans and their Family members have direct access to a wide-range of programs and services to include:
- Behavioral health counseling
- Employment and transition support
- Job placement and internships
- Benefits support
- Non-clinical case management and resource navigation
- Housing assistance
- Financial coaching, classes and assistance
- Legal assistance
- Education assistance – “understanding your GI Bill”
One of the many assets our great country has is the people themselves. And, every once in a while, those extraordinary people choose to devote their energy and passion to helping others in their community. Mr. Jay Cimino and his late wife Emily epitomize, through action, the caring, devotion and vision it takes to “change the world” and make it a better place for those that live in it.
A successful business man and Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Phil Long Dealerships, the largest privately held automotive group in Colorado, Jay has a history of giving back to his community. From building dozens of fantasy playgrounds for children throughout the Front Range, to supporting the spouses of deployed military members through special automotive programs, Jay is always searching for ways to give back.
In 2007, Jay found a unique calling in his home town when he visited the church of his youth, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Trinidad, Colorado. The church was closed in 1998 after serving the Trinidad community for over 75 years. For nearly a decade, the original structures sat abandoned in the shadow of better times, faltering under the dramatic weather conditions of Southern Colorado – summer heat, violent thunderstorms and freezing winter weather. In 2006, under the weight of a heavy, once-in-a-century snowstorm, the roof of the chapel gave way. To a Trinidad native, seeing the church in this condition was painful, and Jay couldn’t bear to see it deteriorate any further.
Jay and Emily purchased the Church in 2007 with a plan of using the renovated structure in some way to serve the residents of the greater Trinidad community. After much research to determine the true needs of the community, the Cimino Family became devoted to improving, through a newly formed non-profit and under the rehabilitated structure of this historic church, the health and wellness of the people living in the area.
In 2011, Mt. Carmel Health, Wellness and Community Center (MCHWCC) was born – a 501(C)(3)public charity delivering integrated healthcare, wellness programs, a community center and a café and catering enterprise. Today, with dozens of community events, a thriving healthcare practice and much needed wellness programs, MCHWCC serves nearly 100% of the population of Trinidad. (See MtCarmelCenter.org for more details of the work in Trinidad)
True to Jay’s indomitable fashion, and incredibly encouraged by the positive impact his team was making in the Trinidad community, he turned his sights to their current home of Colorado Springs. Although raised in Trinidad, Jay also served in the United States Marine Corps. His beginnings in the car business culminated in “The Springs” in a partnership with the late Phil Long, who had served our country as a Navy Pilot during World War II. Throughout his years of growing the automobile business, Jay was working with active duty soldiers from our five local military installations as well as the huge Veteran population that call the Front Range home. So, it was only natural that when it was time to turn-up his philanthropic efforts in the Colorado Springs area, Jay chose to serve these thousands of active duty and veteran men and woman.
In August of 2014, Jay hired retired US Army Colonel, and former Fort Carson Garrison Commander, Bob McLaughlin, to help him bring to life his latest passion project – “Build a Center where Military, Veterans and their Families can easily get the support and services they deserve!” After renovating the building at 530 Communication Circle to specifically suit the needs of our mission, a new 501(C)(3) public charity, Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence, was created and the doors were opened to the public in March, 2016.
Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence is thriving and each week, more and more people come through the doors seeking service and support. Our local partnerships are growing in number and strength and our military and veteran community is getting stronger each day through our efforts and focus.
There is no question that extraordinary people CAN make a difference in our world. And, to Jay Cimino, we give thanks and credit for his vision, passion and determination to make a difference right in our own back yards!