DFM in the Community


DFM in the Community provides organized opportunities for all members of the Department of Family Medicine to learn about, support, or volunteer at a community-serving organization.  We pull together the information about a featured community partner and identify ways we can support them as a department.   


Our team does the coordinating and information gathering for you, so all you need to do is sign up and show up. 


DFM in the Community is a great way to learn about, and give back to, the communities we serve.  It also is a fun way to spend time with your colleagues outside of the office. 


And there are even more ways to learn about and feel connected to our fantastic community partners. Make sure to check out the corresponding articles in Spotlight and Disrupting the Status Quo blog on the Diversity and Health Equity webpages.


Remember - Your time is covered!  The University of Colorado allows for employees to use up to 4 hours annually to volunteer at a community organization. Record your time (maximum of 4 hours) as "Volunteer-Administrative Leave" in your timesheet or in MyLeave. 

Help Now

Check out these current opportunities to make a difference in our community.

Aurora Economic Opportunity Coalition and the Migrant Resource Network

Help support the Aurora Economic Coalition's efforts to assist Aurora's migrant workers.

Click here for more information and and a QR code you can scan or follow this link to the Amazon Gift Registry to choose your contribution to this vital effort.

Past DFM in the Community Activities

The CU Department of Family Medicine has been active lending support to amazing community organizations. Take a look back at our community partnerships.

Village Exchange Center (VEC)

VEC screen Cap

Click here to watch the Village Exchange presentation to the department of Family Medicine.

The Village Exchange Center (VEC) is a non-profit organization formed to serve immigrants and refugees in the Aurora/Denver metro area. As a community center and multi-faith worship space, they seek to celebrate cultural and religious diversity by creating an inclusive environment where community members from all backgrounds interact, share, and develop together. They offer youth and adult programs and services as well as cultural and multi-faith activities—both directly and through their partners.

The overarching goal is creating bridges between people and communities, both locally and globally.

VEC began as a concept in late 2016 when the faith community of St. Matthew Lutheran Church considered ways to be responsive to and serve its diversifying neighborhood and the City of Aurora. Aurora, a city of more than 20% immigrants and refugees, is among an increasing number of cities across the U.S. grappling with the challenges of welcoming the growing numbers of immigrant and refugee communities. VEC was co-founded by Amanda Blaurock, and her step-father, the Pastor of St. Matthew at the time, Marcel Narucki, who led the congregation to unanimously donate the building and grounds located at 1609 Havana Street in March 2017 for them to establish a community center that celebrated religious and cultural diversity. In the first two years of operations, VEC has become an anchor in the community for support and empowerment. They continue to activate the building and develop connections with and between the surrounding communities, the majority of whom are foreign-born.

VEC was the subject of short film that won the 2020 Cannes prize: ‘Jury Award for Best Documentary tells the story of a Lutheran church in northwest Aurora transitioning to the community center and multi-faith worship space for refugees and immigrants coming to Colorado to create a new life.

You can see the trailer for this 16-minute documentary by director Rob Shearer by clicking here:  My Father's House - Teaser Trailer.  If you would like to get a link to view the entire documentary, please reach out to sheryl.harrington@cuashcutz.edu for details.

2023 VEC Volunteer Opportunities

VEC Forms and Information

VEC Stories and Blogs

Check out these fantastic related stories on VEC & immigrant and refugee health from Department of Family Medicine's Diversity and Health Equity Team:

  1. Disrupting the Status Quo BlogVillage Exchange Center, a non-profit serving immigrants and refugees. Story by Mireya Davila
  2. Spotlight on the Village Farm at Stanley: A farm space for immigrants and refugees in Aurora. Story by Mikhaela Mullins (she/her), Village Farm Senior Manager
  3. Spotlight on Refugee Health: Iraqi Migrant Health Project (IMHP). Story by: Aya Ahmad, (she/her), Project Lead

For questions about DFM in the Community-please contact:

Vanessa Owen
Volunteer Coordinator



















Robert Thompson
Communications Program Director


Family Medicine (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Box F496

Aurora, CO 80045


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