The CDC's 6|18 initiative highlights 18 evidence based practices that health care systems can employ to reduce the incidence and burden of 6 preventable conditions. Northwest Colorado Health (NWCH) was recently recognized as a top performer, especially at preventing unintended pregnancy. In addition to being the LPHA for Routt, Moffat, and Jackson counties, NWCH also provides community and home health services to the region. Congratulations NWCH for all your hard work!
Waiting for Health Equity Graphic Novel Now Available
The Center for Health Progress (formerly the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved) released the full series in early April. This groundbreaking communications tool conveys the basics of health equity in a compelling storytelling format. The comic interweaves stories of five Coloradans in a clinic waiting room. Each describes how systemic discrimination, personally experienced racism, and historic injustices have contributed to their health conditions. These narratives seamlessly incorporate data and important historic events (including some little-known, Colorado-specific history). One of the most innovative elements is how the stories highlight each characters’ personal strengths, and those of their communities, without resorting to the old American trope of individual heroism overcoming circumstance. This imparts the message that personal and community resilience is a necessary, but rarely sufficient, means to improving health in the face of the powerful factors that sustain inequity.
Waiting for Health Equity’s artful combination of history, data, and cultural criticism is a very effective introduction to health equity for people of all backgrounds. It could certainly be an invaluable tool for community engagement and field building, and it only takes about 15 minutes to read. Check it out today!
Tony Iton on Poverty, Chronic Stress, and Local Activism
Dr. Tony Iton, National Health Equity Champion and SVP of Healthy Communities at the California Endowment, spoke yesterday in Boulder and Longmont on “rebuilding the social compact.” Dr. Iton is well known for his effective direct advocacy work, but he’s also a champion communicator. He clearly articulates the breakdown of America’s social compact and how it never existed for many populations, but also outlines uplifting examples where a community’s collective activism brought about rapid change at the local level. See a recent TED talk here and learn more about his advocacy strategy here.
News & Current Events
March for Science Was a March for Public Health
The marches for science that took place last Saturday, April 22, demonstrated to the world that science, certainly one of the pillars of civilization, has millions of fervent supporters. While it is surreal to think that a pillar of civilization would need grass roots advocacy, it was heartening to see this normally quiet group of people answer the call. And the need for advocacy is urgent, especially for science that supports public health. So it is encouraging that public health is central to this movement’s communications. Messaging from groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists and 314 Action directly ties their advocacy and political efforts to protecting the public’s health. And based on many of the signs I observed in Denver’s march, many of these supporters also explicitly make this connection. If you missed a march, don’t worry. The organizers of and their partners are just getting started. Check out their website for ways to stay connected and get involved.
Spotlight on Local Public Health
Recent Name Changes for Two Colorado LPHAs
Mesa County Public Health and San Juan Basin Public Health have recently changed thier names in the same way. Both had previously used “… Health Department” at the end of their names, and are now using “… Public Health.” Mesa’s website and email tag are the same, but make a note of San Juan’s new website and email addresses:
May 18, 3pm - 4pm – National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable Federal Policy Update Join in to learn more about federal policy issues impacting the hepatitis B and C communities. Topics will include appropriations, protecting quality, affordable health care for people living with and at risk for hepatitis B and C, and hepatitis B policy priorities for 2017.
May 24, 1pm - 2pm – NACCHO Sharing Session: Active Managerial Control NACCHO will host an online sharing session on Active Managerial Control (AMC): using AMC to reduce foodborne illness risk factors is credited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, as the best way to accomplish one of its primary goals for regulators and the industry, to produce safe, quality food for customers.
Early Bird Rate for NACCHO Annual Ends June 9!
The Annual, taking place July 11-13 in Pittsburgh, is the only national conference dedicated to local public health leaders and practitioners. This year’s theme is “Public Health Revolution: Bridging Clinical Medicine and Population Health.” The conference will be focused on the tactics, leadership, engagement tools, and data systems that support collaborative population health improvement between all health stakeholders. Register before June 9 to get the early bird rate!
Highlights from our Partners
ECHO Colorado Launches Series on Supporting Cancer Survivors
Despite the prevalence, gaps in care exist and people who have finished cancer treatment often have needs that go unrecognized. This four-week ECHO learning series is funded by the Colorado Cancer Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease fund. The purpose is to help community agencies and non-profits (outside of the medical setting) understand the cancer burden in their communities and identify core strategies for supporting the needs of their cancer survivors. ECHO sessions will teach participants to effectively connect with cancer survivors through the use of registries and surveillance systems, understand the treatment summary and care plan, identify resources, and better support cancer survivors coping with post-treatment physical, emotional, and social changes. The series starts May 11. Register here.
ECHO Colorado recently launched a new website to better convey the value and mission of ECHO to prospective participants and partners. Check it out.
New KIDS COUNT Report Elevates Equity Issues Among Colorado Children
The Colorado Children’s Campaign recently released its 2017 edition of KIDS COUNT in Colorado! In addition to the timely, accurate data that has always been part of the report, this year KIDS COUNT asks, “What is driving disparities between children of color and their white peers?” and includes the perspectives of Coloradans in their own voices. The report – along with data on child well-being for every county in the state – is available on the Children’s Campaign’s website at http://bit.ly/2oFc2QI.
Opportunities & Resources
Quality Improvement Tool of the Month: Bottleneck Analysis
Among the many invaluable resources from the Public Health Foundation is the Process Bottleneck Analysis tool. When a systematic, step-based process doesn’t flow, you need a systematic way of finding the root cause. This tool was developed by public health for public health, and can help you identify where the bottlenecks exist in linear and more complex processes. Learn more and download the tool here.
HiAP Tool of the Month: Resources for Legal Epidemiology
We hope to offer pragmatic and timely Health in All Policies (HiAP) tools in this space every month. If you have suggestions, please email Peter Manetta.
The emerging field of legal epidemiology is a method of leveraging public health’s core science to systematically understand how the law affects health. The CDC defines it as “the study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution, and prevention of disease and injury.” The approach has been around since the beginning of the decade, but is just now gaining more traction as a policy assessment tool. Here are some great resources to get you started:
RMPHTC’s Evidence Based Public Health Summer Series
The Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center (RMPHTC) invites public health professionals from around the country to participate in a unique, online training series that will cover core concepts, including defining public health issues, conducting community assessments and evaluating program and policy impacts. Participants will watch recorded lectures, complete homework assignments and attend online live learning sessions. A facilitator will lead guided discussions and activities related to the online content with the cohort of participants. To learn more and register, go to the RMPHTC website.
Value of CALPHO
CALPHO and OPPI to Strengthen Partnership
Our two organizations have been meeting recently on how we can better coordinate our work and combine our efforts. We dove deep into our respective areas, exploring the different ways we serve and represent Colorado’s LPHAs. We have already taken some first steps for closer collaboration. Instead of maintaining its own contact database, CALPHO staff has started using and contributing to OPPI’s contact database of LPHA directors, staff, and partners. Additionally, CALPHO staff will be attending regular local public health team meetings at OPPI. We believe these steps will lead to more fruitful collaborations, seamless information sharing, and greater value for our members. We're also starting conversations about specific collaborations and further resource sharing, so stay tuned for more details.
By Helena Bottemiller Evich
We spend a large portion of our public health resources encouraging communities to consume more fruits and vegetables. This article poses and answers an interesting question about these efforts: If everyone started eating adequate amounts, would there be enough to meet the demand? Far from it, according to Evich’s research. This and other facts about our quirky food system remind us of a painful reality. All our efforts to reduce obesity and metabolic disorders are fighting an overwhelming current of corn syrup and animal fats, courtesy of politically entrenched federal agriculture subsidy. One of the first steps in changing this unfortunate situation is to increase research funds for improving vegetable and fruit production and distribution methods. Most American agricultural research in the past half-century has focused on getting more corn, meat, and milk to market in more efficient forms. This is why we have products like high-fructose corn syrup and a dizzying menu of meat-based products with long shelf-lives. For a summary of her work and other perspectives on the topic, listen to this broadcast from WBUR’s OnPoint.
NNPHI Public Health Improvement Conference
New Orleans, LA
This year’s theme, “Navigating Uncertainty, Spanning Boundaries, Improving Health,” reflects on the challenges and uncertainty ahead, but also reminds us that we must unite across sectors to continue working for the improvement of population health.
This one-day conference provides an opportunity for those involved in immunization delivery, education and advocacy to learn from world-renowned experts about current issues and implementing strategies to promote vaccination and enhance immunization delivery in Colorado.
Are you looking for hands-on learning to increase your performance improvement knowledge and skills? PHIT offers hands-on training workshops and networking opportunities to support health professionals in taking action on public health performance improvement.
This year’s theme is Culture of Data: Engaging Communities to Drive Health Equity. The conference includes breakouts, workshops, and skill-building sessions on applying data to reduce health disparities and effectively engage your community.
The Colorado Environmental Health Association's conference venue is Double Tree Hotel, Colorado Springs and planning for the conference event is well underway. The theme for this year’s conference is “Environmental Health – Agent of Change.”
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