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News & Current Issues
ACA Repeal and Local Public Health
As ACA repeal becomes more and more certain, the potential effects on local and state public health programs are becoming clear. The Senate got the ball rolling on January 12 by passing a budget resolution that lays the groundwork for “budget reconciliation,” which is the first step in the process and a method for bypassing filibusters. Of high concern is the demise of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The Trust for America’s Health released an analysis of the projected fiscal consequences of this development – including state-by-state and program-by-program breakdowns. CDPHE Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk recently sent a letter to LPHA partners discussing these potential impacts on Colorado’s public health services.
The possibility of massive losses in Medicaid coverage has spurred multiple health care and public health organizations to express alarm and strongly advocate for a cautious approach. The Colorado Hospital Association recently warned that the state’s rural hospitals could be forced to significantly reduce services or even close. Meanwhile, CALPHO joined a wide coalition of organizations, from small nonprofits to chambers of commerce, in signing a letter to the governor requesting that he emphasize the coordinated message “no repeal without replacement” in his official response to Congressional inquiries.
The signatories have formed into the Colorado Health Policy Coalition, led by state policy veterans Cody Belzley and Michele Ames. It is becoming clear that successful advocacy around repeal will require take sustained effort, and this organization hopes to propel that effort. In addition to promoting “no repeal without replacement,” the coalition is calling on Congress, through a non-partisan process, to “take a comprehensive, coordinated approach and reject piecemeal changes that could have negative consequences.” CALPHO is participating in this coalition primarily to represent local public health’s concerns about repeal. Check out the coalition’s guiding principles to learn more.
Like many of you, CALPHO is closely monitoring these developments. Also on our radar are related Colorado legislative activities, including Senate Bill 17-003, which would eliminate the state’s health insurance exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Stay tuned.
Spotlight on Local Public Health
Healthy Mesa County Partnership Catalyzing Community Transformation
The partnership, driven by Mesa County Health Department and other community leaders, convened on January 17 to lay the groundwork for collectively addressing county-wide challenges. Representatives from health care, public safety, schools, and others deliberated over shared concerns and decided on four priority action areas: economic vitality, general health, education, and positive family and social interconnectedness. Learn more about Healthy Mesa and read about their recent convening. .
News from NACCHO
NACCHO Extends Deadline to Apply for Disability Technical Assistance
The application deadline is now February 28. This assistance program is “designed to support local health departments (LHDs) seeking to increase inclusivity and accessibility for people with disabilities in their programs, products, and services.” The application process is very brief and is intended to help them determine what kind of assistance is needed. Learn more and apply here.
NACCHO Seeking Input on Development of National Network of EH Officials
NACCHO needs your help exploring the idea of organizing a national-level professional network for environmental health officials. They have developed a 20-minute assessment to “determine how to organize the network to best benefit and represent professionals in the environmental health field.” Learn more and add your input here.
Highlights from our Partners
CDPHE’s Funding and Financing Workgroup Now Welcoming “Listeners”
Based on requests from its members, the Funding and Financing Work Group has updated their meeting format to allow for those who are not working members to listen to the meetings. There will be a dedicated time at the end of each meeting for listeners to provide comments or ask questions. Click here for upcoming meeting dates and call-in details.
RIHEL Now Accepting Applications for Advanced Leadership Training Program
The Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership has been running this program for 17 years, graduating over 700 professionals since its inception. It is a year-long, high-touch training that imparts critical leadership skills, systems thinking, and other management essentials while providing deep and lasting networking experiences. Learn more and apply here.
CU’s National Behavioral Health Innovation Center Wants Your Ideas
The Center, started in 2015, was founded to “bring a radically new approach to generating innovative mental health solutions – one that is adaptable, politically astute, responsive and rooted in collaboration.” In this spirit, they are seeking ideas from a wide range of stakeholders, including local public health. Email your ideas, however outside the box, and check out their website to learn more about their mission.
CSU’s Food Systems “Colorado Blueprint” Launches Stakeholder Engagement Tour
All aspects of Colorado’s food system – from safety considerations to climate change impacts – are an area of deep concern for local public health. CSU is launching this engagement tour to inform a “blueprint” report that aims to “frame and strengthen key food and agricultural areas through stakeholder driven conversations around opportunities for food-systems led community and economic development.” This is an opportunity to make local public health concerns heard during a statewide strategic food systems initiative. Visit their website to find out when they will be in your area.
Opportunities & Resources
Locally-Developed Quality Improvement Tools for LPHAs
Many QI tools and resources are available to Colorado LPHAs on the quality improvement webpage housed on the CDPHE website. In particular, there are two excellent tools created by Denver Public Health and sponsored by the Colorado Gaining Ground Initiative:
A3 Problem Solving Tool is used to systematically implement a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle. It is a structured way to organize thoughts in one place where the depth of a problem and possible solutions are easily ascertained.
The Standard Work Tool uses a process that results in a concise visual or written description of how to perform a particular process or task so the outcome will be safe, efficient, and of high quality.
Both the A3 Problem Solving and Standard Work Tool include a written guide, template, and a short training video. In addition to these locally-developed tools, the QI webpage also contains other resources including many archived online trainings. These clear and practical resources will help you better coordinate and achieve your quality improvement goals!
New Trainings from the CO Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence
The Colorado Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence (CoE) has developed a self-paced training module focused on a real-life foodborne outbreak investigation. The training takes about 1.5-2 hours and can be accessed here. The center has also produced several other short courses for LPH professionals, including Outbreak Interviewing, A Day in the Life of a Stool Sample, and Case Presentation Training jointly developed with Tri-County Health Department.
Kresge Emerging Leaders in Public Health Application Deadline is February 6
This initiative is an 18-month leadership development program awarded to pairs of public health leaders who work together on projects “designed to enhance organizational and leadership competencies in business, planning, and public health systems development.” The application period is January 4 through February 6, and there is an informational webinar on January 18 from noon to 1pm. Learn more.
By: Thomas Friedman
Friedman, noted columnist at the New York Times, offers a sweeping exposition of three global forces accelerating at non-linear rates – technology, economic connectedness, and climate change – that are leaving our cultural and social institutions in the dust. The first third of the book is devoted to describing the first two accelerations, including a pleasant dose of pie-in-the-sky techno-optimism. Those who are already familiar with the general pace of technological development and the super-connecting trends of globalization can comfortably skip this part (though the story of how iPhone development forced a telecommunications revolution is worth the read).
The real meat for public health professionals is well represented by one of his favorite analogies involving kayaking. In a raging, constantly shifting river, beginner kayakers will try to steer with their paddles, fighting the current instead of constantly paddling to remain a part of it. Many organizations (and individuals) may not be nimble enough to ride accelerating currents, and inadvertently end up fighting them. What is Friedman’s prescription? Among his many innovative ideas are the following, most relevant for us: pursuing constant learning, ceaseless self-evaluation, and seeking new collaborations. Overall, a very fascinating read!
Basic Communicable Disease Investigation Training
9:00am – 4:00pm
CDPHE Main Office
This introductory training offered by CDPHE through CO-Train is focused on communicable disease surveillance, case investigation, and disease control in Colorado. It is designed for public health staff who have communicable disease job duties.
Webinar: How to Facilitate Effective Discussions with Groups of Diverse Stakeholders
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Organized in part by CU's Center for Network Science, this presentation will provide network leaders and participants with an understanding of how individuals process information and how groups make decisions.
2017 Children’s Environmental Health Translational Research Conference
Key Bridge Marriot
The Children's Environmental Health Network's (CEHN) biennial research conference is the premier event for professionals in the children's environmental health field to share their findings and translational activties.
This CDPHE-FBI workshop through CO-Train aims to improve the ability of law enforcement and public health to work together to respond to potential bioterrorism. Designed for both LPH staff and law enforcement.
The NLTA is a place where network leaders and practitioners gather to learn, share ideas, and develop skills for engaging in the "network way of working." This 3-day workshop in Denver is focused on building, managing, and evaluating effective networks.
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