CALPHO’s New Executive Director, Theresa (Tracy) Anselmo, Starts July 5
July will be a time of transition for CALPHO as we welcome Tracy to her new role. After her first week, she will be jetting off to Pittsburgh for the NACCHO annual, the best possible introduction for all things local public health. Sharon Adams, Interim Executive Director will work with Tracy and CALPHO staff until July 21st to help ensure a smooth transition.
“This 6 months+ has been such an exceptional experience. I’ve gained great appreciation for the work of local public health and also what is achieved in partnership with CDPHE. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked so closely with the Executive Committee and staff during this time of significant transition for CALPHO. You have gained a local public health champion!”
Othering and Belonging Conference: Feeling the Pulse of a Movement
CALPHO Project Coordinator Peter Manetta and Denver Public Health Operations Coordinator Ashley Gallegos attended this conference, organized by the Haas Institute, from April 30 – May 2. They shared their thoughts about this exciting conference on CALPHO’s Blog. Read the post here.
Convening with the Cohort: Expanding the Health Equity Advocacy Field
From June 14-16, CALPHO staff members Shannon Kolman and Peter Manetta attended a convening of the Colorado Trust’s Health Equity Advocacy Cohort in Leadville. Now in Phase 3, the cohort is moving in an exciting direction. Most of our time during the three-day convening was spent planning and brainstorming shared policy priorities and how to expand the field of health equity further in our own communities. Over the following weeks, we will be narrowing the results of those sessions to identify actionable policy approaches and collaborative activities that can help us get there. As part of this effort, CALPHO is exploring how best to expand and nurture health equity culture in Colorado's LPHAs, so stay tuned for upcoming events and action updates!
News & Current Events
Colorado Voices Loudly Oppose Current Federal ACA Repeal Options
Even those of you actively avoiding news consumption have probably heard that debate and vote on the Senate’s repeal effort, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, is delayed until after the holiday. The bill fell short of expectations for both the moderate and more conservative wings of the GOP, amid thousands of phone calls and protests nationwide. Leading the opposition voices are disability advocates, including CALPHO partner Dawn Howard, a community organizer at the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC). Along with advocates from Atlantis-ADAPT, she staged a sit-in at Senator Cory Gardner's Denver office this week to protest the bill, which would drastically cut home and community-based services (HCBS), leaving many disabled persons with just one bleak option for affordable care: nursing homes. Check out coverage of the sit-in from Westword, the Denver Post, and CNN, and help show your support on Facebook and Twitter (#ADAPTandRESIST). The protesters, including Dawn, were all arrested Thursday night, and have since been released on bail.
Meanwhile, Governor Hickenlooper has appeared on national news with Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich in opposition to the bill and the lack of transparency during its conception. Colorado's medical community has also expressed serious concerns, with a recent poll (by a conservative-leaning group) showing overwhelming disapproval among medical professionals of the very similar House bill.
Also this week, Tri-County Health Department Executive Director John Douglas joined representatives from NACCHO, the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), and the Cleveland Department of Public Health in a conference call to educate national media about the negative effects of repeal on the country’s public health system. Check out the resulting coverage here. Many of you may have noticed that the media very rarely mentions the Prevention and Public Health Fund in its coverage of repeal, so many thanks to Dr. Douglas and that group for raising awareness!
What happens next is anyone's guess, or as Cody Belzley and Michele Ames of the Colorado Health Policy Coalition put it: "If anyone tells you they know what is going to happen next in the federal health care debate, don’t believe them."
Spotlight on Local Public Health
NCHD Engages Local Businesses as Breastfeeding-Friendly Partners
As a multi-county agency, staff at Northeast Colorado Health Department (NCHD) spend much of their time on the road and out in community. This kind of presence and visibility was a huge asset for the department when it set out to encourage local businesses to adopt breastfeeding and lactation friendly policies. Having such policies is state law, but many businesses in their district seemed unaware of the regulation. According to Program Manager Penny Stumpf, they initially tried a typical public health community engagement best practice: speaking at any meetings where their target audience gathered. When their efforts at chambers of commerce and Rotary Club meetings didn't seem to be going anywhere, they tried cold calling local businesses. This relatively simple approach was more successful at starting conversations and spreading awareness about the State's regulations and the benefits of breastfeeding-friendly policies. The department also found that their uniquely strong partnerships with area schools and day-care centers became a medium for spreading awareness to business managers and owners who were also parents. NCHD's efforts are ongoing, and demonstrate that for some LPHAs, strong community relationships and a good reputation might work far better than best-practice engagement strategies.
Highlights from our Partners
Pay for Success: ASTHO Brief on Financing Public Health Innovations
This brief summarizes the Pay for Success model, known by some as "social impact bonds," and features a case study of South Carolina's Nurse Family Partnership expansion program. Pay for Success is a way to leverage private or philanthropic funds to pay for innovating or expanding government-provided, socially-beneficial services. Investors are often entities that stand to ultimately benefit through improved social change, like health payers or even corporate interests. A trusted financial intermediary coordinates investors, program delivery organizations, government, and independent evaluators. Investors receive payouts, usually from a government agency, only if the project achieves pre-determined outcomes. This effectively limits innovation-associated risk for tax-payers. The promise of Pay for Success rests on the idea that the private sector is both better at innovating and managing risk, but the model may not be suited for health and social outcomes where economic benefits are difficult to measure. Read this brief and other case studies here. Also, you can check out Pay for Success projects currently in the works in Colorado here.
Opportunities & Resources
The Practical Playbook for Primary Care/Public Health Collaborations
This tool from the CDC, the DeBeaumont Foundation, and Duke Medical School is a straightforward framework for the complex process of clinical-public health partnerships. It advocates starting your partnership with a specific health outcome in focus, then finding the appropriate primary care partners to invite to the table. True to its name, this guide sticks primarily to practical logistics, constantly reminding the user to tend to the social maintenance, repetition, and facilitation tactics that are the glue of any collaborative effort. This makes the playbook a useful tool for any community level collaboration. Check it out here.
New Vector Control Training from CDC and Partners
The training, "Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals," was produced by the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), CDC, the Texas Health Institute, and other partners. Its online curriculum is freely available to "all environmental health professionals and public health practitioners interested in understanding the tools and techniques available to address public health pests and vectors that spread pathogens." There are 11 online courses taught by national experts in integrated pest management (IPM) targeting disease vectors. Enroll here.
Value of CALPHO
CALPHO’s Growing Presence as a Policy Advocate
As a sign of confidence in CALPHO’s expertise and visibility as a strong legislative and policy advocacy organization, Colorado’s health policy community is increasingly relying on CALPHO to join coalitions or initiatives and add our name to letters of support. We joined the Colorado Health Policy Coalition in January 2017 and signed onto two of their letters; one in January to Governor Hickenlooper and Insurance Commissioner Salazar on the ACA repeal, and one last week to Senators Gardner and Bennet regarding the health care legislation currently in the U.S. Senate.
We have also participated in meetings of the Health Advocates Alliance (HAA), conceived by Health Equity Advocacy (HEA) Cohort partner the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP). The purpose of the HAA is to gather health policy stakeholders to share information and strategize from a consumer perspective around health policy priorities like health care access, behavioral health, and addressing social determinants. CALPHO was invited to both coalitions mentioned above in part because of our participation in the Colorado Health Foundation’s Advocacy and Strategic Learning Convenings over the last two years.
Another HEA Cohort member, The Center for Health Progress, invited CALPHO to join their Policy Committee in early 2017, and we now participate in their twice-monthly calls during the legislative session. Finally, CALPHO regularly sits at the Marijuana Public Health and Safety Coalition and Healthy Kids Colorado Survey Coalition tables. To learn more about these activities, email Shannon Kolman.
With taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages becoming a potential policy option for some communities, it is interesting to reflect on how we classify and regulate other harmful yet widespread substances. In true Freakonomics fashion, this podcast dives into the often bizarre way we think about drugs and addiction and whether sugar should be considered an addictive drug. Central to this debate are the challenges we face producing solid evidence around sugar's effects on our brains (its effects on other parts of our bodies are easier to measure). The show also includes references to many other sugar science and policy resources.
Public Health Business Process Improvement Summit
8:00am - 4:00pm
CDPHE - Bldg A
Hosted by CDPHE and COPHAD, this summit includes topics like CDPHE budget basics, procurement and contracts, business process improvement. Email Chuck Bayard at CDPHE for an invite.
This symposium creates a public platform to discuss methods for communicating the value of public health and maintaining public health infrastructures and services through likely policy changes and unexpected financial shifts.
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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