The Colorado Public Health Association, the Colorado School of Public Health, and other partners have organized advocacy and networking activities for the entire week, including the Public Health Day at the Capitol on Monday, April 3. National Public Health Week (NPHW) is an opportunity to raise the visibility of public health and promote its value to policymakers and the public. This effort is especially important in this year of health system transformations. Register for the Day at the Capitol here, and see the full schedule for the week here.
ECHO Colorado Launches New Mental Health Series
Proper identification of mood and anxiety disorders is as important as proper treatment. This free, six-week ECHO series is designed to help primary care providers and frontline mental health professionals to better recognize and manage common behavioral conditions. Participants will learn how to screen, diagnose, and treat common mood and anxiety disorders. Specific sessions will focus on appropriate screening tools, differential diagnoses, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, and use of community/referral resources. Learn more and register here.
Kudos & Accolades
Denver Public Health and Denver Environmental Health Achieve Accreditation
We’re delighted to share the exciting news that the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has awarded accreditation to both of Denver’s LPHAs. The agencies worked together during the rigorous qualification and application process. According to DPH Associate Director Judith Shlay, they are “very proud of this achievement, as it affirms that, together with Denver Environmental Health, we are delivering high-quality public health services to Denver.” Read the official press release and join us in congratulating DPH and DEH!
CCMU is now Center for Health Progress
The Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved (CCMU) has completed a months-long makeover and launched their new identity just in time for the 20th anniversary of their founding. Now called Center for Health Progress, this longtime and close CALPHO partner has reshaped their brand and online presence. They saw a need to “differentiate (themselves) and be more approachable and inclusive of all Coloradans.” Their new website beautifully frames their important work and many contributions to health care access, cost reduction, health equity, and addressing the social determinants of health. Learn more about their name change here.
Bills in State Legislature Target Social-Environmental Determinants
Two bills, SB-245 and HB-1242, both of which have bipartisan sponsorship, could have positive health equity impacts by affecting two social determinants of health: transportation and housing.
SB17-245 – Tenancies One Month to One Year Notice:
Launched by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP), a CALPHO partner and fellow member of the Health Equity Advocacy Cohort, SB-245 extends the amount of notice of termination that landlords must provide to tenants renting less than six month from 7 days to 21 days. The bill also requires 21 days’ notice for landlords to increase rent in tenancies of less than one year. These changes would positively affect all tenants in Colorado but would greatly help many at-risk groups, including low-income families, the elderly, and disabled populations. It is extremely difficult for anyone to find new housing in just seven days given the current market in Colorado, but for tenants with complex needs or situations it is nearly impossible to find new housing in such a short time period. Given the well-established link between stable housing and health, this bill directly addresses a critical health equity issue, especially for vulnerable populations.
HB17-1242 – New Transportation Infrastructure Funding Revenue:
Supported by broad array of organizations and coalitions, including CALPHO, HB-1242 is a multi-pronged transportation omnibus that would be funded by sales and use tax increases over 20 years. The bill requires a ballot question that would seek approval for the state to increase the state sales and use tax for 20 years beginning in 2018. If approved, $300 million of the new revenue would go to CDOT. Of most importance for health equity, 30% of the remaining revenue is marked for a “multimodal transportation options fund,” which would support public and active transportation projects. The other 70% would be allocated cities and counties, who would have some flexibility in deciding how to spend the funds.
News & Current Events
Repeal & Replace Failure is Not the End of Obamacare Fight
CALPHO came together with over 100 Colorado organizations and LPHAs to educate federal legislators about the devastating consequences of repealing the ACA without a responsible, well-crafted replacement. Collectively, this group strategized with partners, analyzed the likely effects of repeal, endorsed official letters to policymakers, and wrote op-eds – including a piece in the Greeley Tribune by Yvonne Long and Margaret Huffman.
Along with the millions whose coverage, independence, and well-being were threatened by the American Health Care Act (AHCA), we breathed a sigh of relief when the expedited replacement effort failed last week. We believe that by joining our voices to loud chorus of advocates from across the political spectrum, our efforts impacted the debate and influenced some key players. We applaud everyone’s hard work, and hope that this collective victory will fuel future advocacy efforts that are nimble, inclusive, and data-driven.
Of course, the fight for health care reform is far from over. ACA foes have not exhausted all options, as discussed in this alert from the Colorado Health Policy Coalition and this Health Affairs blog post. In particular, Trump’s early executive action regarding the ACA would permit HHS and other agencies to relax some of the regulations on private insurance, which could impact women’s preventive services and many other mandated health benefits. There has even been some recent talk of reviving the repeal effort sometime in April, though lingering hostility between Republican factions derailed the most recent efforts Wednesday night. On a more encouraging note, some pundits speculate that repeal failure might spur a bipartisan effort to improve current marketplace gaps and address other flaws in the ACA. Either way, the coalitions formed during this advocacy effort will continue to pay close attention and speak up when necessary.
Spotlight on Local Public Health
2017 County Health Rankings Released This Week
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (CHR&R), a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, annually ranks every county in the U.S. on health outcomes and health factors. They pull together data from many different sources, including traditional health-related sources like BRFSS as well as sources for social-economic determinants like education and employment. CHR&R has also prepared an excellent collection evidence-based programs, called What Works for Health, which counties can use to address the health concerns revealed in the rankings. You can access the rankings, including the raw data, here. To learn more about their ranking methods, click here.
News from NACCHO
2017 NACCHO Annual Addresses Major Element of Public Health 3.0
This years’ annual is all about bridging clinical medicine and public health, and such collaborations are a cornerstone of Public Health 3.0 and related movements. NACCHO plans to dive deep into these new transformative paradigms, while providing valuable networking opportunities and best practices based on emerging evidence. This experience allows public health professionals to step away from the hectic day-to-day and reinforce their understanding of a rapidly evolving field. Register before June 9 to get the early bird rate!
Highlights from our Partners
Colorado Certified Public Manager Program at CU Denver, School of Public Affairs
As public health work evolves, skills in public management and knowledge about other facets of government are becoming more important for governmental public health professionals. The School of Public Affairs hosts Colorado’s only Certified Public Manager (CPM) program, a national certification for public sector professionals. The program consists of 6, 2-day sessions offered every other month and repeated annually. Students can attend single sessions, or may wish to apply for the full CPM program. Students can enter the program at any time and can take up to 3 years to complete the 6 sessions. Once the 6 sessions are completed, students develop and execute a capstone project that is related to their professional work. The entire program includes approximately 300 hours of study, class time, and project work and full completion can be used as credits in CU Denver’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) or Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) programs.
Join other leaders from fields such as parks and recreation, water/wastewater, municipal administration, public safety, and facilities management to study the fundamentals of public management, network and learn from each other, and earn the national CPM certification.
The next CPM session will be held on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 on the CU-Denver campus. Learn more and apply on the CPM website, or contact Lisa VanRaemdonck for more information.
RIHEL's LIFE and Advanced Leadership Programs: Still time to Register!
RIHEL's Leadership is For Everyone (LIFE) training is an annual one-day leadership and networking/training event for health care and public health professionals. Co-hosted by RIHEL, COSOPHE, and CEHA, this year's training is April 21st in Westminster and includes presentations by Darius Smith and Deb Center. Register here.
RIHEL’s Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP) has graduated over 700 health and public health professionals since its inception 17 years ago. 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.
Opportunities & Resources
OPPI Offers Scholarships to Attend Public Health Conferences
CDPHE’s Office of Planning, Partnerships and Improvement (OPPI) has announced funding ($1000 scholarships) to support LPHAs interested in attending upcoming conferences or trainings between now and June 30, 2017. The deadline to apply is April 7, and they will fund a minimum of five scholarships. Email Heather Weir with any questions and apply here.
Participants or their agency will need to provide an invoice to CDPHE for $1000 (a template will be sent). Funding should be used by 6/30/17.
Participants or their agency will handle all logistics of the training/conference (flights, registration, etc.)
Participants will be asked to provide a 10-15 minute update (via phone) on lessons learned or take-aways from the conference/training (details TBD for the report out)
New Collaboration and Assessment Resources from PHF
The Public Health Foundation (PHF) has just released a new book on population health collaborations and a new community health assessment toolkit. The book is “designed to help navigate the partnerships between public health departments, hospitals, and their community partners to improve health.” The CHA toolkit “offers a nine-step pathway to guide and support a robust, community-engaged health assessment process.”
This is part of Governing’s “The 23%” podcast, which is a series of conversations with women in government, who make up only 23% of government roles at the state and local levels. In this brief interview, Leana Wen, Baltimore’s health commissioner, shares a fascinating account of the public health response during the social unrest that unfolded after Freddie Gray died in police custody in April, 2015. As you might expect, the public health side of the story remains largely untold. The media covered the dramatic events of street protests, the explosive racial tensions, and the onslaught of opinionated talking heads. Meanwhile, public health was busy ensuring the continuation of many basic services, especially for the city’s vulnerable population.
The February special issue of Health Affairs was all about the how work environments affect employees’ physical and mental health, trends in employer-sponsored insurance, and the state of workplace wellness initiatives. They held a forum during which the contributing authors discuss their papers and broader trends in work health. The two-hour recording of the forum is available for free.
2017 National Public Health Week
National Public Health Week celebrates a growing movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation. There are events all week, including a Public Health Day at the Capitol on April 3.
A series of 8 short, 10 minute talks on public health issues in celebration of National Public Health Week. Topics include rural public health and climate change. They are also livestreaming the event.
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.
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.
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.
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