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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Analyzing the 2015 Legislature, Plus a Big Push on Behavioral Health

The last hours of the legislative session are ticking away as lawmakers scramble to vote on dozens of bills that remain on the calendar.

Policy analyst Allie Morgan is watching and will write a blog detailing the last-minute developments. Also, Allie and senior communications expert Joe Hanel are starting work on the Colorado Health Institute’s annual Legislation in Review, the state’s go-to source for tracking health policy in the legislature. Look for the report by June.

Sara Schmitt, director of community health policy, is also watching the legislature and working on a blog to track all the marijuana-related bills. It should be published this week or next and serve as a complement to CHI’s April 20 report Legal Marijuana Coming Into Focus: An Analysis of Colorado’s Policy Landscape.

Much of our team is focused on behavioral health this week. Research analyst Tamara Keeney is assembling a first-of-its-kind workbook on behavioral health data for Colorado’s 21 Health Statistics Regions. It rounds up data from six sources for children, teenagers and adults. The data should be useful for anyone applying for grants from the new Colorado Health Access Fund, which is focused on behavioral health. Look for the workbook, a blog and a paper on the methodology later this week.

Senior analyst Anna Vigran and others on the CHI team are working to finish a major analysis of behavioral health integration, which will be released next week at the National Governors Association’s workforce day in Denver. CEO Michele Lueck will be presenting at the meeting.

Michele recently joined the board of the National Network of Public Health Institutes, a group for research institutes like CHI. The NNPHI conference is next week in New Orleans, and Michele, Sara and Policy Analyst Jessica Fern will represent CHI at the gathering.