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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

March Madness for Data Nerds

There are more than 9.2 quintillion possible combinations for a March Madness bracket — 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to be exact.

So the odds of getting a perfect bracket by a random guess for each game are one in 9.2 quintillion. No one has ever done that, at least in the modern on-line world, as far as we can tell. This year’s upsets, including Middle Tennessee’s upset win over Michigan State, ruined 100 percent of the brackets, according to CBS Sports, which has been doing some great data-crunching with its on-line brackets.

Here at CHI, we love data-crunching. And we’re brackets fans, too. Right now, Bill Lueck, the husband of CEO Michele Lueck, is at the top of our leaderboard with a score of 47. I’m right behind him at 46 and Joe Hanel is third at 45. Legislative Director Allie Morgan is dead last with 27 points, but she isn’t giving up.

Meanwhile, we’re keeping an eye on our own predictions and staying up to date on as many nerdy statistics as possible.

Allie continues to make the legislative session easy to understand with her weekly blogs. The most recent installment covers revenue forecasts released last Friday along with a long list of bill updates. Stay informed with Allie’s consistent coverage of Capitol happenings.

Just like Texas A&M’s victory over Northern Iowa yesterday, Noteworthy Numbers is making a comeback. Look for Policy Analyst Nina Roumell’s newest list of the quarter’s most important numbers in health policy — out later this week.

Our ongoing series connecting the built environment to your health will continue with a focus on food deserts in Colorado. Not sure if you live in a food desert? Or even what a food desert is? Read the next installment to find out. In the meantime, catch up on previous reports—covering walkability and how large development projects are funded—by checking out CHI’s Better by Design page.

Jeff Bontrager, Director of Research on Coverage and Access, and Jessica Fern, Policy Analyst, are presenting to the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Colorado next Monday. Their presentation will focus on policy changes that have impacted oral health coverage and use of dental services, including Medicaid expansion, and what those changes look like using data from the 2015 Colorado Health Access Survey.

Remember, you can request a presentation on the 2015 CHAS by going to our Highway to Health page and filling out the request form. You can also email CHI at We have already traveled 2,728 miles across Colorado and hope to add more!

Finally, we would like to congratulate our very own Jessica Fern on her engagement. Just like March Madness, the engagement was full of surprises, all good ones, of course. We wish her and her fiancé, Sam Bernstein, a lifetime of happiness.

Have a great week everyone!