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From Our CEO

January 22, 2013

CHI: Hitting the Road

A team from CHI had the distinct pleasure of a field trip earlier this month.  We traveled to Topeka, Kansas, to visit with the Kansas Health Institute and the Kansas Health Foundation.  We were joined by several members of The Colorado Trust.  Topeka in January, you might ask?  Who says this job doesn’t come with serious perks?

Seriously, the trip was terrific.  KHI was a generous and gracious host.  My most important lesson was that it’s possible to find similar organizations with similar challenges.  Kansas and Colorado are in remarkably different spaces politically.  Just as Colorado is currently led by the Democrats, Kansas is dominated by Republicans in the governor’s seat, the House and Senate.

Still, the challenges for both health institutes are strikingly similar: how to effectively bring evidence-based analysis into political discussions and the fact that decisions can be difficult, even when one party dominates.

We have different issues on our respective agendas.  Kansas is gearing up to revisit, and potentially repeal, its indoor clean air act. Colorado is weighing the opportunities and challenges of expanding Medicaid.  But illuminating the discussion with relevant analysis is the priority for each organization.

It’s a great feeling to find a kindred spirit and a similar organization.  I encourage others to do the same - even if it’s Topeka in January. It’s a tremendously worthwhile trip.