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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Reaching Our Peak: Blazing the Trail to Better Health

I’m often asked by family and friends who live in the Midwest about my weekend activities. My usual response, especially during the warmer months, is “We went for a hike in the mountains.” It’s one of my favorite activities, with each switchback opening up to a beautiful vista or valley of wildflowers. And it just feels like Colorado.

It wasn’t surprising that it didn’t take the Colorado Health Institute team too long to decide on a theme for its new report: Reaching Our Peak: Creating a Healthier Colorado.

This report assesses our state’s progress in improving health. We examine policies and programs gaining momentum in Colorado and across the nation within the health care system and beyond – schools, communities, the workplace, and where we age – because the trail to better health most often begins outside a health provider’s office.

We let you know where Colorado is on that climb up the mountain in each of these important areas. For example, we’re just starting the hike when it comes to preparing for our rapidly aging population. But in health care, we’re ahead of the pack, with innovative programs underway across the state.

Reaching Our Peak is a resource for ideas and innovation, a primer, not an encyclopedia. We look at new ideas and programs, make sense of the research and evidence behind them, and highlight some of the activities going on in Colorado. We make informed analyses to offer options and opportunities for climbing up the mountain.

Colorado is making good progress on reaching its peak, thanks to the efforts of advocates, communities, educators, philanthropists, policymakers, providers. Creating a healthier Colorado requires striking a thoughtful balance of public investment, private involvement and individual responsibility. And the Colorado Health Institute is here to support these efforts.

We will update the sectors periodically as new evidence, and ideas, emerge. In the meantime, please share your feedback and ideas. And suggestions for hiking trails.