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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Scorecard for a Healthier Colorado: Climbing the Mountain

The Colorado Health Institute checks in on the state’s progress in creating a healthier Colorado in our newest publication — Reaching Our Peak: Scorecard for a Healthier Colorado ­— released today.

This year’s report summarizes policy changes and program developments in five key areas: schools, the workplace, communities, the health care delivery system and the places where we age. These findings, supplemented with research and key informant interviews, are compared with the 2013 Reaching Our Peak. Improvement, or lack thereof, is shown by the hiker climbing up the mountain.

What did we find?

Efforts to encourage health and well-being in communities and schools advanced in the past year, thanks to the work of advocates, foundations, policymakers, business leaders and more. Interest is high to promote healthy workplaces and new living arrangements for seniors, but progress was limited, resulting in no change. We lost ground in health care, as promising innovations were slow to be fully integrated into the care delivery system.

Building healthy places that support healthy choices takes time and requires collaboration and partnerships that can be slow to form. That said, Coloradans across the state, some of whom are featured in the report, are pressing forward.

Who did we meet along the way?

Employees at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster working wellness into their daily routines. Emergency health care providers in the Denver suburbs delivering quality, convenient care at lower costs. Residents of Weld County uniting around a common goal to help their children learn healthier habits. School children on the Eastern Plains using disposable cameras to capture images of healthy, and unhealthy, living. Seniors in Loveland ready for a new, home-like environment.

There are many other promising programs and tried-and-true efforts that are transforming health across Colorado. We’d like your help in identifying them.

Email us at Peak2014@coloradohealthinstitite.org.  We will feature these on our website and in future editions of Reaching Our Peak.