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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Two New Babies, Two New Reports

Question: What’s pink and blue and sweet all over?

Answer: The Colorado Health Institute office as we threw a baby shower for not one, but two, colleagues who will soon welcome babies to their families.

The CHI team was happy to start the week with sweet treats during our morning team meeting as we celebrated the soon-to-be arrivals with Senior Analyst Rebecca Alderfer and her husband, Rob Alderfer, who received “boy” gifts, and Senior Communications Expert Joe Hanel and his wife, Anna Hanel, who received “girl” gifts.

Cutest person at the meeting? No contest. Stefan Alderfer, 2, was the star of his first corporate huddle.

It was a great kickoff to another busy week at CHI, which will see the release of two new research publications.

First up, Research Analyst Natalie Triedman has a paper looking at the reasons uninsured Coloradans don’t have coverage. The data are from the Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS), and the topic is timely given the second open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act in four weeks.

The second release of the week will be a paper on telehealth. Lead author Sara Schmitt, our Director of Community Health Policy, delves into a health delivery system that is expected to show explosive growth over the next years. She provides a rundown of telehealth work underway in Colorado, particularly in rural areas. She also analyzes the potential hurdles for telehealth to fulfill its promise in Colorado. Joe, meanwhile, tells the story of telehealth on the frontlines, including a CEO who became a patient.

Members of CHI’s Safety Net Advisory Committee (SNAC) Learning Lab will be the first to see the report at the meeting Thursday led by Jeff Bontrager, Director of Research on Coverage and Access, and Senior Analyst Anna Vigran.

Natalie and Tamara Keeney will be presenters at the Colorado Rural Health Center’s annual conference on Friday in Colorado Springs. Their presentation, Health on the Range: What the Latest Data Tell Us About the Health of Rural Coloradans, will use data from the CHAS to frame a discussion of challenges and opportunities facing rural Coloradans. Attendees will also get a sneak peak at an exciting new data tool project CHI is unveiling that day.

Jeff will moderate a panel at the Colorado Health Foundation’s Building Better Health conference Thursday. The panel, Reaching and Enrolling Hard-to-Reach Coloradans, will look at barriers to health insurance enrollment and effective outreach methods, both targeted to the upcoming open enrollment period.

Meanwhile, Allie Morgan reported that all staff members met their deadlines to turn in outlines of their presentations at CHI’s Hot Issues in Health Care policy conference in December. Nina Roumell gave an update on the updated version of our popular “HealthWords,” which we are working to make into a mobile app for the first time.

And Jessica Fern reported that she is making progress on a project to create on online local workforce toolkit.

Finally, in case you missed it from last week:

  • CHI published its first analysis of a political matchup. Joe looked at the health policies of incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, and his Republican Challenger Rep. Cory Gardner, as well as unaffiliated challenger Steve Shogan, a Denver neurosurgeon. Find the analysis here and Joe’s blog here.
  • Senior Analyst and long-term services and supports (LTSS) expert Tasia Sinn blogged about a new report from Colorado’s Community Living Advisory Group (CLAG). The report provides recommendations on how to redesign the state’s LTSS system. Respect and dignity were at the top of the list.