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Hot Topics for a Cold Week

Hot Topics for a Cold Week

February 23, 2015

Three of CHI’s senior staffers — Amy Downs, Deb Goeken and Jeff Bontrager — escaped the winter storm this weekend. Unfortunately for them, they escaped to Toronto, which is under an “extreme cold warning,” with wind chill forecasts of minus 40 degrees Celsius. That’s cold, even for Canada.

Our trio is attending a conference by the Tamarack Institute titled Evaluating Community Impact: Capturing and Making Sense of Community Outcomes. It’s a timely topic, given the recent focus of Colorado’s health community on its collective impact.

Monday morning, CHI released its study of dental care access for Medicaid clients, “Filling the Dental Gap: Can Colorado Meet the Growing Need?” The report identifies several areas of the state where too few providers exist to serve Colorado’s growing Medicaid population.

Sara Schmitt, director of community health policy, was the project manager for the oral health report. This week, she’s getting excited for a visit next week by Karen Minyard, executive director of the Georgia Health Policy Center. Minyard will speak to Denver Public Health about ways the cooperation among groups in Atlanta led to better community health. The DPH Grand Rounds lecture is March 4 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway. Register today to reserve your seat.

Senior Analyst Tasia Sinn is working on a presentation to the legislature next week about Affordable Care Act waivers that will become an option in 2017. Unlike most of our seminars, which are held at lunch, the March 4 event will be at breakfast, before legislators gavel in for the day.

Speaking of the legislature, Policy Analyst Allie Morgan is watching a couple items this week, including a hearing for a bill to provide free long-acting reversible contraceptives on Tuesday.  And Thursday, we will be watching a hearing for a proposal to give tax credits to seniors who upgrade their houses so they can remain at home instead of moving to a nursing facility.