CHI at 20

20 Years of Impact

Building on the Past to Design our Future

As the Colorado Health Institute celebrates a milestone anniversary in 2022, we are reflecting on our impact over the past two decades and are grateful for the investments Colorado’s health policy community has made with us.

The timeline below features highlights from CHI’s history, starting with our founding by farsighted organizations that understood the need for an independent health research institute. Year by year, CHI has evolved from a small hub for data and analysis, to an incubator of important organizations such as Connect for Health Colorado, to a strategic consultant and convener for innovative efforts to improve health and health equity.

In 2021, CHI focused on responding to the impacts of the pandemic, addressing the social determinants of health, and providing research, analysis, and insight to drive health and health equity work across the state.

Moving forward, we are drawing from our lessons learned to achieve our mission of improving health for all Coloradans by integrating systems of care, supporting behavioral health, and adapting to a changing climate. We are invigorated by this work and the possibilities that our third decade holds.

We look forward to building on 20 years of expertise and our trusted partnership with Colorado’s health community as we design new ways of improving the health and lives of people in our state.

Timeline of CHI and Colorado's Health History

The health care landscape has changed significantly, and CHI has been both a driver and an evaluator of that change.


  • The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) is founded by The Colorado Trust, Rose Community Foundation, and Caring for Colorado Foundation.


  • CHI facilitates the advisory committee on the federal waiver to expand Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus coverage for children.


  • CHI issues its first policy brief: The Jury’s Out: Monitoring the Shift from No-Fault to a Tort Auto Insurance System in Colorado.


  • CHI publishes about topics including the small group insurance market, Medicaid’s prescription drugs list, and childhood immunization rates.


  • CHI sponsors Colorado Health Care and the Promise of HIT: Making the Case for a Colorado RHIO (regional health information organization), a symposium about electronic health records exchange.


  • CHI incubates the electronic health records exchange that becomes CORHIO.


  • Blue Ribbon Commission on Healthcare Reform tackles health care affordability.
  • Public Health Improvement Act takes effect.
  • CHI produces Faces of the Safety Net series, profiling clinics and organizations across the state.


  • CHI introduces the Colorado Household Survey, the precursor to today’s Colorado Health Access Survey.
  • The Center for the Study of the Safety Net at CHI launches.


  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is signed into law. CHI analyzes the likely effects of the ACA on Colorado’s health workforce.
  • CHI facilitates the Colorado Alzheimer’s Coordinating Council.




  • Colorado voters legalize marijuana.
  • CHI launches Safety Net Advisory Committee (SNAC) labs to explore innovations in the state’s safety net.
  • CHI celebrates its 10th anniversary and publishes a book, A Picture of Health.


  • Colorado legislature expands Medicaid eligibility.
  • CHI releases the 2013 CHAS with funding from The Colorado Trust; the survey sets the baseline for assessing the effects of the ACA.


  • Major provisions of the ACA take effect. 
  • First legal recreational marijuana sales. 
  • CHI’s analysis, Early Lessons from Legalized Marijuana, gains national attention as other states consider following Colorado’s lead.





  • CHI leads dozens of town halls to explore Colorado effects of a potential ACA repeal.
  • CHI publishes The Route to the RAEs (Regional Accountable Entities) highlighting new Medicaid structures.


  • CHI conducts a statewide needs assessment for primary prevention, an analysis of buprenorphine provider availability, and an assessment of the state’s early childhood mental health needs and resources.


  • CHI creates statewide strategic plans for primary prevention and substance use recovery and creates a needs assessment of Colorado's early childhood system; leads drafting of a blueprint for allocating opioid lawsuit settlements; publishes a climate and health index and housing equity report.




Read reports or blogs by CHI's team of analysts. Check out CHI's 2021 Annual Report.

CHI Through the Years

CHI logo 2002-2011


CHI logo 2011-2017


CHI logo 2017-present