CHI at 20

2022 Annual Report

The Colorado Health Institute marked its 20th anniversary in 2022. Not only did the occasion give us a reason to celebrate our successes and thank our partners, it allowed us to reflect on how Colorado has changed, how CHI has changed, and how we’ve changed one another.

2022 Annual Report cover
Download the 2022 Annual Report

CHI was founded in 2002 to fill a need for nonpartisan, independent data and evidence-based analysis to support decision-makers. As our state has changed and as our health policy environment has become more complex, we’ve evolved into a mission-driven consultancy advancing the well-being of our communities through deep expertise and implementational know-how. 

Our work has evolved to include a philanthropically supported Health Agenda that focuses on climate and health, behavioral health, and integrating systems of care. Our consulting work helps Coloradans — whether they be state and local government agencies, community groups, health systems, or others working toward more equitable health outcomes — better serve their communities by simplifying the complex, putting work in context, and advancing policies that make a difference.

I’m proud of what our team accomplished in 2022. We’ve helped the State of Colorado plan for the endemic phase of COVID-19 and provided guidance on how the state can address the needs of Coloradans living with Alzheimer’s Disease. We’ve supported community organizations to better meet the needs of an aging population and provided data and strategic guidance for groups working to reduce homelessness and fight hunger. We’re proud that we’ve helped local public health departments build bridges with diverse communities and improve their services for children and youth with special health care needs. We’ve also helped grow the next generation of health care leaders through a unique series of fellowships and training programs.

We’re excited to share our impact. And we’re grateful for your partnership.

Sara Schmitt, President and CEO

Advancing Health Equity in 2022

CHI’s team is committed to advancing equity, both inside our organization and in our communities. 

The Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance (IDEA) at CHI

In 2022 CHI completed its first strategic plan for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. It will serve as a roadmap for our priorities and activities over the next three to five years. This plan builds on work that has been underway since 2017 and includes specific goals, timelines, and accountability measures for areas such as employee recruitment, promotion and retention, organizational awareness, and more. 

Task Forces

Support from our philanthropic funders allows our team members to share their expertise by serving on commissions and task forces. In 2022, CHI team members served on task forces including: the Colorado Direct Care Workforce Collaborative Action Group, the Colorado Maternal Mental Health Collaborative & Framework, Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission, and the Denver Commission on Aging. 

Health Ambassador Programs

CHI continued to support the Metro Denver Partnership for Health Community Ambassador programs’ efforts to broaden access to health in priority communities. In 2022, we helped ambassador organizations with training and resources on vaccinations and mental health. Because these ambassadors are trusted in their communities, they are able to get information and referrals to people who needed them.

CHI By the Numbers

  • 9 Eggheads webinars that highlighted new reports and featured the work of our partners. 
  • 47 presentations covering topics like health equity, climate change, and health care innovation. 
  • 3,182 people attended CHI presentations in 2022, including health care providers, policymakers, and community members. 
  • 18 published works, including 9 blogs and 9 reports. 
  • 12,613 followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Our Initiatives

CHI is driving change on three issues that we believe must be addressed to advance health equity and well-being in Colorado. Read our 2022 Health Agenda to find out why climate and health, behavioral health, and integrating systems of care are so important.

Behavioral Health Initiative
click to expand 2022 highlights

CHI published reports that focused on the factors driving poor mental health and the unequal rates of poor mental health in some communities. 

We reported on the behavioral health crisis in Colorado’s LGBTQ+ communities

We published on the relationship between job loss and mental health and the social factors influencing mental health.

CHI partnered with government agencies and health systems to recommend improvements and processes to better care for the mental health needs of our communities, including justice-involved individuals and pregnant and postpartum parents. 

Acclimate Colorado
click to expand 2022 highlights

In April, CHI launched Acclimate Colorado to help Colorado communities drive planning and policy to adapt and respond to the health effects of climate change. We also created the Acclimate Action Team to guide our work.

In June, we published Think Globally, Adapt Locally, an expansion of CHI’s 2019 health and climate index. People can use the new index to find their county’s: 

  • exposure to climate-related hazards.
  • health outcomes and access to care.
  • social factors that have been linked to vulnerable populations.
  • plans and perceptions related to climate change and health.

To share this work, we presented two Eggheads webinars on the health effects of climate change and spoke to attendees of the National Network of Public Health Institutes’ annual conference in New Orleans. 

Integrating Systems of Care
click to expand 2022 highlights

CHI gathered a variety of partners together with the goal of improving person-centered care through a social health information exchange (S-HIE). This included hosting the first S-HIE regional meeting to plan for the future.

For the Metro Denver Partnership for Health, we convened members of the S-HIE Community Board and learned about their health care needs and challenges. Learning from people with firsthand experience ensures that our work meets the needs of the people 
we serve. 

CHI led a work group for the Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health to develop policy recommendations for statewide care coordination. 

Convening Communities and Growing Leaders

CHI is committed to developing leaders in health policy. In 2022 we partnered to provide these important programs.

Hot Issues in Health 

After three years of being apart, we came together again at Hot Issues in Health, CHI’s signature event. More than 200 people attended with 350 more joining online for our first hybrid Hot Issues. Participants — who ranged from students and advocates to health care providers and policymakers — gathered to network and learn about the state’s most pressing health issues. The event featured a variety of notable speakers, including Gov. Jared Polis.

With support from our sponsors, we were able to provide our most inclusive and accessible conference yet. We translated all conference materials into Spanish and offered real-time Spanish interpretation and online captioning.

Aspen Ethical Leadership Program

Together with the University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities and the Aspen Center for Social Values, CHI presented the Aspen Ethical Leadership Program to a cohort of 50 national health care leaders. During the four-day program, attendees practiced ethical decision-making and debated challenging topics, such as artificial intelligence in health care and equity in telehealth. 

American Society of Clinical Oncology 

Our team brought a customized version of the Aspen program to oncology leaders through our partnership with the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Milbank Fellows Program 

We also facilitated the Milbank Memorial Fund Fellows Program. This nine-month program for leaders in state agencies and legislatures included intensive seminars, workshops, and one-on-one coaching. The program also provided opportunities for fellows to talk and work with their peers, as well as engage with a network of ethical leaders across different industries.

Helping People Do Good Work to Support Health

A key piece of our work in 2022 was to help leaders make strategic decisions and implement programs that support the health of all Coloradans.

Delta Dental 2021 Evaluation cover

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation 

CHI partnered with Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation to publish an oral health report that explored insurance coverage and access, as well as the unequal social and racial factors discouraging people from visiting the dentist. Our team also convened Delta Dental’s fourth annual learning circle, where over 70 grant-funded community groups across Colorado shared their data, evaluation, and research.

Colorado Rural Hospitals 

CHI worked with health systems across the state to complete their community health needs assessments. 

  • We led focus groups and talked to community members in Durango, Pueblo, Cañon City, and Summit County for Centura Health.
  • We collected data for Middle Park Health in Grand and Jackson counties. 
  • We conducted a survey and held community meetings for San Luis Valley Health.
Denver Joint Task Force cover

Denver Joint Task Force on Homelessness 

CHI led meetings and helped the Denver Joint Task Force on Homelessness develop its strategic plan.

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

Our team helped the state advance care and treatment of people with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias by preparing a report on public health policy options. Our recommendations aimed to reduce risk and increase early detection among older Coloradans.

And as the state of Colorado continued to adapt its COVID-19 response, CHI brought together stakeholders to provide insight and guidance on the changes necessary to move from a pandemic to endemic response. 

JFS 2022 Older Adult Needs Assessment

Jewish Family Service 

We also joined with Jewish Family Service to listen to the opinions of older adults and caregivers in the Denver metro and Boulder regions. This process helped to identify health disparities among older adults and determine ways to better serve their needs.

Our Funders

CHI funders: Caring for Colorado, The Colorado Trust, ZOMA

CHI's 2022 Financial Statements