A CHI conference room


Working with the Colorado Health Institute means you have a partner with the deep expertise and implementational know-how to advance health equity and well-being for all Coloradans. We simplify the complex, provide context, and help you advance equitable policies that make a difference.

Reasons to Choose CHI

  • Nimbleness. Our size and structure let us quickly respond to our clients’ needs. We’re big enough to provide your project with the analytical brainpower it needs, yet not so big that internal bureaucracy gets in the way. You’ll be the priority for the CHI team on your project. As a private nonprofit, we are free from the constraints that often bind academic institutes. And as a policy-focused organization, we understand that policymakers need information quickly, and they have to act when information is imperfect. This kind of pressure and ambiguity can be paralyzing, but we thrive on it.
  • Local knowledge. We’ve been doing this for more than 20 years. We understand Medicaid, behavioral health, and health systems in Colorado, and we know the people who must be at the table to get things done. We’ve worked on the ground not just in Denver and Colorado Springs, but Greeley, Craig, Grand Junction, Alamosa, Towaoc, and points between.
  • Honest work toward equity. We choose to do work that advances the cause of equity. As a policy-focused organization, we are committed to tearing down discriminatory structures and building up systems that promote health for all while righting wrongs of the past and present. We strive to make our work accessible to all, regardless of ability or language preference.
  • You’re going to like working with us. CHIers bring a cheerful, can-do spirit to their work. We approach our clients with empathy, seeking to understand their goals and the barriers in their way. Most importantly, the quality of our work will make your project shine. Our dozens of repeat customers over the years can attest to this.

What We Do

Data, Research, and Analysis

CHI was founded on the need for nonpartisan, independent data and analysis, and we pride ourselves on making this data understandable. Our Colorado Health Access Survey has provided the state’s best data on use of health care since 2009. From insurance claims databases to the health impacts of climate change, CHI is your source for the health data and analysis you need.



Telling a Deeper Story of Colorado Communities


A Moment of Truth: Well-Being in the Wake of the Pandemic


Recommendations and Opportunities for Health Care Systems and Philanthropic Organizations


Screening all students for social and emotional needs provides an opportunity to connect kids with care and to reach them before a behavioral health crisis occurs. Schools provide an equitable setting that can help meet the mental health needs of youth and be a source of trusted adults who can recognize a mental health need.

Strategic Planning

Clients rely on CHI to help them turn good ideas into viable strategies. We have helped organizations large and small set the course for a healthier future — and then implement their strategies.


Contact: Sara Schmitt, President & CEO

Sample Projects


CHI helped Larimer County Behavioral Health Services and its partners research and write a comprehensive plan


A Call to Action to Protect Our Communities from Climate Change


The 2021 Colorado Health Information Technology Roadmap charts a path for harnessing and expanding the digital tools and services that support the health of all Coloradans.

Colorado now has a strategic plan to reorient systems, clinical care, and communities to promote substance use disorder recovery.
A Guide for Opioid Settlement Investments


CHI analysts are adept at discovering the short-term and long-term needs of health programs. We combine the best available data with insights from interviews or focus groups to help organizations and communities prioritize their needs. This work includes creating community health needs assessments for health systems large and small.


Contact: Sara Schmitt, President & CEO

Contact for Community Health Needs Assessments: Chrissy Esposito, Research and Analysis Manager

Sample Projects


Report for the Colorado Department of Early Childhood

Colorado’s First Strategic Plan for Primary Prevention of Substance Abuse
Interactive Tool Lays Out School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Needs Assessment Findings — and Allows Users to Explore the Data
An Analysis of Colorado’s Early Childhood Mental Health Investments


Our skilled evaluators know how to ask and answer the right questions to produce an evaluation that helps you learn, improve, scale up — and make your case to stakeholders.


Contact: Karam Ahmad, Director

Sample Projects

Two people pictured from the back holding an umbrella and walking into a snowstorm at night

Weathering the Storm

Behavioral Health Providers Prove Resilient and Essential During Hard Times — an Evaluation of the Colorado Health Access Fund


A dentist in a paper mask and clear face shield uses a dental pic on an adult woman, whose face is blurred in the foreground

2021 Evaluation Report

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation evaluation of strategic grantmaking


A male police officer talks to a female mental health professional in the front seat of a police car.

The Value of Partnership

Evaluating Behavioral Health Co-Responder Programs


Outcomes-Based Facilitation

CHI excels at helping diverse, multisector groups reach agreement about substantive issues. No matter the size or type of group, we ensure participants feel included and leave the room with a plan for action.


Contact: Nicole Weber, Director

Sample Projects

photo illustration of white silhouettes of people of various ages against a colorful streetscape background

Interoperable Social Health Information Exchange Ecosystem

CHI works with the Metro Denver Partnership for Health to raise up an interoperable S-HIE ecosystem that harnesses technological tools and community relationships to provide whole-person and whole-family care.

A picture of a wooden bridge, looking from one end to the other

Bridging the Gaps

Policy Recommendations to Implement a Cohesive Statewide Care Coordination Infrastructure — a project for the Behavioral Health Administration


A closeup of labels on a door in a primary care office that identify different stages in the primary care workflow

Colorado’s Primary Care Payment Reform Collaborative

The Division of Insurance's Primary Care Payment Reform Collaborative works to develop recommendations and strategies for payment system reforms to reduce health care costs by increasing use of primary care.

photo illustration of a finger touching file icons floating in the air

Colorado Health Information Governance Guidebook

The Colorado Office of eHealth Innovation and eHealth Commission developed this Guidebook with support from Colorado Health Institute to advance Colorado’s Health IT Roadmap Information Governance Initiative.


Program Management

Whether it’s a short deadline or a multi-year initiative, CHI’s program managers know how to meet milestones without losing sight of the ultimate goal.


Contact: Kirsti Klaverklamp, Director

Sample Projects


Advancing Breastfeeding in Colorado logo

Advancing Breastfeeding in Colorado

A multi-year partnership among public health agencies and CHI to help communities across the state become more breastfeeding friendly



Regional Health Connectors

A new workforce of people who work full-time in their own communities to improve the coordination of systems that keep us healthy


A small, clear bottle with a COVID-19 vaccine label

Colorado’s COVID-19 Primary Care Vaccination Program

The COVID-19 Primary Care Vaccination program provided nearly $17 million in funding to 374 primary care provider clinics to increase providers’ capacity to vaccinate Coloradans against COVID-19.


Modeling, Mapping, Visualization, and Communication 

Data is worthless unless people can understand it. We build evidence-based models to assess costs and benefits, then turn your data into pictures worth a thousand spreadsheets. Our communications team ensures the final product communicates those results clearly.



Details of Colorado's state and local government plans for the historic influx of federal money


Big Budgets and Bold Moves

CHORDS Data Show the Disparate Impact of the Pandemic on Front Range Neighborhoods

Our clients


  • Colorado Health Foundation
  • Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation
  • Milbank Memorial Fund
  • Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation
  • The Colorado Trust
  • The Denver Foundation
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Community Groups

  • Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger
  • Colorado Children’s Campaign
  • Colorado Consortium on Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention
  • Colorado Trust Health Equity Advocacy Cohort
  • Jewish Family Service
  • Mental Health Colorado
  • Immunize Colorado

Public Agencies

  • Clear Creek County
  • Colorado Behavioral Health Administration
  • Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing
  • Colorado Department of Early Childhood
  • Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
  • Colorado Division of Insurance
  • Ute Mountain Ute Tribe

Health Care Providers

  • Centura Health
  • Colorado Hospital Association
  • Estes Park Health
  • Memorial Regional Health – Craig
  • Salud Family Health Centers
  • San Luis Valley Health

Insurance Providers

  • Colorado Access
  • Kaiser Permanente Colorado
  • Rocky Mountain Health Plans

Programs We’ve Incubated or Facilitated

  • COVID-19 Primary Care Vaccination program
  • Regional Health Connectors
  • Connect for Health Colorado
  • Metro Denver Partnership for Health