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Why We Need to Understand What Coloradans Think About Their Health


Listening is one of the most important investments the Colorado Health Foundation makes with our time and resources. It can yield tremendous value because it both broadens and deepens our understanding of how Coloradans’ really think about health. It helps us understand more about the “what” and the “why” of how issues are affecting the health of Coloradans and their families. This is especially important for those who may feel their voices are not often heard, and why listening is reflected in the Foundation’s cornerstones as an essential component of everything we do.

The more we listen, the better we understand what is bringing health closer to or further from reach, and the more important it is to share this understanding with others.

Listening, for us, takes many shapes and forms, ranging from one-on-one conversations to listening sessions to statewide research, including polling. Polling is a new approach for us to take the pulse of how Coloradans feel about key issues or situations at a moment in time.

This work is embedded in our new Advocacy priority, which reflects a commitment to building a deep understanding of Coloradans’ values, priorities and opinions related to health. We intend to share that learning with others, so that, together, we can ensure that local, state and federal public policy decisions reflect Coloradans’ priorities.

Today, we are excited to share results from a new Kaiser Family Foundation/Colorado Health Foundation poll, Coloradans’ Perspective on Health, Quality of Life, and Midterm Elections.

The poll, conducted among a random representative sample of 1,803 adults age 18 and older across the state, reveals Coloradans’ views on a wide range of issues leading into the 2018 midterm elections. In it, we gather Coloradans’ opinions about their health, their perceptions of their quality of life, their views on what are the most important issues facing Colorado and what they hope our elected leaders in government will prioritize.

The poll’s findings highlight areas where Coloradans largely agree with one another, along with differences among demographic subgroups, including geography, income, race/ethnicity and partisan identification.

I won’t spoil the headlines of what Coloradans told us through this poll. Instead, I encourage you to read the poll report, topline findings and watch a webinar we recorded about the results. In these resources, you’ll find a lot of insight about what Coloradans are thinking leading into this year’s important elections.

Because polling is limited when it comes to explaining why Coloradans are thinking what they are, we will continue to invest in other important types of listening, whether it be qualitative research, convening Coloradans to come together at events like our Symposia series or our ongoing efforts engaging in communities across Colorado.

In the meantime, we invite thoughts and stories that give further context to the poll results. Feel free to share those with us, and look for additional updates over time as we learn and understand more about what Coloradans are thinking and why.