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In Good Health

The Colorado Health Foundation’s blog is designed to share perspectives, personal stories and what we are learning in our efforts to ensure that, across Colorado, each of us can say: “We have all we need to live healthy lives.”

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A small but engaged group of community members joined us at an event center tucked away in the beautiful pine forest of Douglas County for this morning’s listening tour session. The session was attended by residents of many of the different communities in the county as well as those interested in health around the metro region. This made for great conversation and, in fact – one of the health assets this group mentioned was the fact that the Denver metro area identifies strongly as one big community ready to tackle big problems.

The attendees had no trouble naming a plethora of assets in Douglas County, citing tangibles such as well-planned and accessible trail systems and recreation centers, a commitment to

Today’s morning session found us on the dance floor at a Broomfield event venue that doubles as a wedding locale, but attendees from public health, education and other sectors brought a serious conversation to light about the community’s assets and barriers.

  • Broomfield itself has a “small town” feel with Highway 36 routing south into Denver for a short drive to metro-like offerings. Residents have access to 33 hospitals in or within 30 minutes.
  • The area is booming with scientific and innovative companies, employing many and driving leadership in the community.
  • The existing transportation infrastructure works well, allowing for nimbleness and the ability to tap various services and supports.
  • Even with what seems like tremendous access points to care, families still

We kicked off the new year by launching a series of Denver-area tour events today, starting in Arapahoe County. Around 45 locals joined us at an event center in Centennial to talk health assets and barriers. Arapahoe represents the 49th county we’ve visited on the tour, and similar themes emerged that we’re hearing in many communities, including:

  • Access and availability of quality childcare is a challenge. High turnover in early childhood settings coupled with affordability is driving fewer parents to work or causing them to drop out of school to take care of their children. Fewer women are entering the workforce and choosing to stay home, contributing to a gender gap.
  • Strong school systems and higher education, including community

We awoke in La Junta to find a light dusting of snow, below freezing temperatures and lots of wind. Yet the Foundation crew was determined, we have too much to learn to let the wintry weather deter us. Today, we headed to more of the unique rural communities that makeup Southeast Colorado.   

We began our day playing at Swink Park where we huddled together in the morning cold as locals told the tale of the park’s evolution. The land was designated for park use more than 50 years ago but wasn’t developed until 2012. It’s equipped with robust circuit stations and playground equipment suited for a wide range of kids. The fields are used by the town’s sports teams