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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It’s late February and I’m 174 miles southeast of Denver in La Junta (“the Junction”), Colorado. It’s a city named after its origin as the junction between the Santa Fe Trail and a pioneer road leading to Pueblo. And nearly 140 years since the city’s founding, we find ourselves at a new junction today: The intersection of the disproportionate number of southern Coloradans living in poverty and elevating the solutions to build a healthier tomorrow for a place defined by its community resilience.

I found myself in La Junta for the Foundation’s Symposium Unplugged event focused on addressing poverty. Elevating the voices of all Coloradans is core to our work at the Foundation, and that’s exactly what events like this

Late last year, we partnered with the Kaiser Family Foundation on a survey of more than 1,800 Coloradans. Through the survey, we learned a lot about what folks across the state are thinking about and worrying about – and you can see it all here.

At the Foundation, we seek to serve Coloradans living on low income, and just this year, we started to look beneath the surface of the data collected in the survey. When we looked, we discovered that Coloradans earning less than $40,000 have vastly different perspectives and experiences when compared to those with higher incomes.

When it comes to quality of life, the data show that the economy, housing and health care are top-of-mind for

It’s day 28 of the longest standing partial shutdown of the federal government in U.S. history, and its impacts are hitting Coloradans hard. Of the many harsh realities rising to the surface is how the closure is making it harder for many Colorado families to keep health within reach.

Colorado is home to more than 220,000 Colorado families who are at risk of losing food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If the shutdown continues, the Colorado Department of Human Services anticipates additional strain on local food banks and social service agencies due to a spike in customers. And more than 15,000 furloughed federal workers missed a paycheck this last Friday as a result of the shutdown.

In the

Many are familiar with the term “leaning in,” but we're talking about it as “living into” whatever we’re doing, especially with a new strategy that we are earnestly putting to test. So, as we closed out 2018 and collectively reflected on how the year went for us, we changed the frame and began talking about how we’ve been “living into” our commitment to equity across and within Colorado communities.

I think I like it better, and I want to share our perspectives on it by reflecting on 2018 and forecasting what’s on the horizon for 2019. Living into the work we’ve committed to means we have to be intentional about how we approach implementing the Foundation’s mission and strategic framework. If