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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Remember those toy kaleidoscopes many of us played with as children? The ones you would shake and then peek in to discover a view of visual patterns and possibilities? Each piece gleamed in its own right, but also contributed to the beauty and intricacy of the entire composition.

As a child, the excitement of a new view each time drew me back. But early in my philanthropic career at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina, it struck me that the kaleidoscope view is a metaphor for how I could view community. It helped me value the uniqueness that each place offers and a reminder to consider different angles and viewpoints.    

In North Carolina, I led an effort

Good health is simply not a reality without adequate and equitable access to primary health care. While we know that health takes shape well beyond the clinic, we understand that the experiences and services provided in the care setting are critical to Coloradans being and staying their healthiest.

With a mission to improve the health of Coloradans, we know that we cannot do it alone. At the Colorado Health Foundation, we work to bring health in reach for all Coloradans by engaging deeply in communities to pinpoint challenges and support solutions that lead to better health, with an intentional focus on health equity.

To that end, we partnered with Langer Research Associates in 2016 to conduct a survey to understand

In my nine years here, I’ve had several different jobs, including program officer and portfolio director. In those roles, I had the opportunity to see firsthand how this organization, and the field of philanthropy, have changed in a variety of ways. It’s been exciting, exhilarating and, yes, daunting at times. Now my job is to support a team of program officers who are actively leading an evolution of their own roles at the Foundation. They are “on the ground” in new ways and with a host of new responsibilities. From the Eastern Plains to mountain towns, from Denver neighborhoods to Alamosa county, our program officers are working more deeply with communities in order to realize our vision that across Colorado

A couple months ago, I was in Colorado Springs on a road trip visiting in the community. I spent a few hours at the Sand Creek Library, where I had the great honor of taking over story hour for the local 4-year-olds. The educator in me delighted in it, sitting with a group of children whose only objective in that moment was to hear a good story. Likewise, I tried to simply enjoy their interest. I tried to not get too far ahead by asking their parents if health is in reach for their families – especially with the young children sitting before me.

Like our program officers at the Colorado Health Foundation, I’ve been hitting the road the last