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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Last year, the Foundation received a number of recommendations from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) that were designed to help us achieve greater impact with our grantmaking. CEP’s recommendations were part of a Grantee Perception Report that is an important data point as we work to increase our impact through grantmaking.

Many of the recommendations were aligned with changes that were underway, or being developed, by our leadership team. For example, the recommendations directed us as a staff and team to engage differently with the grantees we fund. They also called for us to build a much greater understanding of the fields and communities that grantees serve, work and live in. Finally, CEP recommended more robust communications – from

Yellowstone – the world’s first national park – is nestled atop an active volcanic hot spot. Covering nearly 3,500 square miles, the park’s lively landscape hosts more than 10,000 hydrothermal features, 500 active geysers and nearly 300 waterfalls. Its rivers, forests and canyons are home to hundreds of animal species. And today, it’s home to the northern Rocky Mountain wolf. 

A short video, “How Wolves Change Rivers,” describes the reintroduction of wolves in 1995 as a widespread trophic cascade. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, a trophic cascade is an ecological phenomenon triggered by the addition or removal of top predators and involving reciprocal changes in the relative populations of predator and prey through a food chain, which often

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of meeting with several young women in southeastern Colorado. Many of them were preparing to graduate from high school or already in college, pursuing careers and building their dreams for the future. We talked about the things that worry them and the barriers they face every day. Shortly after meeting, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department proposed a change in federal regulations that, if adopted, would allow more employers to deny insurance coverage for family planning services – a move that would undoubtedly put health further out of reach for many Colorado women, their children and families.

When this rule was proposed, I immediately thought of

How can you tackle inequity? Look at your immediate surroundings: Your neighborhood, your work, your city or your volunteer time. What is happening that prohibits people from reaching equity in their health, in their pay, in their treatment by our institutions? 

It's fair to say this challenging, self-reflective approach is not the first quality many city residents expect to find in their local police chief. Thus, it's all the more effective and thought-provoking when retired Charleston, S.C. Police Chief Greg Mullen quietly described the painstaking steps he led his department through while changing a deep-seated culture and creating a more equitable city.

Mullen, speaking at the 2017 Colorado Health Symposium, told of balancing his obvious job – public safety