Studies & Reports

The Foundation publishes studies and reports that pertain to one or more of its priority areas. Some of the reports are produced in coordination with other organizations.

Reports available for download:

Colorado Policymaking Processes: Administrative Rulemaking
Publication Date: June 2023
Author: The Colorado Health Foundation
The ideas and suggestions captured in this report present an opportunity for our state to assess the status quo of administrative rulemaking and consider changes that could make the process more equitable, to the benefit of all Coloradans.

Colorado Policymaking Processes: State Legislature
Publication Date: Feb. 2023
Author: The Colorado Health Foundation
Between October and December 2022, CHF policy staff conducted a round of interviews focusing on how Colorado’s state legislature operates. We spoke with 19 current and former legislators, current and former legislative staff, and current and former lobbyists to listen to their experiences.

Case Study: The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement Publication
Publication Date: Aug. 2022
Author: The Colorado Health Foundation
Making Entry to a Career in health care more accessible while diversifying the workforce through an innovative and affordable program.

Colorado Policymaking Processes: Advocacy Organizations
Publication Date: Feb. 2022
Author: The Colorado Health Foundation
From October 20 to November 12, 2021, CHF Policy Staff conducted interviews with 25 organizations that engage in policy advocacy work to listen to their experiences with state government institutions.

Engaging Colorado's FFN Child Care Providers in Early Childhood Systems
Publication Date: Sept. 2021
Author: Early Milestones Colorado
In 2021, Early Milestones led a discovery process to build a collective understanding of (1) how the voices of family, friend and neighbor (FFN) providers influence Colorado’s early childhood systems, and (2) how early childhood systems can better support the critical role of FFN providers for young children and families. The report summarizes key issues for FFN providers and recommendations to strengthen systems that promote positive, equitable outcomes for providers and the families they serve.

Heartwired: COVID-19 Vaccine Messaging Guide
Publication Date: July 2021
Author: Colorado Health Foundation, Wonder: Strategies for Good, Goodwin Simon Strategic Research
The Colorado Health Foundation engaged Wonder: Strategies for Good and Goodwin Simon Strategic Research to conduct public opinion research and develop messaging strategies for the vaccine-hesitant in Colorado, focusing on people of color. This messaging guide summarizes the recommendations.

Perspectives on Adult Recovery in Rural and Frontier Colorado: A Look at Lived Experiences, Practices, and Systems
Publication Date: May 2021
Author: Westat
The Colorado Health Foundation partnered with Westat to commission a report, Perspectives on Adult Recovery in Rural and Frontier Colorado: A Look at Lived Experiences, Practices, and Systems, which shines a light on the recovery experiences of Coloradans living on low income in rural and frontier areas. Personal stories from people with lived recovery experience and in-depth interviews with mental health and substance use providers helped us better understand the recovery experience – from personal, professional and systems perspectives. The report examines these perspectives through a systems lens and lifts up opportunities to guide future systems change.

2019 Grantee Perception Report
Publication Date: August 2020
Author: The Center for Effective Philanthropy
The Foundation’s 2019 Grantee Perception Report includes valuable feedback from grantees on their experiences with us – highlighting both positive trends and opportunities for improvement. The confidential survey was conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy, a nonprofit that provides funders with tools to improve overall foundation performance. A total of 426 grantees were surveyed on topics like impact and understanding of grantee communities, quality of interactions, communications, grant process and more.

Colorado’s Health Equity Advocacy Ecosystem
Publication Date: July 2020
Author: Colorado Health Foundation, Innovation Network
Innovation Network conducted a survey of advocacy organizations throughout Colorado in the Fall of 2019 to begin to build out an information base about the health equity advocacy ecosystem, including: who advocates seek to serve and/or represent, who is represented and informs decisions within organizations, how advocates do their work, and what partnerships look like within the network. The purpose of this effort is to help the Foundation better support diverse advocates, as well as to share information back to advocates and other funders about this shared landscape.

Coloradans’ Concerns, Needs and Experiences During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Publication Date: April 2020
Author: Colorado Health Foundation, Healthier Colorado, Magellan Strategies
In April 2020, The Colorado Health Foundation and Healthier Colorado partnered with Magellan Strategies to conduct a survey of Coloradans on the coronavirus outbreak. The goal was to understand the experiences, concerns and needs of people from across the state as their lives are impacted by the global pandemic.

Youth Behavioral Health Services in Colorado School Districts
Publication Date: March 2020
Author: Education Policy Project, Colorado School Finance Project
This report examines how school districts in Colorado are funded and how those sources of revenues can be utilized to provide youth behavioral health services for students.

Developing a Strong Philanthropic Policy Advocacy Function Report
Publication Date: September 2019
Author: ORS Impact
This brief discusses how the Foundation has developed a strong policy advocacy function, and looks at how the policy advocacy team is managing three key tensions necessary to achieving impact that advances health and health equity.

Brief: Economy, Housing, Mental Health and Substance Use: Perspectives of LGBT Coloradans
Publication Date: June 2019
Author: Colorado Health Foundation
Economy, housing, mental health and substance use are top-of-mind for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Coloradans. A new issue brief with data from a fall 2018 survey shares the perspectives of LGBT people when it comes to issues impacting their health and quality of life.

Evaluating the Potential for Establishing or Expanding Community Land Trust Programs in Eight Colorado Counties
Publication date: February 2019
Author: Michael Brown, John Emmeus Davis, Devika Goetschius, Burlington Associates in Community Development LLC, Colorado Health Foundation
In 2018, The Colorado Health Foundation commissioned a study from Burlington Associates to examine the potential for the wider distribution and development of community land trusts (CLTs) in Colorado. Our intent with this report was to both inform ourselves and inform the field about opportunities to support access to affordable, safe, high-quality housing in order to reduce the number of low-income Coloradans who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Brief: Economy, Housing and Health Care: Perspectives of Coloradans Living on Low Income
Publication date: February 2019
Author: Colorado Health Foundation
Colorado’s overall economy may be growing, but many of us still experience real challenges when it comes to our quality of life. A new brief with data from the Foundation’s statewide survey highlights Coloradans’ perspectives on the economy, housing and health care – with a focus on the disparities reported by those of us living on low income.

Coloradans’ Perspectives on Health, Quality of Life, and Midterm Elections
Publication date: October 2018
Author: The Kaiser Family Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation
Colorado voters most often cite education, health care and housing costs as the top issues for the state’s gubernatorial candidates to discuss ahead of the November elections, finds a new Kaiser Family Foundation/Colorado Health Foundation (KFF/CHF) poll. The poll of more than 1,800 Coloradans reveals their views on a wide range of issues leading into the 2018 midterm elections and highlights differences related to health and quality of life

The Health Care Perceptions of Low-income Coloradans
Publication date: January 2018
Author: Colorado Health Foundation
The Foundation partnered with Langer Research Associates in 2016 to conduct a survey to understand the perceptions of low-income Coloradans about the care that is available to them. Findings from the survey revealed information that demands action. Overall, there is a significant gap in satisfaction with health care between low-income and higher-income Coloradans. In addition to the executive summary, the Foundation has published four issue briefs.

Ballot Measures: Reflections and Lessons Learned
Publication date: January 2018
Author: Colorado Health Foundation, Vantage Evaluation
Colorado is one of 14 states that allow citizen-led initiatives to go directly on the ballot. In 2016, the Colorado ballot included numerous local and statewide ballot measures, which required substantial coalition-building and advocacy efforts. This report is a qualitative postmortem evaluation of the ballot measure life cycle, focusing on six case studies.

Community Engagement IMPACT Practice Model
Publication date: November 2017
Author: Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation believes that health is a basic human right. This report encompasses a relentless pursuit of health and health equity, and it takes engagement on the ground to understand what is happening in and impacting communities across our state. At the Foundation, community engagement is both a process and an outcome. The IMPACT Practice Model provides the guiding principles that represent the actions and behaviors that program staff should embody.

State Plans to End Hunger: An Opportunity for Colorado
Publication date: June 2017 
Author: Jennifer Banyan, R-Evolution Consulting  
This white paper summarizes efforts to mitigate hunger in other states. It summarizes the processes for developing the plans and the outcomes in Oregon, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Additionally, interviews with key advocates in two states are included for commentary on the process.  

Food Insecurity: How can we reduce hunger in Colorado?
Publication date: May 2017 
Author: Jennifer Banyan, R-Evolution Consulting  
This executive summary details the findings and recommendations of a scan of food insecurity in Colorado. It  maps out the Colorado food security system and develop recommendations around gaps, potential opportunities and next steps.  

Creating a Healthier Colorado: The Colorado Health Foundation's Bold Investment in a Voice Our Health Deserves
Publication date: June 2017 
Author: Michael Booth
This white paper explains the Foundation’s decision to create and endow Healthier Colorado, a 501(c)(4) organization. It outlines the Foundation’s transition to private foundation tax status and evolution of policy engagement, the process behind the formation of 501(c)(4) organization and the advocacy work of Healthier Colorado to date. 

Physical Education and Colorado: A report on the state of PE across Colorado’s public school system
Publication date: December 2016 
Author: PE for All Colorado  
This report is a comprehensive attempt to determine the “State of PE in Colorado" by exploring current physical education (PE) programs in school districts across Colorado, highlighting the barriers to improving quality PE and addressing inequities when they exist. 

Promoting Physical Activity among Low-Income Children in Colorado: Family Perspectives on Barriers and Opportunities
Publication date: October 2016 
Author: Mathematica Policy Research 
This study was designed to better understand the barriers low-income families face when trying to support children’s physical activity. The findings suggest that parents understand the importance of physical activity for their children’s physical and social development but are often overwhelmed by the challenge of integrating physical activity into their lives with limited personal, financial and community resources.

Summarizing the Landscape of Healthy Communities: A review of demonstration programs working towards health equity
Publication date: October 2016  
Author: Building Healthy Places Network
This report includes an overview of the healthy communities movement at large, providing a framework for a broader environmental scan of 38 regional and national demonstration programs, and a deeper dive into the role of foundations in healthy communities efforts and future opportunities for cross-sector work. 

Team-based Care Initiative Baseline Evaluation Report
Publication date: September 2016 
Author: Mathematica Policy Research 
This report delves into practices’ initial experiences during the implementation phase of the Foundation’s team-based care initiative. This is the first of three annual reports that focus on how practice teams plan for and change the ways they deliver care, the barriers and facilitators to change, how technical assistance supports change and how changes are affecting clinician, staff and patient satisfaction.

Assessing the Economic and Budgetary Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Colorado: FY 2015-16 through FY 2034-35 
Publication date: June 2016 
Author: Colorado Futures Center
This independent analysis measures the impact of Medicaid expansion on Colorado’s economy – jobs, household earnings, economic activity – and state budget. Findings reveal that in the two years since implementation, Medicaid expansion in Colorado has added 31,074 jobs, increased economic activity by $3.8 billion and raised average annual household earnings by $643. Projections out to fiscal year 2034-35 show the significant and positive effect of expansion on Colorado’s economy will continue. 

Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier 
Publication date: March 2016 
Author: Urban Land Institute  
This report from Urban Land Institute explores the interconnections among walking, bicycling and real estate development. It showcases the growing synergies between real estate development and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investments. 

Grantee Perception Report
Publication date: February 2016
Author: The Center for Effective Philanthropy
In 2015 the Colorado Health Foundation surveyed grantees to better gauge the Foundation’s overall impact as a philanthropic organization. The survey was conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) produced this report that compares our results to a large dataset of more than 250 funders to help us judge our performance relative to other foundations and our overall performance as a philanthropic organization.

Health Care Coverage and Access for Children in Low-Income Families: Stakeholder Perspectives from California, Colorado, and Texas 
Publication date: February 2016 
Author: Mathematica Policy Research 
This cross-state brief by Mathematica Policy Research examines health coverage and access for children in low-income families in Colorado, California and Texas. It takes an in-depth look at recent policy developments, unmet needs, along with emerging issues and opportunities. 

Health Care Coverage and Access for Children in Low-Income Families: Stakeholder Perspectives from Colorado 
Publication date: January 2016 
Author: Mathematica Policy Research 
This issue brief by Mathematica Policy Research examines the health coverage and access landscape in Colorado for children in low-income families. 

Colorado in 2015 
Publication date: November 2015
Author: Urban Land Institute
This report from the Urban Land Institute reports on survey results on attitudes toward housing, community, and transportation in the state of Colorado

Raising the Grade: Improving the Quality of Colorado’s Physical Education 
Publication date: July 2015
As part of its Create Healthy Schools strategy, the Colorado Health Foundation has invested $11 million in advancing physical education (PE) in Colorado, including more than $6.3 million through the PE Quality Improvement body of work reaching 289 schools in 41 Colorado school districts, and it includes meaningful changes for countless students whose experience in PE today and in years to come will foster a love of wellness and skills to achieve fitness for a lifetime. The PE Quality Improvement funding opportunity provided grantees with up to three years of funding, including one year of planning and up to two years of implementation.   

Advocate Mapping Spreadsheet
Publication date: September 2015
As part of the Colorado Health Foundation’s Consumer Advocacy Funding Initiative, 53 Colorado consumer health advocacy organizations were surveyed to map which policy targets they are focused on and what advocacy strategies they are using to address those targets. The need for mapping emerged from the May 2015 Consumer Advocacy convening, where advocates expressed the desire to reduce siloed work across policy targets and reach a better understanding of the field of work to facilitate collaboration among advocacy organizations.

Advocates were asked to provide a ranking for each policy target, indicating the level of involvement of their work on that target.  They also ranked deployment of various advocacy strategies across policy targets aimed at the public, influencers, and policymakers to impact awareness, will, and action. This interactive spreadsheet allows advocates to search for organizations working on each the Foundation's policy targets based on level of involvement and strategies used.   

Open Enrollment Pilot Project Final Report
Publication date: April 2015
The Colorado Health Foundation funded two studies to identify the barriers and challenges of outreach to uninsured Coloradans in preparation for the second health coverage open enrollment period. The studies, linked below, are " Culture of Coverage: Audience Research and Message Testing Among Uninsured Coloradans" (GSG and Hilltop Public Solutions); and " Barriers to Enrollment in Health Coverage in Colorado" (RAND).

Among other things, these reports found that assistance sites wanted customized marketing for their own community, and also identified some key messages for motivating people to get covered. The Foundation funded this pilot project to test the messaging from the studies and provide customized marketing support to three assistance sites, with an eye towards uncovering long-term strategies for supporting future open enrollment periods.   

Does Colorado Need a Needs Assessment to Improve Services for Aging or Disabled Residents? 
Publication date: April 2015
In early 2015, the Colorado Health Foundation met with stakeholders to discuss an earlier recommendation from the 2013 Long-term Services and Supports (LTSS) workgroup to support “the development of a standardized statewide and/or community needs assessment that is comparative, forward-thinking and actionable across communities.” This brief describes the outcomes of the 2015 stakeholder meeting, and includes a Colorado LTSS Needs Assessment Inventory, compiled by the Colorado Health Institute.   

Health Policy and Advocacy in Colorado In 2014 
Publication date: December 2014
The Colorado Health Foundation kicked off a Consumer Advocacy Funding Opportunity in 2014, designed to ensure public policy adequately addresses consumers’ needs for a health insurance system that is stable, affordable, and adequate.

As part of this strategy, advocates convened to discuss the current health policy environment, the viability of specific policy targets, and what supports advocates will need to be effective in the coming year. This brief shares the outcomes of that meeting, including the status of health reform implementation; Colorado’s current health policy environment; the viability of specific policy targets in this environment; advocacy strategies and tactics likely to be effective in this environment; and supports that may help advocates to be successful in 2015.

Culture of Coverage: Audience Research and Message Testing Among Uninsured Coloradans
Publication date: September 2014
A cross-sector partnership commissioned this research effort, conducted by Global Strategy Group and Hilltop Public Solutions. The report identifies the messages and communications channels that are most effective for targeted Colorado populations. These include Coloradans eligible for Medicaid and for tax credits through Connect for Health Colorado, as well as young and healthy individuals who may not be eligible for either but who play an important role in ensuring that the health insurance marketplace is balanced and affordable for all.

Barriers to Enrollment in Health Coverage in Colorado
Publication date: September 2014
This study, commissioned by the Foundation and conducted by RAND Corporation, examines reasons why uninsured Coloradans eligible for Medicaid and/or tax credits through Connect for Health Colorado are not enrolled in health care coverage. RAND conducted focus groups with uninsured and newly insured individuals across the state and interviews with local stakeholders responsible for enrollment efforts in their regions. This report provides an overview of these findings, highlighting those that were consistent across the state and those that were unique to a given region or population, and offers recommendations to strengthen enrollment efforts.

School-Based Health Care Initiative 2012-13 Evaluation Report
Publication date: November 2013
This report outlines the evaluation of the School Based Health Center initiative in efforts to determine if the initiative was effective in moving its grantees toward self-sustainability.  

School-Based Health Care Initiative: Evaluation Case Studies
Publication date: October 2013
This report outlines two case studies on how to generate patient revenue from billing and financial services for the uninsured in school-based health centers.   

Long-Term Care Insurance: An Overview
Publication date: September 2013
This brief shares information about the long-term care insurance marketplace.   

Long-Term Care Insurance: Barriers to Purchase and Opportunities for Growth
Publication date: September 2013
This brief provides a description of the challenges faced by the long-term care insurance market, the cost of long-term services and supports nationally and how they compare to the same costs for people needing such care in Colorado.   

2014 Colorado's New Health Coverage Options
Publication date: Fall, 2013
721,000 Colorado adults may benefit from new opportunities to access affordable health insurance in January.   

School-Based Health Care Initiative: A Mid-Term Evaluation Report
Publication date: Winter, 2013
This report outlines mid-term findings from the Foundation's School-Based Health Care initiative, focusing on evaluation methods and grantee feedback. A final evaluation report will be completed in 2014.   

"Medicaid Expansion: Examining the Impact on Colorado's Economy"
Publication date: Winter, 2013
Prepared by Charles Brown, a policy and economics analyst, this executive summary highlights how Medicaid expansions would impact Colorado's economy.

Insights: The 2012 Colorado Health Symposium
Publication date: Summer, 2012
Subtitled "Health Equity: Bridging the Divides," this 16-page document captures the best moments from the 2012 Colorado Health Symposium. The report includes provocative quotes and compelling data from the Symposium's keynote speakers.   

Prevention: Strong Investments in Colorado's Health
Publication date: Spring, 2012
Investing in evidence-based public health programs could substantially reduce health costs in Colorado, according to this supplement to the 2011 Colorado Health Report Card. The Report Card itself is available online or through a downloadable PDF.   

Summary Report: The Colorado Blueprint for Promoting Integrated Care Sustainability
Publication date: Winter, 2012
This summary highlights the recommendations from the Promoting Integrated Care Sustainability project for moving integrated care to the mainstream of Colorado's health care system. For more details, download the complete 35-page report.   

The Status of Behavioral Health Care in Colorado: 2011 Highlights
Publication date: Fall, 2011
Key findings from Advancing Colorado's Mental Health Care's 2011 report are highlighted in this 12-page summary. The report provides a comprehensive assessment and critical analysis of the state's public and private mental health and substance abuse disorders systems. For more details, download ACMHC's complete 228-page report and the final grantee report.   

Healthy Food For All: Encouraging Grocery Investment in Colorado
Publication date: Fall, 2011
This report outlines policy recommendations to improve access to affordable, healthy food and stimulate economic development in Denver and throughout Colorado. It is authored by the Denver Food Access Task Force, a partnership of leaders from the retail food industry, state and local government, public health, economic and community development sectors, and nonprofit foundations.   

Healthy Connections in Colorado: A Primer for HIT Success
Publication date: Fall, 2011
In 2007, the Foundation launched its Healthy Connections initiative, designed to accelerate the adoption of health information technology (HIT) systems throughout Colorado. Results from the four-year initiative are detailed in this report.   

Insights: 2011 Colorado Health Symposium
Publication date: Fall, 2011
A summary of the 2011 Colorado Health Symposium, this report explores some promising solutions that could make a difference in the nation's health.   

Health at a Crossroads
Publication date: Winter, 2011
This supplement to the 2010 Colorado Health Report Card details how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will likely impact the Report Card's indicators.   

Insights: 2010 Colorado Health Symposium
Publication date: Fall, 2010
Featuring insights, quotable quotes and observations from plenary and keynote speakers from the 2010 Colorado Health Symposium, this white paper explores the challenge of improving quality while controlling costs in health care.   

HITECH Revisited 
Publication date: Summer, 2010
In 2009, Congress earmarked $19 billion to help health care providers upgrade their technology. Authored by Manatt Health Solutions, this report looks at how those dollars are impacting the health care system.   

Special Report: The Need for More Supermarkets in Colorado 
Publication date: Winter, 2009
Produced by The Food Trust in conjunction with the University of Colorado, this report demonstrates how the uneven distribution of food in Colorado disproportionately affects large numbers of low-income people.   

The Future of Colorado Health Care 
Publication date: Fall, 2009
Compiled by the New America Foundation in collaboration with University of Denver's Center for Colorado's Economic Future, this report provides a statistical glimpse of how health care reform would impact Colorado's economy.   

Food Access in Colorado 
Publication date: Fall, 2009
Increasing access to healthy, fresh and affordable food in low-income, food desert communities will help reduce the rate of chronic disease found among their residents, according to this report.   

Connecting HIT Building Blocks 
Publication date: Summer, 2009
How should Colorado target and use stimulus dollars intended to upgrade its health information technology? This report provides some recommendations.   

Health Insurance Benefit Adequacy 
Publication date: Spring, 2009
Written by Barbara Yondorf of Yondorf & Associates, focuses on Colorado's growing underinsured population and describes benefit design elements that can help ensure adequate coverage.   

School-Based Health Centers: Gateway to Healthier Children 
Publication date: Spring, 2009
This briefing shows how school-based health centers can reduce the number of teens who suffer from costly health problems, help teens manage chronic conditions and positively influence academic performance.   

Increasing Enrollment in Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus 
Publication date: Spring, 2009
With a growing number of Coloradans eligible but not enrolled in public programs, this report describes some success approaches for improving enrollment and outreach.   

Healthy Schools: Key to a Healthier Colorado 
Publication date: Winter, 2009
How can schools can cure many of the ills plaguing Colorado's children and teens while ensuring a healthier future for the state? This report provides some answers.   

Health Information Technology in Colorado 
Publication date: Fall, 2008
A follow-up to a previous white paper, " Health Information Technology: A Strategy for Creating a Healthier Colorado," this report focuses on the progress being made on HIT in the state.   

Income, Education and Obesity: A Closer Look at Inequities in Colorado's Obesity Problem 
Publication date: Fall, 2008
A supplement to the Colorado Health Report Card, this special report examines the growing problem of obesity and the strong connection between obesity and socioeconomic factors.   

Obesity: What the Research Shows 
Publication date: Fall, 2008
The supplement for the Colorado Health Report Card shows how factors like socioeconomic status fit into the equation of the national obesity epidemic. 

Health Information Technology: A Strategy for Creating a Healthier Colorado  
Publication date: Winter, 2007
An examination into the role health information technology can play on delivering quality, affordable health care to low-income, uninsured populations.

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