Symposium Unplugged sign

Symposium Unplugged

A complement to the annual Colorado Health Symposium, Symposium Unplugged engages participants in a single, health-focused conversation in a smaller, more intimate setting. The purpose of this ongoing series is to dig deeper into one of the many topics discussed at the Symposium.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events. Please check back later.

Join the Conversation Online

Unable to attend in person? Join the discussion on Twitter by following us at @HealthSymposium and using the hashtag #19CHSUnplugged.

Past Events and Resources

A safe, stable and affordable home is key to good health. Yet, the affordable housing crisis disrupts the lives of thousands in our state and millions more across the country every day. Without a safe, stable and affordable home, cost-burdened Coloradans must make difficult trade-offs to keep food on the table, cover necessary medical expenses or stay current on their rent or mortgage. Coloradans living in rural communities are hit particularly hard by housing barriers unique to the places they call ‘home.’

Hosted in Salida, Colorado the event featured leaders, local experts and people who’ve experienced housing insecurity in rural Colorado. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about innovations underway in Chaffee County, as well as to foster shared learning, networking and collaboration.

Colorado is facing a behavioral health crisis, with far too many Coloradans—especially those living on lower incomes—lacking access to the care they need to be mentally well. In response, communities are stepping up and offering innovative and promising solutions ranging from ballot measure successes to cross-sector collaborations that forge nontraditional partnerships for sustainable and replicable change.

Hosted in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, the day featured keynote speaker and Colorado Public Radio’s Vic Vela, who shared his deeply personal story of overcoming addiction and advocating for stronger behavioral health resources for all. This event also offered a behind-the-scenes look at how local and regional solutions that stem from the community take shape to increase access to resources for those who need it the most. 

Disrupting the poverty cycle is necessary to bringing health in reach for all Coloradans. Access to quality health care, a living wage, fresh food, transportation, education and affordable housing—all fundamental to our health—are often out of reach for Coloradans struggling to make ends meet. And for those living in rural communities, poverty creates different challenges and requires unique actions to address those issues. The event, hosted in La Junta, Colorado, featured interactive panels, personal experiences, networking opportunities and a keynote presentation by renowned author and community activist, Michael Patrick MacDonald

In Colorado, we know that far too many students walk into schools every day experiencing a variety of behavioral health challenges and inequities. This Symposium Unplugged event explored what it means for educators, parents and local communities to ensure that all students have what they need to be mentally well. 

Hosted in Greeley, Colorado, the day featured keynote discussions from Dr. Nancy Lever, Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health, and Dr. Michael Lindsey, Executive Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. The discussion also brought together educators, youth and other experts' voices. 

Poverty is the leading driver of inequity when it comes to families and children being healthy. This conversation aims to shine a light on how poverty is impacting Colorado’s overall health and well-being. Together, we can have a frank discussion on the challenges around poverty in our state, and explore innovative solutions to bring health in reach for all Coloradans.

The event, hosted in Cañon City, Colorado, featured a luncheon keynote by Michael Patrick MacDonald, author and community activist. MacDonald is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "All Souls: A Family Story from Southie." After losing four of his eleven siblings and seeing his generation decimated by poverty, crime, addiction and incarceration, he learned to transform personal and community trauma, becoming a leading Boston activist, organizer and writer.


For more information and any questions, please contact us by email and follow @HealthSymposium on Twitter. You can sign up for our email updates to receive the latest about the Colorado Health Symposium and Symposium Unplugged. 

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