Funding Opportunity: Connecting Communities and Care

Funding Overview

The Colorado Health Foundation is supporting fourteen Colorado geographically dispersed communities for up to $200,000 for two years to facilitate connections between community-based resources and the health care system to help improve the health of the community’s population. Selected communities will also have access to technical assistance and a peer-to-peer learning collaborative.

As part of the Colorado Health Foundation’s larger strategy of supporting communities to prevent disease and improve population health, this funding opportunity supports and accelerates existing partnerships working to create community health beyond the clinical setting by linking resources and programs between health care providers and communities. This funding opportunity supports collaborations that focus on:

  • Addressing community health
  • Linking assets to address health priorities
  • Impacting obesity, mental health (including substance use treatment), diabetes and/or heart disease
  • Upstream factors that contribute to health

The Foundation launched the first phase of this work in October 2015 by funding seven diverse communities throughout Colorado to facilitate connections between community-based resources and the health care system over two years. In June 2016, the Foundation awarded seven more statewide communities.


Grant Deadline: Not accepting applications. This work is in progress.

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Have questions? Contact your Program Officer for more information.

Associated Measurable Results:

Applicants will be asked to indicate how their work will numerically:

  • Increase the number of Coloradans who receive services for the prevention and self-management of chronic disease.

Evaluation Overview:

All funded projects are required to participate in an overall evaluation of the funding opportunity. The Foundation funds the evaluation and the evaluator. Although the evaluation will assess the technical assistance provided, the learning collaborative and the three outcome areas – alignment, developing data capacity and engagement, the evaluator will utilize a ‘light touch’ in requesting data from projects. Timing and activities will take into consideration participant schedules and work demands. Activities may include interviews, focus groups and surveys.

Additional Activities: Grantees will participate in at least one learning convening a year

Grantees demonstrated they met the following criteria:

  • Community collaboration that, at a minimum, consists of a health care partner (e.g., hospital, local public health department, clinic, mental health provider) and community-based organization or resource that actively share and use data and information to increase their capacity to plan and implement health improvement work.
  • The health priority must focus on primary prevention and reduction in the incidence of one or more of the following: obesity, mental health (including substance use treatment), diabetes and/or heart disease.
  • The targeted community is geographically defined within the scope and reach (service area) of the collaboration partners.  
  • Collaborations must have an existing data infrastructure or create a data infrastructure that allows them to share and use data in a way that can help inform and direct the project. The goal of sharing data and information among partners will be to increase capacity within the collaboration to plan, implement and evaluate health improvement activities within the target community. 
  • Devoted to meaningful engagement of community members, patients and/or clients. Activities that involve the target population in the design and implementation of the proposed program or project, and which can include community advisory boards, outreach efforts, evidence of target population leadership and decision-making. 
  • Capacity to financially support some portion of the project from existing partner resources. The Foundation will not fund 100 percent of the proposed work.   

Access the FAQs for more detailed information on the funding criteria.

Examples of projects the Foundation considered for funding:

The following are examples of components the Foundation considered as part of a comprehensive project, however, we encouraged innovative approaches to meet the needs and the health outcomes in the community:

  • Strengthen existing relationships and foster new partnerships across a diverse range of stakeholders, including community members, health care providers, policymakers, faith-based groups, businesses, schools, county departments and other local jurisdictions such as tribal governments and cities to achieve health improvement in a community.  
  • Support patient and family involvement in health improvement activities, including patient or family peer support groups, joint participation in community activities and use of resources that support health improvement outcomes.
  • Link community health centers and community-based organizations by strengthening practices of data sharing and use to connect and align the targeting and delivery of programs or services across partners.
  • Partnerships that are linking primary prevention efforts in the community to the health system.

This funding opportunity did not provide funding for the following types of projects or project components:

  • Electronic Health Record (software or hardware): Applicants under this funding opportunity had an existing and adequate data infrastructure in place to collect and share information with one another.  
  • Health issues outside the scope of funding opportunity: Given existing data and community priorities, this funding opportunity focuses on obesity, mental health, diabetes or heart disease. Other health issues were not considered for funding.
  • A stand-alone patient navigator program.

Partners/applicants considered for funding:

  • Health Alliances
  • Community Safety Net Clinics
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Rural Health Clinics
  • Public health departments
  • Local chapters of national organizations such as YMCA/YWCA, Girls and Boys Clubs
  • Grassroots community-based nonprofit organizations
  • Community development corporations
  • Faith-based organizations