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Foundation Makes 10-Year Commitment to Addressing Health and Wellness in Colorado’s Schools

DENVER, CO – The Colorado Health Foundation announced its support of a 10-year funding commitment to student health and wellness in Colorado’s schools through a community-level collaborative approach commonly known as collective impact. Support for the Healthy Schools Initiative is the second funding commitment involving use of a collective impact framework that the Foundation’s board has approved in 2014.

The 10-year commitment includes a new funding model for the Foundation’s Healthy Schools portfolio that features multi-year grantmaking strategies and engages the collective impact leaders to drive budget allocation based on a shared work plan. 

“The key to large-scale social change in philanthropy is by working together with committed partners,” said Anne Warhover, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation. “To date, the work we’ve engaged in to create healthy schools has been impactful – we’ve changed the landscape of health in educational settings in our state. However, the partners recognize that we can do more. This approach involves shared goal-setting, outcomes and path to success by bringing school and district leaders, a variety of funders, businesses and others to better support student health across Colorado.”

Partners involved in the steering committee include long-time Foundation grantees and other dedicated leaders, such as the Colorado Association of School Boards, Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), LiveWell Colorado and RMC Health. 

With CEI designated as the backbone organization, the Initiative’s primary purpose is to align efforts and resources to support schools in making their environments, staff and students healthier so that students can reach their full potential in school and in life. A broad advisory committee has also established a governing structure and leaders have begun broad stakeholder engagement to inform shared goals and a work plan.

Within the Healthy Living outcome area, the Foundation has been engaged in a long-time strategy aimed at creating healthy schools that provide physical education and activity and healthy food and beverages to all Colorado’s kids. Many of the partners across this area have been historically supported through the Foundation’s investments, but interest arose in 2013 among the key stakeholders in joining together to initiate a collective impact effort around health and wellness in Colorado’s schools.

“The partners in this effort are excited about the energy building around this opportunity to collaboratively tackle the systemic change needed to remove the barriers to health for students,” said Khanh Nguyen, portfolio director, Healthy Living at the Colorado Health Foundation. “That excitement is only growing as we continue to reach out and build our partnership with the strength of the community.”

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About the Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation is singularly focused on helping Coloradans live their healthiest lives by advancing opportunities to pursue good health and achieve health equity through grantmaking, policy and advocacy, strategic private investments and convening to drive change. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.