The Dream: Good Health in Every Community in Colorado
The holiday season is now upon us. As I reflect on 2016, I recognize all I have to be thankful for — a loving family, a wonderful home life and a very passionate and persistent Board and staff who are relentless about advancing opportunities for Coloradans to pursue good health and achieve health equity.
At our Building Better Health conference this fall, we celebrated that 93.3 percent of Coloradans had health coverage in 2015. Our state has worked hard and is setting an example on a national scale that, working together, Coloradans can have more opportunities to be their healthiest.
Still, the election has been on the forefront of my mind. Regardless of your political views, the president-elect has left many of us to wonder what the state of health might look like over the next few years. I know one thing for certain in these uncertain moments: our mission to improve the health of Coloradans, to create lasting change and healthy equity is more important than ever.
That’s our dream. Together, it is a dream we can achieve. In fact, Colorado is a state full of people and entities solely dedicated to improving health — and thousands of other organizations whose decisions affect health. We couldn’t be more lucky or set up for success. We may have to work harder to keep that dream in view, but there is no better time than now to ask ourselves to expand how we view and think about health. Why couldn’t that be our dream for the next few years?
Indeed, the passion for and belief in better health exists in every region, valley, city, town, neighborhood and home in Colorado. All of that energy and momentum will be needed to continue our progress in health as a state and help drive forward new opportunities that perhaps exist only in our minds. Together, we can do more. Together, we can ensure the best health possible for all of our communities, especially those most in need.
At the Foundation, we continue to consider and shape our dream for Colorado’s health. Our stewardship commitment demands it — our passion drives it. We continually seek to ensure we are best aligned with the needs of Colorado communities. Regardless of the current political state of our country, we know it’s of critical importance to pursue a bigger dream than we’ve ever had. Here are a few ways we are expanding our view and approach to health:
- We remain committed to our mission, but the time is right to gut-check our organizational core values and how we talk and think about ourselves to ensure we embody the natural evolution that every organization experiences.
- We are extending our traditional purview of health to include physical, mental and behavioral health and the social factors affecting health.
- Grantmaking is our most dominant tool, but we are increasing our emphasis on private sector engagement and public policy.
- We are considering how to better amplify community voices and build capacity for those at the forefront of health challenges and innovations to ensure everyone in Colorado can live their healthiest lives.
- We’ve always believed that working together with others is critical and key to lasting change — this notion is more important than ever. We are exploring different ways to underscore its importance through convening and voice.
- And, finally, we will engage more deeply with communities across the state to pinpoint and support solutions that can be successful models for improving health.
It’s the right time for the Foundation to dig deeper for the solutions to address the need for better health and health equity. It will take time, but we are committed to sharing it all with you as soon as we can. Thank you for staying focused on the health of Colorado. We look forward to creating and sustaining change together, with all of you. Happiest of holidays to you and to those you care about and love.