On the Ground in Broomfield County
Today’s morning session found us on the dance floor at a Broomfield event venue that doubles as a wedding locale, but attendees from public health, education and other sectors brought a serious conversation to light about the community’s assets and barriers.
- Broomfield itself has a “small town” feel with Highway 36 routing south into Denver for a short drive to metro-like offerings. Residents have access to 33 hospitals in or within 30 minutes.
- The area is booming with scientific and innovative companies, employing many and driving leadership in the community.
- The existing transportation infrastructure works well, allowing for nimbleness and the ability to tap various services and supports.
- Even with what seems like tremendous access points to care, families still face barriers to primary care and the opportunity to treat overall health. Electronic record systems aren’t coordinated for smooth transition and there is a lack of providers who accept Medicaid and oral care providers.
- Lack of affordable housing is forcing chronic homelessness and the area is facing – like so many we’ve seen – a heroin epidemic, with more than 800 active drug users regularly using a clean syringe program.
This conversation was no different than other tour sessions when it came to whether local residents have a firm grasp or even recognition of poverty rates. General awareness of poverty is lacking and a driving factor in so many of the issues noted.