In Good Health

The Colorado Health Foundation’s blog is designed to share perspectives, personal stories and what we are learning in our efforts to ensure that, across Colorado, each of us can say: “We have all we need to live healthy lives.”

Sign up to receive In Good Health. 

Today we visited our 57th (Rio Blanco) and 58th (Moffatt) counties on the tour. The small towns of Meeker and Craig and nearby Rangely in northwestern Colorado offer their residents a good life – one in which they live by the idea of “growing their own.” Less than an hour apart, the three communities boast gorgeous landscapes and cater to the outdoor lifestyle, offering hiking and biking trails, snowmobiling and seasonal hunting and fishing.

Rural economies often rely on natural resources of some type or another – and must depend on a sometimes unstable market. In Meeker, 80 percent of the local tax revenue comes from energy. Agriculture is another economic driver.

Access issues of all types are clouding

A full house of community members joined us for our visit to Golden at the American Mountaineering Association. Fittingly, next to the beautiful red rocks of the Front Range, Jefferson County residents shared their pride in their community’s unparalleled open spaces, parks and recreational opportunities. With a spirit of collaboration guiding the discussion, community members also shared the significant barriers to health in their community, most of which are related to poverty and behavioral health issues.

Initial comments from the group reflected a truly collaborative approach amongst the people in the room, who mentioned partnerships between public health, human services and parks and recreation. Unique to Jefferson County, the Child and Youth Leadership Commission is a partnership of 22 family-serving

A small but engaged group of community members joined us at an event center tucked away in the beautiful pine forest of Douglas County for this morning’s listening tour session. The session was attended by residents of many of the different communities in the county as well as those interested in health around the metro region. This made for great conversation and, in fact – one of the health assets this group mentioned was the fact that the Denver metro area identifies strongly as one big community ready to tackle big problems.

The attendees had no trouble naming a plethora of assets in Douglas County, citing tangibles such as well-planned and accessible trail systems and recreation centers, a commitment to

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