Symposium Unplugged sign

Symposium Unplugged

A complement to the annual Colorado Health Symposium, Symposium Unplugged engages participants in a single, health-focused conversation in a smaller, more intimate setting. The purpose of this ongoing series is to dig deeper into one of the many topics discussed at the Symposium.

Upcoming Events

Symposium Unplugged La Junta Erica
Symposium Unplugged: Innovating for Behavioral Health Care Access

Colorado is facing a behavioral health crisis, with far too many Coloradans—especially those living on lower incomes—lacking access to the care they need to be mentally well. In response, communities are stepping up and offering innovative and promising solutions ranging from ballot measure successes to cross-sector collaborations that forge nontraditional partnerships for sustainable and replicable change. This event will offer a behind-the-scenes look at how local, regional and state-level solutions that stem from the community actually take shape to increase access to resources for those who need it the most. We will explore case studies and dive into how promising solutions are developed and implemented to help increase access to behavioral health care. The event will be keynoted by Colorado Public Radio’s Vic Vela, who will share his deeply personal story of overcoming addiction and advocating for stronger behavioral health resources for all.

Who should attend?

Individuals working in the behavioral health care sector; policymakers and elected officials; local businesses interested in the intersection of community and behavioral health care; in addition to public safety and public health professionals.

Location: Morgridge Commons, 815 Cooper Ave., 2nd floor, Glenwood Springs, Colorado 81601
Date: Friday, April 26  
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Breakfast and lunch will be provided)  

The event is free to attend and open to the public. 

Registration for the event has closed. Join us online during our livestream

View the day's agenda here

NOTE: Interpretation services are available for this event in Spanish. The venue is ADA compliant. If there are other accessibility requests that would help support your full participation, please contact

Join the Conversation Online

Watch the livestream
Unable to attend in person? We livestream all Unplugged events on the Foundation’s YouTube and Facebook pages. You can watch live and join the discussion by commenting and using the hashtag #19CHSUnplugged. Share the livestream with your friends and colleagues so that they can follow along remotely as well.

Watch the livestream below.

Watch Online

Past Unplugged Events

Disrupting the poverty cycle is necessary to bringing health in reach for all Coloradans. Access to quality health care, a living wage, fresh food, transportation, education and affordable housing—all fundamental to our health—are often out of reach for Coloradans struggling to make ends meet. And for those living in rural communities, poverty creates different challenges and requires unique actions to address those issues. The event, hosted in La Junta, Colorado, featured interactive panels, personal experiences, networking opportunities and a keynote presentation by renowned author and community activist, Michael Patrick MacDonald

In Colorado, we know that far too many students walk into schools every day experiencing a variety of behavioral health challenges and inequities. This Symposium Unplugged event explored what it means for educators, parents and local communities to ensure that all students have what they need to be mentally well. 

Hosted in Greeley, Colorado, the day featured keynote discussions from Dr. Nancy Lever, Co-Director of the National Center for School Mental Health, and Dr. Michael Lindsey, Executive Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. The discussion also brought together educators, youth and other experts' voices. 

Poverty is the leading driver of inequity when it comes to families and children being healthy. This conversation aims to shine a light on how poverty is impacting Colorado’s overall health and well-being. Together, we can have a frank discussion on the challenges around poverty in our state, and explore innovative solutions to bring health in reach for all Coloradans.

The event, hosted in Cañon City, Colorado, featured a luncheon keynote by Michael Patrick MacDonald, author and community activist. MacDonald is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "All Souls: A Family Story from Southie." After losing four of his eleven siblings and seeing his generation decimated by poverty, crime, addiction and incarceration, he learned to transform personal and community trauma, becoming a leading Boston activist, organizer and writer.


For more information and any questions, please contact us by email and follow @HealthSymposium on Twitter. You can sign up for our email updates to receive the latest about the Colorado Health Symposium and Symposium Unplugged.