Community Health Improvement Plan Task Forces

Be Healthy Denver is making progress on its two priority areas for the 2013 Community Health Improvement Plan: 1) Access to Care Including Behavioral Health, and 2) Healthy Eating and Active Living.  

Denver Environmental Health and the Department of Public Health from Denver Health have used public input, the guidance of a steering committee of community leaders, and the work of two expert task forces to develop a community-based approach to tackle these two pressing issues and improve the health of Denver residents.

One in five Denver residents, more than 100,000 persons, lacks health insurance, and an even higher number lack dental insurance, making it difficult for many to obtain medical, behavioral, and dental care.  Moreover, these types of care are often split between different systems, with little coordination regarding the care of individual patients.  The result is expensive, poorly coordinated care with sub-optimal health outcomes. The expansion of health care coverage through the Patient Prevention and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides an unprecedented opportunity to increase access to care in Denver.  It will markedly expand eligibility for Medicaid and provide governmental assistance for many people to purchase commercial health insurance in 2014.

While often hailed as a healthy city, 32% of Denver’s children ages 4 to 18 are overweight or obese.  Colorado’s childhood obesity rate is ranked 23rd in the nation. Even more alarming is the fact that our childhood obesity rate is rising faster than 48 other states.

Unhealthy weight and the lack of access to care disproportionately affect the more vulnerable and underserved populations in Denver.  Be Healthy Denver is in the process of defining goals and strategies to increase access to care and reduce childhood obesity over the next five years, to improve the health of all Denver residents. 

Our Goals:

Access to Care, Including Behavioral Health 

--> Goal: Support the expansion of health care coverage in Denver under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Facilitate work city-wide to enroll at least 40,000 newly eligible persons in Medicaid and subsidized health insurance through the Connect for Health Colorado health insurance exchange by July 1, 2014. Support Denver’s 2020 Sustainability goal that at least 95% of Denver residents have access to primary medical care, including behavioral and dental care.

 Healthy Eating and Active Living

--> Goal: Increase the percentage of youths and children, up to age 18, who are at a healthy weight, from 68% to 73% by 2018.