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Departmental Reports

Community Health Assessment

Published every five years, a community health assessment measures progress toward improving Denver’s health and identifies areas of health concern. The findings help guide Denver’s public health agencies, in collaboration with local organizations and community stakeholders, on where to focus resources and efforts in future years.

In early 2015, the 2014 Health of Denver Report was published. The 2014 report highlights three themes about Denver’s health:

  • Equity – Differences in health exist between some neighborhoods and demographic groups
  • Prevention – Many of Denver’s leading causes of death, disease and injury are preventable.
  • Importance of Place – Health is linked to the places where residents live, work, learn and play.

Community Health Assessment efforts, especially in the 2014 iteration, place a high priority on concepts of healthy equity and the social determinants of health. Recognizing that social and economic factors – income, education, housing and transportation – cause differences (inequities) in health outcomes for Denver residents helps us understand how health is affected by events outside of a doctor’s office and sheds light on how health varies based on where one lives and on socio-economic background. The information gathered through a health assessment helps public health and community stakeholders identify and implement strategies to work with communities to improve well-being of all residents.

Assessment Reports & Data

2014 Health of Denver Report

An executive summary is available in both English and Spanish.


Feedback from previous health assessment efforts highlighted a strong interest in focusing on youth and developing resources to better understand the health experience of youth in Denver.

In early 2018, a youth-focused health assessment will be published. Different from past assessments which worked to capture the health experience of all Denver residents, this youth health assessment focused entirely on young people in Denver between the ages of 13 and 25.

This assessment takes a community based participatory research approach, in which Young people between the ages of 13-25 who live, learn, work, play, or pray in Denver were hired to drive the process of assessing health. By engaging young people directly, this Youth Health Assessment (YHA) ensured that identified issues and opportunities align with youth-defined needs and desires for improvement and change. The YHA highlights some key challenges facing young people in Denver while also illuminating the ways in which young people are thriving.

Read the 2017 Youth Health Assessment.


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Given the 2015 modification to council districts boundaries, some districts do not align neatly with current census tract boundaries. Information on life expectancy used the old city council district boundaries. For council districts that share a portion of a census tract with another district, we were unable to assign those inhabitants to one or the other district. About 7 percent of the entire population fell in the cross-district areas. Thus, average age, racial/ethnic distribution and median household income were estimated using the 93 percent of the population that resided in census tracts contained within the council district boundary

The Health of Denver 2011, was the former CHA that informed the development of the Commnity Health Improvement Plan priority areas for Denver.

 Sections of the report are available by topic area:

  • American Community Survey (ACS) - is an annual national survey. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts it, and samples randomly selected American households. The survey provides current information on communities and families to plan investments and services.
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) - an annual national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A random selection of Denver County adults (18 and over) is interviewed by telephone, and participation is voluntary and anonymous.
  • Center for Antisocial Drug Dependence - The center was developed to study genetic influences on and treatment of antisocial drug dependence, which is substance dependence combined with conduct disorder. The Center is a collaboration between the University of Colorado Boulder and Anschutz Medical campuses.
  • Colorado Tobacco Attitudes and Behaviors Survey (TABS) - a survey of randomly selected Colorado adults administered every 3-4 years. The survey provides data for an ongoing understanding of chronic disease and health risks among Colorado adults. The survey is administered by the Colorado School of Public Health’s Community Epidemiology and Program Evaluation Group. Previous years have focused specifically on tobacco use, but the 2012 survey expanded to include other measures of health outcomes and behaviors.
  • Colorado BMI Registry Project - a collaborative effort to assess and monitor childhood and adult obesity. The system combines clinically measured body-mass index (BMI) data collected from multiple Colorado health care delivery systems. Data is pulled from the electronic medical record of each system, geocoded, and combined into one database managed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Air Pollution Control Division - provides resources on motor vehicle emissions, lead-based paint, indoor air quality, indoor burning, and outdoor burning. The Division also provides services to businesses and industry on permits, inspections, and enforcement.
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Prevention Services Division - strives to improve the health and wellbeing of all Coloradans through health promotion, public health prevention programs and assuring access to health care.
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Health Statistics Section - tracks birth and death certificates which encompass vital statistics. All Denver deaths and births are included in these data.
  • Colorado Electronic Disease Reporting System (CEDRS) - a secure Web-based disease reporting system. The system is used to fulfill statutory requirements for collecting, tabulating, and reporting communicable diseases designated by the Colorado Board of Health.
  • Colorado Health Access Survey (CHAS) - a survey conducted by the Colorado Health Institute addressing issues of health care coverage, attitudes, access, and use in Colorado. A random selection of more than 10,000 households across the state is surveyed by telephone every two years.
  • Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) - the leading voice of the state’s hospital community of over 95 hospitals and health systems in Colorado. CHA collects emergency department and inpatient admission and discharge data and serves as a credible resource for health and health care utilization issues and trends.
  • Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) - a computerized immunization tracking system operated by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The system helps healthcare providers, schools, daycare, universities, employers and individuals keep track of immunizations.
  • City of Denver, Department of Community Planning and Development (CPD) - responsible for visionary planning and ensuring safe, responsible, sustainable building for the City and County of Denver.
  • City of Denver, Department of Environmental Health (DEH) - responsible for providing environmental oversight and management, as well as public health promotion and outreach for the City and County of Denver.
  • Denver Health and Hospital Authority (DHHA) - is Colorado’s primary “safety net” institution, providing care for the uninsured and underinsured. Twenty-five percent of all Denver residents receive their health care at Denver Health.
  • Denver Public Schools (DPS) - serves the residents of the City and County of Denver. DPS is committed to making Denver a national leader in student achievement, high school graduation, college and career preparation, and college matriculation. DPS collects and analyzes student data related to a variety of health and wellness issues.
  • Esri - supplies Geographic Information System (GIS) software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications. Esri's demographics provide accurate current-year estimates and 5-year projections of U.S. demographic population, households, income, and housing data.
  • Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) - Endorsed by the Colorado Department of Education, the HKCS is administered statewide every two years. The survey provides information on the health and well-being of Denver’s youth, and is administered to a random selection of students in grades 6-12.
  • Healthy People 2020 - Healthy People 2020 are a set of measurable disease prevention and health promotion objectives developed by experts in a wide variety of topics related to health. The national objectives are to be achieved by 2020.
  • HIV/AIDS Reporting System - a secure Web-based HIV/AIDS surveillance system at the state and local health departments. The health departments submit de-identified information electronically to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a monthly basis.

Community Health Improvement Plan

Denver’s 2014-2018 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) was designed to guide governmental and community-wide efforts to improve the health of Denver residents. This includes reducing health disparities and lowering health care costs. The CHIP is a citywide effort where organizations, groups, and individuals can coordinate strategies around the following two priority health areas: 

  • Access to Care, including Behavioral Health
  • Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL), including the Built Environment 


Our Partners

Denver Public Health & Environment partners with Denver Public Health to provide services related to birth and death certificates, clinical care, and educatinal opportunities, among others. 

Denver Public Health & Environment is a member of the Metro Denver Partnership for Health, a collaboration among the public health agencies serving the seven-county Denver metropolitan region made up of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson Counties. Nearly 3 million Coloradans, 60 percent of the state’s population, live in the Metro region. The Partnership collaborates with regional leaders in health care, human services, behavioral health, environment, philanthropy, education, business, local government and others to achieve its goals of advancing health equity across the region. In 2016, the Partnership identified four priority areas of focus including data sharing, healthy eating and active living, behavioral health, and partner alignment and formalized its approach to collaboration in the Metro Denver Partnership for Health Roadmap.

Learn more.

Published Rules & Regulations



Media Relations

Ann Cecchine-Williams
Interim Communications Director

Tammy Vigil
Manager of Media Relations


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