To help Coloradans take steps to lead healthier, longer lives, and to decrease health disparities among different populations, The Colorado Trust supported the Colorado Healthy People 2010 initiative to enhance health promotion activities throughout the state. The national Healthy People 2010 effort was a comprehensive set of objectives developed by the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The Trust designed the statewide Colorado Healthy People 2010 initiative to help Coloradans achieve the objectives of this national program by addressing local priorities.
Forty-three grants, each of a three-year duration, were awarded to community organizations under this Trust initiative. Five regional coordinating agencies helped to manage the work of the grantees and to provide technical assistance to strengthen their health programs. Regional efforts in the state focused on the following issues:
- Denver Metro area – injury prevention
- Southeastern Colorado – obesity and diabetes prevention
- Southwestern Colorado – improving access to health care
- Northeastern Colorado – substance abuse prevention and mental health care
- Northwestern Colorado – obesity prevention and increased physical activity.
Grantee progress reports indicated the sustainability of various community efforts that accomplish Colorado Healthy People 2010 initiative goals. For example, the Outdoor Leadership Club of Full Circle of Lake County implemented ongoing, year-round service projects to ensure physical activity among middle school youths. Participants were trained in search and rescue techniques—including rock climbing and use of Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment—as well as given the opportunity to participate in a range of other after-school and summer activities (e.g., skiing, sledding, indoor climbing, basketball, soccer, swimming, hiking, fishing, dog walking, etc.). Participant responses were overwhelmingly positive, demonstrating improved sense of self, life skills and social skills, and increased motivation to make positive life choices.
In northwestern Colorado, the Girl Scouts On the Move program was similarly successful in sustaining a step-counter project and sports workshops among participants from the Mountain Prairie and Chipeta councils. Individual troops also regularly use sporting equipment provided by the councils. To increase physical activity and awareness of the benefits of physical activity and good nutrition, and to promote a life-long interest in and commitment to fitness and other healthy habits, Girl Scouts On the Move events included gymnastics, jump-roping, kayaking, swimming and water safety, and numerous team games and activities. Indicating a positive trend, the demand for many of the programs exceeded their capacity. Additionally, pre- and post-surveys showed a marked increase in the number of participating children and adults who consider themselves to be healthy.
Two subsequent Trust initiatives resulted, in part, from the Colorado Healthy People 2010 initiative: the Equality in Health initiative was designed to reduce racial and ethnic disparities by addressing the needs of the medically underserved, and the Partnerships for Health initiative was focused on improving the coordination of health services at the local community level.
An evaluation of the Colorado Healthy People 2010 initiative was completed in 2007. The four-and-a-half year longitudinal study measured the effectiveness of obesity prevention and increased physical activity work conducted by grantees in the northwestern and southeastern regions of Colorado. Dietary and physical activity behavior change over time was evaluated, and individual, programmatic and community characteristics that contribute to sustainable behavior change were identified. Evaluation contact: Nancy Baughman Csuti, DrPH, Director of Research, Evaluation & Strategic Learning, 303-837-1200.
The Partnership for Families and Children
Southeastern Colorado Area Health Education Center
Tri-County Health Department
United Way of Larimer County
Adams, Arapahoe, Bent, Boulder, Cheyenne, Denver, El Paso, Garfield, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jefferson, La Plata, Lake, Larimer, Logan, Mesa, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Prowers, Pueblo, Routt, Teller, Weld and Yuma
GRANT AMOUNT: $8.7 million