AHA October Quarterly Community Meeting

Innovage/PACE Chambers Center graciously hosted AHA's fall Quarterly Community Meeting on October 21, attended by more than 50 participants.  Here are just a few of the things we learned from our Did You Know panelists. 
  • Did you know that approximately 26% of young adults on the autism spectrum received no services, services that could help them become employed, continue their education, or live more independently? Erica deDufour, Autism Society of Colorado
  • Did you know that five percent of Medicaid patients, are responsible for 54% of Medicaid costs?  During its first three years, the Bridges to Care program was able to show over $8 million in savings by providing wrap-around care for high utilizers of the UCHospital emergency room.  Linda Skelley, MCPN
  • Did you know preventable medical errors in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the US?  Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans.  Did you know that engaged health consumers have better outcomes and safer care?  Teri Spector, Think About it Colorado
  • Did you know that Aurora Public School (APS) students come from 131 different countries? APS has three school-based health centers that handled 187,727 visits in 2014/15 and APS has a 94% immunization compliance rate -- the best statewide among large school districts!  Suzy Rosemeyer, Aurora Public Schools
In addition, AHA honored founding board members Molly Markert and Joe Sammen for their service.
Thank you, Molly Markert!

Thank you, Joe Sammen!

AHA Quarterly Community Mtg.

The next Quarterly Community Meeting will be hosted by our Colorado School of Public Health colleagues at the Bushnell Auditorium in Building 500 on the Anschutz campus.  Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, January 20th2:00-4:30 and watch for specific address and parking details.
Promoting Open Enrollment

AHA is supporting Aurora Coverage Assistance Network (ACAN) in placing health insurance enrollment boxes around town so that individuals interested in learning more about health insurance options can drop off their contact information.  The boxes looked a little plain, so participants in the InnovAge/PACE program (Chambers Center) offered to jazz them up a bit.  You have to admit, they did a remarkable job!

New Report Available!

The Piton Foundation created the North Aurora Immigrant and Refugee Demographic Profile (October 2015) for AHA's Immigrant and Refugee Children's Health Task force, a subgroup of AHA's Pediatric Access Work Group. The aim of this demographic profile was to fill a gap in immigrant/refugee demographic data for the 80010, 80011, 80012, 80017 zip codes in North Aurora in order to better understand the community and address relevant issues.  The report is available below (click on the link for a downloadable .pdf) or on our website under the "Data Resources and Reports" tab.
Proud of our Feisty Board Members

AHA Board Member, Bonnie DeHart, was recently honored with a "Commitment to Young Children" award from the Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council.  In addition to her hard work, the group also acknowledged Bonnie's "feistiness" in serving underserved people.  Congratulations, Bonnie!
Access to Specialty Care

Our next Access to Specialty Care Work Group meeting will be held at the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 10:00-11:30.  We hope to see all our regular Work Group members there. If you haven't yet attended, please check it out on AHA's website under the "Work Groups and Task Forces" tab. You'll find a list of participants, notes from previous meetings, and a "library" of related materials.  Let us know if you'd like to attend!
Community News

Diversity Awards

In October, Mayor Hancock, along with members of his community commissions, honored 10 individuals who demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusive excellence, leadership and civic service with Mayor's Diversity Awards.  We wanted to highlight two of our community partners who were honored with this award.
Pat Cook is an active member of AHA's Senior Circle. She is a retired registered nurse who advocates for older adults at risk of losing their public benefits or need housing.  She assists those who are navigating through the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid systems and has done extensive work in the Latino community to ensure that eligible adults are enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. The AHA Senior Circle is grateful that she shares her wisdom with us!
Dr. P.J. Parmar, is the owner of the Mango House and Ardas Family Medicine.  Dr. Parmar founded the Mango House to offer medical, dental, and educational services to international political refugees.  No appointments are necessary, clients are served on a walk-in basis, and no patients are turned away.  Since opening in 2012, Mango House has received 15,000 visits and served 5,000 patients.

Destination Health

Join the Aurora Chamber of Commerce for "Destination Health," Thursday, November 19, 2015, 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm at the Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast, 3155 S. Vaugh Way, Aurora, CO 80014.  At Destination Health you'll get tips and tools to address the hot health topics affecting Colorado businesses and employee health.  

Register by going to www.aurorachamber.org CALENDAR/November 19/Destination Health 2015 or call 303-344-1500.
Mile High United Way Accepting Grant Proposals

Mile High United Way is now accepting proposals for their Strategic Investment Grants through November 20, 2015. They are very excited to provide this opportunity for nonprofits serving children, families and individuals in the Metro Denver area.  Click here to learn more

Colorado Bridge Program Re-Opens
Effective November 1, 2015 Colorado Bridge will be accepting new applicants.  Kaiser Permanente's Colorado Bridge Program is a charitable health coverage program. This program is for low-income individuals and families who do not have access to any other coverage and meet program eligibility requirements. Colorado Bridge provides a Kaiser Permanente premium subsidy and medical financial assistance to support cost sharing, and enrollment in an off-exchange Kaiser Permanente Individual and Family Plan. Program design and premium amounts are subject to change. Applications for the Colorado Bridge Program will only be available through a designated enrollment assister. Visit www.FindYourPlan.org to find a list of designated enrollment assisters or download a .pdf by clicking here.

Real People, Real Stories
from the DAWN Clinic

We've asked students and staff at the DAWN Clinic to share stories about the people they serve.  Here is a story about one of their first patients. 

The white lettering on the building hosting the DAWN Clinic on Tuesday nights reads "Opportunity Center." Many who receive care know that the opportunity to live a better life is the main prescription written at DAWN. Eduardo, DAWN's first patient, can attest to that.

After being gravely injured in an assault with baseball bats, Eduardo had a complicated stay at University Hospital. They removed a piece of his skull to relieve the pressure on his swollen brain. His scalp was sutured closed and they asked him to come back in a month to replace the skull piece. Because of his status as an undocumented (and therefore uninsured) patient, Eduardo was unable to schedule his surgery.

He developed frightening symptoms: his vision and memory faltered, the daily headaches worsened, and depression was imminent. He wanted to continue working to support his family in Guatemala, but his employer asked him not to come back. "I suffered," says Eduardo, as he thinks back to those dark moments. He was asking for nothing short of a miracle as he sought help from his local church.  

Through St. Therese Catholic Church, he met a community organizer and mentor of the students building the DAWN Clinic. Students didn't just see Eduardo at clinic; they helped fund his surgery and advertised an online fundraiser. Many believed Eduardo deserved better health and made donations; this included individuals from the neurosurgery department where his skull was replaced in the spring of 2015.

With his complete skull back, Eduardo now feels in good health and is back at his old job. He reports, "I can work just as I did before." When asked about DAWN he states, "They are experienced even though they are students. I owe God and I owe them." 

Submitted by: Claudia Corona

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month.
 In addition, the National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week 
is held each year the week before Thanksgiving. 
AHA wants to spotlight two of our member organizations 
who work with the homeless in Aurora.
Aurora Warms the Night (AWTN)

Aurora Warms the Night is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to preserve the life, health, and stability of Aurora's men, women, and children facing homelessness.  Founded in 2006, AWTN was started by a group of Aurora citizens as a way to provide shelter in the winter for Aurora's homeless.

Located in original Aurora near the Colfax corridor (1544 Elmira St, Aurora, CO 80010) AWTN provides shelter and comprehensive services for Aurora's homeless.

AWTN shelters those experiencing homelessness in the winter when temperatures reach 20 degrees or colder.  Year round services include meals, food kits, warm clothing, hygiene items, transportation to shelter, laundry vouchers, bus passes, partner agency referrals, and advocacy.   We operate these services in order to ensure families and individuals meet their most basic needs, learn new skills, and access resources to transition out of homelessness.

By partnering with providers, we are helping to break the cycle of homelessness through comprehensive services. Our partner provider services are located onsite in our building and include mental health services; health care clinics; workforce education for clients including resume writing, interviewing skills, job coaching assistance; food stamp, SSI, and SSDI application assistance; and veterans' services.

AWTN provides education to the community regarding homelessness, including presentations to schools, the faith-based community, corporations, and community organizations.

AWTN has consistently been ranked a top non-profit by GreatNonprofits, whose seal is trusted second to the Better Business Bureau. Ranking the highest status of Gold on GuideStar, an independent charity ranking organization, and partnering with local and state government, AWTN has proven itself a trustworthy charity.

All services are provided free of charge to those experiencing homelessness. Please click here for more information.

Colfax Community Network  
It is the mission of Colfax Community Network (CCN) to advocate for and work on behalf of families and children residing in low-income transient housing (primarily residential motels) along Colfax Avenue. By providing information, services, and programs, we strengthen and improve family and community life.
CCN engages and supports the community by conducting weekly outreach to motels, parks, and public spaces along East Colfax. We provide information, resources, food, and safer sex and hygiene items to those in need. Additionally, every 4th Thursday, CCN hosts a family-style dinner for the community.
Clients can visit CCN (1585 Kingston Street, Aurora 80010) to access the food and hygiene pantry, meet with a client advocate for resources and referrals, and receive supportive counseling as needed.
CCN also supports children though our After School Program where 25-30 elementary students are picked up from school, brought to CCN, fed a snack, cared for, and given focused time to grow emotionally and academically. During the summer, CCN kids participate in a six-week camp where they get to go on fun outings and a week-long camping trip!
At CCN, we believe in the importance of providing dignity, opportunity, and hope to create a stronger community and support clients on their journey towards stability. For more information, please click here.
AHA envisions a community where all residents
 have an opportunity for health. 

AHA works collaboratively to improve access 
to care and create a healthier Aurora.

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