Coming up Soon!

Winter Meeting
:  Our Winter Quarterly Community is just around the corner.  It's coming up on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at The Medical Center of Aurora, Meeting Room 1, 1501 S. Potomac, Aurora, CO 80012.  We are requesting that you register in advance. It is quick and easy. Just click here: it only takes seconds!
AHA Succeeds Through Work Groups

AHA relies on work groups and task forces to accomplish our goals and objectives.  We'd like to share a little about our various groups, and encourage you to participate in one or more. We also want to thank the group leaders who help guide this important process for AHA.  For a quick summary of our work groups, please see the attached chart, or check out the Work Groups and Task Forces tab on our website. For a little more detail, please keep reading.
Senior Circle: This is our newest and largest work group. This group meets monthly, and focuses on the needs of Aurora's seniors.  Meetings usually include an educational presentation on a program or topic requested by the members, and always include an exchange of news and information related to senior programs. The January meeting will focus on oral health needs and resources. The Senior Circle also hosts the annual Senior Forum in June.  The Senior Circle is chaired by Ron DeVries, the Director of the InnovAge/PACE Chambers Center and AHA Board Member.

Coverage Work Group: This group is co-chaired by AHA board members Bonnie DeHart and Rich McLean and focuses on AHA's goal of expanding coverage throughout Aurora.  During open-enrollment periods, we support the outreach efforts of Aurora's coverage guides and insurance brokers. This group has produced a paper describing where undocumented people can purchase health insurance. The group is currently working on a consumer education guide to explain the difference between free-standing emergency rooms and urgent care centers. 

Access to Specialty Care Task Force: This task force has been meeting for over a year, and while we cannot claim to have solved this issue, we have provided a forum where organizational partners can share information, discuss barriers to access, and how we might eliminate or reduce those barriers.  Thanks to presentations from partners like Doctors Care, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Mile High Health Alliance, Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, and others, we all have a better understanding of the factors contributing to this complex problem.  With your help we hope we can make tangible progress in 2016! The Task Force is co-chaired by Heather Dolan of Aurora Mental Health Center (and an AHA board member) and Eliana Mastrangelo of Together Colorado.

Pediatric Access Work Group: This is AHA's oldest work group.  Along with Children's Hospital, Tri-County Health Department, Colorado Children's Healthcare Access Program and other partners, this group hosted the 2013 and 2015 Kids Convenings. The goal of this group is "building community-wide collaboration and strengthening capacity in and among children's health initiatives in Aurora." This group is led by Ellen Stern of Children's Hospital. 

If you would like to join any of these work groups, participate in the meetings, or receive agendas and announcements and be "kept in the loop," please let Sharon know at admin@aurorahealthaccess.org.
Tracking Community Engagement

At AHA, we use the number of members (anyone who receives our newsletter or participates in our meetings) to track and assess our community outreach.  We use our work groups to gauge our community engagement  by counting the number of individuals and organizations that participate.   In order to accurately track our engagement, we annually ask our work group members to "recommit" by letting us know they want to continue to be included in that particular group's participant list.  So, if you've been participating in any of our groups, you'll be hearing from us in the next three months asking you to let us know you want to continue participating.
Next Quarterly Community Meeting

Spring Meeting:  Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital will host our Spring Quarterly Community Meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:30.  You're in for another treat at this meeting!  Kaiser Permanente's theatrical group "Loose Change" will use their performance art skills to share some lessons about health equity.  Mark those new 2016 calendars now and watch for our invitation to register.
Bridges to Care

The Denver Business Journal recently reported on the success of the Bridges to Care program, a proactive plan to reduce the number of inappropriate and costly ER visits, and mentor  "high utilizers" so they can navigate the system to find the right care for their needs. In summary, many people who visit Emergency Rooms would be better served at a less acute care facility. Metro Community Provider Network, Together Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital, and Aurora Health Access came together with a plan.
The partners created a program that resulted in a significant reduction in the number of visits to the Emergency Room by the patients enrolled in the plan, and a total dollar savings of about $7.9 million overall. In addition, patients learned how to better manage their own chronic conditions. Nevertheless, as the grant money that funded this project runs out, the partners are left to explore how to sustain this wonderful program.
Recruiting for Focus Group! 

Aurora Health Access is partnering with Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) and Joining Vision and Action (JVA) to pull together a focus group to help assess the CoveredU website content and navigation. (See more about CoveredU below under Community News.)  We are looking for people ages 18-64 to participate at an Aurora location in early February.  Since CoveredU targets those with limited experience with health insurance, we are primarily interested in anyone who is uninsured or has  private insurance. Note that this focus group will be an English-speaking group, and we hope it will be ethnically diverse.

Participants receive:
1) a meal;
2) childcare if needed;
3) a grocery gift card to each participant (King Soopers, $40). 
If you or someone you know would be willing to help provide important feedback, please email Sharon at admin@aurorahealthaccess.org.
Contest Winners
Thank you to everyone who took on the challenge at the bottom of last month's newsletter to check out an "Aurora facts" website and answer the mystery questions.  We were so excited to learn that lots of people read our whole newsletter, that we gave gift cards to four winners! 
  • Lauran Barocas, Colorado Access
  • Clinton Whatley, Tri-County Health Department
  • Tim Webb, Colorado Access
  • Genene Duran, American Cancer Society. 
And in case, you want to check out the website now, the link is http://www.city-data.com/city/Aurora-Colorado.html.
Community News
Aurora Community Summit
It's coming right up!  Please join Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan for the "Building a Better Colorado" Aurora Community Summit. Come share your views on Colorado's fiscal policy, elections, and initiative process.
This event will be held on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016, 3:30-5:30 pm at the Beck Recreation Center, 800 Telluride St., Aurora, CO 80011.
Communicating "Health" Clearly 

How can you communicate clearly about health-related issues? The CDC has created a manual about "everyday words for public health communication." It contains helpful information for anyone writing for an audience that will benefit from jargon-free language. And, they are testing the document, so you can send your input to them as well. Check it out by clicking here.
Children's Hospital:  Community Health Needs Assessment

Children's Hospital Colorado has completed its 2015  Community Health Needs Assessment. They thank the many contributors to this report.  Over the past year they conducted dozens of interviews with experts in public health and child welfare, held focus groups with parents, and collected the input of hundreds more caregivers through an online survey. This information was invaluable to the completion of the assessment. The assessment will help guide the development of an implementation plan to address community priorities, including the hospital's ongoing commitment to children, families, partnerships with local businesses, health organizations, and the community. You can access this important information here: 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment. We have also posted a link from our AHA website.
Health Coverage for Immigrants in Colorado
The Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council (ACECC) has developed translations of an infographic in 12 languages.  This infographic (entitled "Health Coverage for Immigrants in Colorado") provides information on questions such as "Why Get Health Coverage?" along with a flow chart to show what kind of coverage an individual can get depending on their status.  Along with ACECC, collaborators in this effort included the Aurora Coverage Assistance Network (ACAN), Colorado Covering Kids and Families (CKF), and the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning. The City of Aurora Office of International and Immigrant Affairs, the Aurora Public Schools Foundation, and the Aurora Welcome Center  also provided critical input on the most common languages spoken in Aurora. The Colorado Health Foundation provided financial support for this project.
The infographic in the first nine "languages" is available here.  Please feel free to distribute these to your partner channels and wherever you think the community would benefit from them. Please provide feedback to Kevin Finder at ACECC. 
Premature Birth Report Card for Colorado

The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign aims to reduce preterm birth rates across the United States. Premature Birth Report Card grades are assigned by comparing the 2014 preterm birth rate in a state or locality to the March of Dimes goal of 8.1 percent by 2020. The Report Card also provides city or county and race/ethnicity data to highlight areas of increased burden and elevated risks of prematurity. Click here for the latest report card for Colorado -- read it to learn why we only got a "B."
CoveredU:  Health Insurance Literacy 

Do you want a simple reference guide for questions such as how to use your health insurance and how to shop for health insurance? Colorado Consumer Health Initiative has created "CoveredU" a very clear web-based guide to walk you or your clients through these questions. Click here to learn more!
Get Your Green on! 
MCPN Green Tie Gala Event

MCPN will be hosting its 2016 Green Tie Gala event on March 12, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency DTC.  The event will feature Chris Daniels & the Kings. Quest Diagnostics has once again pledged $25,000 as the title sponsor of the event to help leverage additional support from community partners and donors. A limited number of sponsorships and seats are still available. Please contact John Reid (303) 761-1977 x1124 or Laura Larson (303) 761-1977 x1171 or for additional information:  events@mcpn.org.   
LAUNCH Together Phase I Planning Grant

Tri-County Health Department, Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council, Aurora Mental Health Center -- and 
many other partners, including Aurora Health Access -- 
have received the Early Milestones Colorado-funded 
LAUNCH Together Phase I planning grant. This funding opportunity will enable the partnership to move towards its goal that all families in the target area -- Aurora, Byers, Bennett, and Strasburg -- have services to meet their needs; that pregnant women have access to parenting resources and support; and that all children are on track with their social and emotional development by the age of eight. During the planning period, the partnership will explore enhancing or expanding programming in: (1) home visitation; (2) screening and assessment; (3) behavioral health/primary care integration; (4) mental health consultation; and (5) family strengthening/parent skills training. Opportunity for community participation in the environmental scan and community readiness assessment processes will be clearer after the January grantee retreat. In the meantime, please contact Callie Preheim at Tri-County with any questions: (303) 783-7116 or cpreheim@tchd.org.
BUILD Health Aurora

The Build Health Challenge is a new project created to understand the mental and social stressors that affect children and families in the first 1,000 days of life and create system solutions to support these families.  

It is funded by The Colorado Health Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, DeBeaumont Foundation, Kresge Foundation and The Advisory Board Company. BUILD Health Aurora is led by Tri-County Health Department, Children's Hospital Colorado and Together Colorado. 

During this planning phase, BUILD Health Aurora is working to collect input from parents, grandparents, caregivers, and people who work directly with children and families to learn about what stressors are being experienced by children and families in Aurora (80010, 80011, and 80012) as well as solutions and community responses. As they learn more directly from the community, they will build the plan for an implementation phase to integrate psychosocial support systems for children and families living in these zip codes.
As they work together to build this vision, they will develop, identify, and align clinical and community-based support to address the needs of children and families while improving the system of behavioral health and psychosocial needs, available resources, and outcomes. 

BUILD Health Aurora would like to hear your voices!  As they ramp up one-to-one conversations with community members and early childhood providers, they want to share the information they've gathered and begin designing their screening implementation program.  If you would like to participate, please join  the next community conversation:

February 5th, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Aurora Strong Resilience Center
1298 Peoria St.
Aurora, CO

For more information, please contact Eliana Mastrangelo: Eliana@togetherco.org .
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 
with a focus on the most vulnerable and underserved.

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