The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently issued "Colorado's Public Health Improvement Plan — From Act to Action," a statewide public health improvement plan. It will serve as a roadmap for improving Colorado's public health system.
Within five years, Colorado will conduct a comprehensive health assessment, increase capacity for addressing critical health priorities and position state partnership with local agencies in order to develop future improvement plans.
The plan follows months of input, including comments from 350 public health professionals and partners, and was developed in response to the 2008 Public Health Act, a statutory revision of Colorado's public health system.
The plan outlines six system priorities, many of which include direct partnerships with the Colorado School of Public Health Center for Public Health Practice.
Of these priorities, the school will play a strong role in improving public health informatics, addressing work force development, and providing the experience and skills to conduct local health assessments across the state.
"This first plan is about creating a stronger system of public health in Colorado," said Kathleen Matthews, CDPHE director of planning and partnerships. "The Colorado School of Public Health is a critical partner in the system. It is wonderful that we now have a school of public health in the region to build the work force capacity as well as guide the research specific to our needs in the Rocky Mountain West. We are counting on the Center for Public Health Practice to grow into its role of supporting all members of the public health workforce, including environmental health specialists, epidemiologists, health educators, nutritionists and public health nurses."
Matthews was one of several public health professionals who participated in the plan's development, including the following Colorado School of Public Health representatives:
- Jessica Bondy, M.S., department of biostatistics and informatics
- J. Elaine Borton, M.P.H., Center for Public Health Practice
- Tim Byers, M.D., M.P.H., Center for Public Health Practice
- Jan Gascoigne, Ph.D., Center for Public Health Practice
- Cerise Hunt, M.S.W., Center for Public Health Practice
For more information and to read Colorado's Public Health Improvement Plan, visit http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/opp/