Here, we believe that all children should have equal opportunity for a healthy future
Diversity, health equity, and inclusion are an integral part of Children’s Hospital Colorado’s mission. We champion the well-being of all kids, and today we are working to transform children’s health beyond the walls of our clinical settings.
With a bold vision to support healthier kids and communities, Children’s Colorado is changing the way we deliver care to account for the complex social inequities and environmental factors that influence a child’s overall health and quality of life. We are joining forces with like-minded organizations, creating partnership and programs to change the lifelong health trajectories of children across the region.
That means meeting families where they are — namely in their homes and schools — and addressing the underlying causes of poor health through education, resources, advocacy and community support. It means tackling health disparities head on, so that all children — no matter what their background or where they live — can have the same opportunities for a healthy, hopeful future.
Thanks to donors like you, our visionary prevention and outreach programs are impacting kids and communities in extraordinary ways.
Supporting Healthy Communities
The future of pediatric health care depends on how we support the whole picture of a child’s well-being. At no point in our history has this work felt more urgent, when children from historically underserved communities are experiencing poorer health than their more affluent peers — and the gap is growing.
Generous donors enable Children’s Colorado to reach kids where they live, learn and play, so we can tackle the systemic inequities that lead to poor health outcomes. With your support, we’re developing and testing innovative prevention and outreach programs that help to keep kids healthy and out of the hospital.
Impacting kids’ health in their homes and schools is an ambitious endeavor, and we can’t do it alone. That’s why Children’s Colorado is partnering with local organizations that know their communities best. Together, we are providing services that emphasize prevention and help to address issues like food insecurity, lack of housing and access to care.
Prevention and outreach activities aren’t supported by traditional health insurance models. Your support is essential to establishing the partnerships and programs that transform the way we serve kids.
Thanks to you, Children’s Colorado is building an innovative care system that engages communities, addresses health disparities and connects families to the resources they need to thrive.
3 ways donors make a difference
Children’s Colorado is leading the way in integrating holistic social services within a medical care setting. Five years ago, we instituted psychosocial screenings at our well-child visits. Of the patient families who completed the survey, about 20% reported struggles related to finances, public benefits, food insecurity or other issues. In 2017, we took our proactive approach a step further by launching a new role: the Community Health Navigator. Our team of 14 navigators meets one-one-one with patient families, helping them to address immediate needs and access clinical, financial or social supports. Last year, Community Health Navigators served more than 5,000 families, and surveys showed they helped to resolve around 75% of their clients’ resource needs. Supporting families with add-on social services means that we can have a stronger, more consistent impact on overall child health and well-being.
Food insecurity has become a growing challenge, with around 30% of Coloradans struggling with hunger. Five years ago, Children’s Colorado convened a Food Security Council with a bold goal to give the state’s vulnerable children access to timely, high quality, affordable food. Since then, we have partnered with other organizations to establish a hospital-based food clinic, Healthy Roots, which now serves about 50 families per week. Children’s Colorado also established its very own community garden on the Anschutz Medical Campus, which produces around 1,500 pounds of produce annually for the food clinic. And when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools in 2020, Children’s Colorado quickly launched a mobile grocery distribution service in partnership with Aurora Public Schools, distributing food to more than 14,000 families. Funded by philanthropy, these important initiatives give families critical access to the nutrition they need to be healthy.
Many kids who are treated for asthma also face significant health barriers, including housing, food and financial challenges. Recognizing this reality, Children’s Colorado launched new programs and partnerships to reach families in their communities. For example, our asthma team offers home visits to teach families how to administer asthma medication and to identify potential asthma triggers, like mold or dirty air vents. The program then connects families to resources to create a healthier home. Another program provides asthma outreach and education in local schools to empower kids to better manage their condition. Data show that kids who participated in these programs had fewer asthma-related trips to the emergency room. The program has been so successful that the Environmental Protection Agency recognized Children’s Colorado with a National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management.