Colorado Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed May 2020
- Need: To reduce the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in rural Colorado.
- Intervention: Community Health Workers are utilized to create a system of coordinated care in Delta, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties.
- Results: As of 2018, 2,709 people have been screened for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, with many at-risk patients lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and A1C levels after engaging with a Community Health Worker.
Updated/reviewed January 2019
- Need: To reduce the primary care provider shortage in rural Colorado.
- Intervention: A "grow your own" initiative in Colorado recruits rural registered nurses and trains them to become advanced practice RNs.
- Results: 81 RNs have participated in the Rural and Underserved APRN Project so far.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed March 2021
- Need: Impact patient care and safety issues related to antibiotic use in southwest Colorado.
- Intervention: Pharmacy-led antibiotic stewardship program for inpatient, outpatient, and long-term care settings.
- Results: With antibiotic use guidelines, refined infection diagnostics, and first-choice antibiotic selections, all care settings now see decreased days of treatment and decreased resistance patterns.
Updated/reviewed August 2020
- Need: Growing concern in rural Colorado communities regarding prescription and illegal opioid overdoses.
- Intervention: Education efforts for health workers and the larger community, in addition to establishing a naloxone overdose reversal drug program.
- Results: In addition to continuing to train nearly all first responders to administer naloxone, the organization provides harm reduction education in various community settings.
Updated/reviewed July 2020
- Need: To improve rural residents' oral healthcare.
- Intervention: MORE Care creates interprofessional oral health networks to 1) better integrate oral health into primary healthcare and 2) coordinate oral health between primary and dental healthcare.
- Results: MORE Care has led to increases in fluoride varnish administration, improvement in interprofessional communication, and patients' improved self-management of their daily oral health.
Updated/reviewed January 2020
- Need: Prevention and education programs for schools to reduce gender and relationship violence among teenagers.
- Intervention: Jana's Campaign offers school-based trainings, presentations, projects, and consultations through Love Doesn't Hurt: Teen Gender Violence and Prevention Program.
- Results: So far, 603 middle and high schools and more than 70,000 students in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Oklahoma have benefited from the program.
Updated/reviewed December 2019
- Need: In Colorado, 31% of children have experienced dental decay by the time they reach kindergarten. With several frontier and rural counties in Colorado considered dental deserts, options for oral healthcare are limited.
- Intervention: Cavity Free at Three (CF3) works to improve access to preventive oral health for pregnant women and young children. While CF3 is a statewide effort, 87% of the program's target counties are considered rural or frontier.
- Results: CF3 has trained over 5,000 medical and dental professionals in performing preventive dental health. The percentage of children who received oral healthcare from a medical or dental provider before the age of 2 has progressively increased, and fewer Colorado children have cavities now than they did 10 years ago.
Added December 2019
- Need: Early detection of health risks associated with mining in the Western region of the United States.
- Intervention: The National Jewish Health Miners Clinic of Colorado developed two rural outreach programs that partner with local healthcare facilities to offer free medical screening for active and retired miners and historic uranium industry workers.
- Results: Since beginning in 2003, these programs have served over 2,000 miners and historic uranium industry workers. Dust disease of the lungs have been detected on chest X-ray screenings in 16% of patients, abnormal breathing tests have been found in 24%, and other chronic conditions have been detected.
Updated/reviewed December 2019
- Need: Public health departments in Colorado's rural San Luis Valley region desired to share public health services to improve health outcomes in the region.
- Intervention: Six counties joined in a public health cross-jurisdictional sharing arrangement. The partnership has served as a forum for sharing and evaluating opportunities to improve health access and core public health services.
- Results: The partnership has enabled health departments to share expertise and develop regional projects to provide a broader range of public health services.
Added December 2019
- Need: Suicide among veterans has been steadily increasing, and rural veterans have a 20% increased risk of death by suicide compared to urban veterans.
- Intervention: A program called Together With Veterans was formed to help rural communities address and prevent suicides among veterans. The initiative is veteran-led, collaborative, evidence-based, and community-centered.
- Results: The program is currently in 6 states and reaches over 1,500 veterans every quarter while nurturing connections between agencies and community members.
Last Updated: 3/23/2021