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Colorado and the New Prevention Fund:
An Investment in the Future Health of America

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) included the creation of a Prevention Fund – to provide communities around the country with more than $16 billion over the next 10 years to invest in effective, provide prevention efforts, like childhood obesity prevention and tobacco cessation.

Colorado is receiving $13,800,439 from the Prevention Fund this year to reduce disease rates in the state and help ensure today's children are not the first generation in U.S. history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parent.

Preventing disease and injury is the most effective, common-sense way to improve health in the United States. Too often, however, we focus on treating disease and injury after they occur instead of preventing them – providing sick care instead of health care.

The ACA and the Prevention Fund give us the opportunity to turn that around – and provides the opportunity for all Americans to be as healthy as they can be.

Prevention Fund GrantsAmountDescription
Communities Putting Prevention to Work$10.5 Million*
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment used funds to develop and implement an outreach campaign to increase QuitLine utilization targeting low-income pregnant women, Medicaid, and uninsured populations. By the end of January 2011, rates of participation among the targeted groups had greatly increased. Participation of pregnant women increased from 2 percent of total QuitLine callers in July 2008 to 4.6 percent of all callers in January 2011, Medicaid participation increased from 10 percent to 20.4 percent of all callers, and the uninsured population increased participation from 34 percent to 40 percent of all callers in January 2011.
  • QuitLine services were enhanced to improve program retention rates among pregnant and postpartum women. The enhanced Pregnancy Protocol offers an additional four coaching calls during the postpartum period, ensures pregnant women have the opportunity to work with the same coach throughout the prenatal and postpartum period, offers text messaging for support during the quit attempt, and enhances referral processes to other community resources. Since the full implementation of the Pregnancy Protocol, 57 percent of pregnant enrollees completed at least 3 coaching calls, compared to approximately 28 percent of all participants enrolled in the QuitLine program.
  • In Denver, Colorado nearly 200,000 students now attend schools that adhere to the Institute of Medicine’s nutrition standards for school meals.
  • Through its CPPW grant Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) is expanding its Land Use program services, and has assembled a team of city planners with backgrounds in urban design, landscape architecture, policy development, and community outreach. The team has been meeting with the staff of the 29 local governments in its jurisdiction and has been offering technical assistance that will result in policy, system, and environmental changes that will make the healthy choice the easy choice for area residents.
  • In January 2011, the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) CPPW Built Environment team created the Built Environment and Health Handbook, which was distributed to representatives of TCHD’s community grantees at a health and the built environment training session. Developed for planners, engineers, and elected officials, the handbook provides local and national best practice examples of successful public engagement tools and land-use policies that support healthy eating and active living strategies. Since the training, the handbook has been presented to 15 staff at a regional environmental health meeting. It has also been highlighted in a national American Planning Association webinar, and provided as a resource for graduate students in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. Most recently, the handbook was distributed to 39 mayors from across the Denver metropolitan area, which includes TCHD’s 29 jurisdictions.
  • Half of the 15 school districts in Tri-County, CO have passed and adopted, or have nearly completed substantial enhancements to school district wellness policies. These enhancements include using IOM standards for school nutrition in order to increase access to healthy foods and beverages. In addition, the policies promote non-food or healthy food-related parties or rewards in the classroom, opportunities for increased weekly physical activity, a district wellness council, enhanced communications with parents, standards for school-based food marketing, and staff wellness.
  • Tri-County, CO CPPW staff partnered with The Children’s Hospital of Colorado in a social marketing campaign to produce ten educational videos for children and families to promote healthful eating and activity. These 30-second videos are in both English and Spanish and are available on the Tri-County website (http://www.tchd.org/cppw_video_breakfast.html) and are being aired locally on the PBS channel, the local Hispanic channel, in elementary schools, and in WIC clinics. Tri-County Health Department serves a highly diverse population of Hispanic, African American and Asian residents and has the largest WIC Program in the state, with a caseload of more than 31,000 families.
  • The evaluation team in Tri-County documented an outstanding 89 percent return rate for their most recent YRBS data collection–nearly 30 percent higher than the average rate of return. The team achieved this success as a result of shifting the traditional system for data collection by creating strong relationships with school leadership teams and teachers to promote the importance of participation and completion of the surveys. They used school volunteers, DOH and CPPW staff to administer the tests in schools and were vigilant in sending announcements, reminders and thank-you emails.
  • By June 2011, 14 out of the planned 15 school districts in Tri-County have passed and adopted substantial enhancements to school district wellness policies. These enhancements include using IOM standards for school nutrition in order to increase access to healthy foods and beverages. In addition, the policies promote non-food or healthy food-related parties or rewards in the classroom, opportunities for increased weekly physical activity, a district wellness council, enhanced communications with parents, standards for school-based food marketing, and staff wellness. These policies will impact 232,750 students.
  • In 2011, the Colorado Department of Transportation awarded 52 Safe Routes to School grants statewide. Fourteen of these awards are going to school districts and cities in the Tri County area (Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties). CPPW staff and district coordinators provided valuable technical assistance to a number of these successful grant applications. Grants will provide sustainability to the work already underway in these counties as a result of CPPW funding.
Public Health InfrastructureColorado State Department of Public Health and Environment $300,000 (FY10) $400,000 (FY11)Awarded to state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to improve their ability to provide public health services. The 5-year cooperative agreement program will provide health departments with needed resources to make fundamental changes in their organizations and practices, so that they can improve the delivery of public health services including: Building and implementing capacity within health departments for evaluating the effectiveness of their organizations, practices, partnerships, programs and use of resources through performance management; Expansion and training of public health staff and community leaders to conduct policy activities in key areas and to facilitate improvements in system efficiency; Maximizing the public health system to improve networking, coordination, and cross-jurisdictional cooperation for the delivery of public health services to address resource sharing and improve health indicators; Disseminating, implementing and evaluating public health's best and most promising practices; and Building a national network of performance improvement managers that share best practices for improving the public health system.
Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases$327,908 (FY10); $725,559 (FY11)The funding, which is provided through Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) cooperative agreements, is intended to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments. The award is to support: hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases; increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments; and developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, e.g. through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
ARRA evaluation (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System)$0Grants awarded intended to help states “create additional tobacco quitters,” as well as increase data collection efforts for tracking flu-like illnesses to support ongoing pandemic influenza preparedness activities.
HIV Laboratory$68,390CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
HIV Testing$0CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
HIV Planning$0CDC awarded grants to expand HIV prevention efforts under the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS).  The funding, allocated to CDC by the President as part of NHAS, will help to further focus HIV prevention on high risk populations and communities, as well as fill critical gaps in data, knowledge and understanding of the epidemic. The majority of the grants will support demonstration projects to identify and implement a “combination approach” to enhance effective HIV prevention programming in 12 hard-hit areas across the country.  These efforts will determine what mix of HIV prevention approaches can have the greatest impact in the local area, supplementing existing programs in these communities and helping jurisdictions to better focus efforts on key at-risk populations and fulfill unmet needs. Grants went to state and local health departments to increase HIV testing opportunities for populations disproportionately affected by HIV and help link HIV-infected persons with appropriate services, as well as to improve the reporting of HIV data.
Emerging Infections ProgramColorado State Department of Public Health and Environment $295,655 (FY10); $166,864 (FY11)The funding, which is provided through Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) and the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) cooperative agreements, is intended to increase epidemiology, laboratory and health information systems capacity at health departments. The award is to support: hiring and training of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and health information specialists who can work on multiple infectious diseases; increasing the number of modern, well-equipped public health laboratories using electronic laboratory information systems to manage and exchange information effectively between labs and public health departments; and developing capacity for public health departments to participate in meaningful use of electronic health records, e.g. through implementation of electronic laboratory-based reporting according to national standards.
Capacity Building Grants$0Money awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will go to various national, non-profit professional public health organizations to support efforts by state, tribal, local and territorial health departments to ensure successful adoption of effective practices that strengthen core public health infrastructure investments. These national public health organizations will provide technical assistance, training, and information for health departments to improve their public health infrastructure and the delivery of public health services.
Tobacco Prevention$73,927 (FY10); CDC Tobacco Quitlines $107,458 (FY11)State Supplemental Funding for Healthy Communities will be used to help states implement plans to reduce tobacco use through legislative, regulatory, and educational arenas, as well as enhance and expand the national network of tobacco cessation quitlines to significantly increase the number of tobacco users who quit. Money will also support states and terrritories enhance and expand the national network of tobacco cessation quitlines to increase the number of tobacco users who quit. Quitlines are hte toll-free numbers people can call to obtain smoking cessation treatments and services.
Health Care Surveillance$0Grants to fund data collection and analysis to monitor the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the health of Americans and boost the collection and analysis of environmental hazards data to protect the health of communities.
Workforce$0The programs are designed to build the primary care workforce and provide community-based prevention. States will receive funding to support comprehensive workforce planning and implementation strategies that best address local current and projected workforce shortages.
Training Centers—HRSAUniversity of Colorado Denver $649,497The Public Health Training Centers Program helps improve the public health system by enhancing skills of the current and future public health workforce. Funded organizations (1) plan, develop, operate and evaluate projects that support goals established by the Secretary in preventive medicine, health promotion and disease prevention; or (2) improve access to and quality of health services in medically underserved communities. Other PHTC activities include assessing the learning needs of the public health workforce; providing accessible training; and working with organizations to meet strategic planning, education, and resource needs.
Primary care and Behavioral Health ServicesColorado State Government $8,330,000 (FY11)The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at HHS awarded grants to support and promote better primary care and behavioral health services for individuals with mental illnesses or substance use disorders. The grants seek to improve health by improving the coordination of healthcare services delivered in publicly funded community mental health and other community-based behavioral health settings.

*One-Time Funding from FY2010


Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need--the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

Media Contacts

Albert Lang
(202) 223-9870 x 21
alang@tfah.org