News & Announcements

At least once a day, someone in Colorado loses a friend or family member due to drug abuse. There is no silver bullet; it will take a multi-front, coordinated approach to aid communities in combating the opioid epidemic. Please watch this video to see Congressman Tipton’s recent floor speech highlighting the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and the opioid epidemic.

Students, Parents to Celebrate National Bike to School Day This Week

May 2nd, 2016 | Greeley Tribune
Watch out for little bikers. Ten Weld County elementary schools will join nearly 100 statewide in celebrating National Bike to School Day on Wednesday. Students from McAuliffe, Centennial, Meeker, Dos Rios and Jackson elementary schools in Greeley, along with students from Platteville Elementary, Butler Elementary, Milliken Elementary and Pete Mirich Elementary and Greeley’s Chappelow K-8 will be walking and biking to work with parents, teachers and community leaders, according to a Weld County news release.

How Physicians Can Reverse the Opioid Crisis
March 17th, 2016 | Family Practice News
In about 2002, Dr. Gary Franklin realized the state of Washington might have a problem.
A big problem. A state resident who’d suffered a back sprain and filed a workers’ compensation claim died 2 years later – not from heart disease or cancer or stroke, but from an unintentional prescription opioid overdose, recalled Dr. Franklin, medical director of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
“I had never seen anything so sad,” he said.

New CDC Opioid Guideline Targets Overprescribing for Chronic Pain
March 16th, 2016 | Family Practice News
Nonopioid therapy is the preferred approach for managing chronic pain outside of active cancer, palliative, and end-of-life care, according to a new guideline released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 12 recommendations included in the guideline center around this principle and two others: using the lowest possible effective dosage when opioids are used, and exercising caution and monitoring patients closely when prescribing opioids.

Boulder County Board of Health Votes to Reject Beverage Industry Funding
January 13th, 2016 | COPrevent
The Boulder County Board of Health approved a resolution prohibiting Boulder County Public Health from receiving in-kind or cash donations from the sugar-sweetened beverage industry. The resolution is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. Between 2009 and 2014, beverage companies spent more than $100 million to defeat public health efforts to reduce sugary drink consumption. “As a public health agency, we are charged with protecting and promoting the public’s health,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health Executive Director. “When our residents are struggling with heart disease, unhealthy weight, and diabetes and these diseases are linked to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, we are obligated to take a stand.”

Anatomy Of Addiction: How Heroin And Opioids Hijack The Brain
January 13th, 2016 | NPR

North Colorado Health Alliance Named as a Scale Awardee by Institute for Healthcare Improvement
April 17th, 2015 | The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement
The North Colorado Health Alliance today announced it has been named a final awardee and will receive funding from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to support promising community-based work on health improvement, as part of the SCALE (Spreading Community Accelerators through Learning and Evaluation) initiative. Made possible by a $4.8 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and led by IHI, Community Solutions, Communities Joined in Action, and the Collaborative Health Network, SCALE will help communities further their capability to improve the health of targeted populations and develop ways to share and spread community-driven approaches across the country.

North Colorado Health Alliance Named a Finalist in National Initiative Aimed at Accelerating the Journey to Improve Health and Well-being
March 18th, 2015 | Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI)
The North Colorado Health Alliance today announced it has been named a finalist in the running to receive funding from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to become a leading community on health improvement, as part of an initiative known as SCALE (Spreading Community Accelerators through Learning and Evaluation). With two years of grant support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, SCALE aims to work with communities to develop capability to improve health and to spread effective community-driven approaches across the US.

Data Dashboard Promotes a Thriving Weld County, Offers Community Engagement & More
March 14th, 2014 | Department of Public Health & Environment
Today, the North Colorado Health Alliance, North Range Behavioral Health, and the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, launched the first community-based data dashboard for health indicators. “This dashboard is a unique tool in our collaborative partnership between many community-based organizations throughout Weld County,” said Mark Wallace, MD, Executive Director of the Health Department. “This interactive tool helps anyone see where we are coming from and where we want to go, in terms of improving population-based health.” The dashboard contains five goal areas: 1) Healthy eating, 2) Active living, 3) Healthy mind and spirit, 4) Access to care, and, 5) Education and livelihood. Each goal area is

Accountable Care Collaborative Reaches Enrollment Milestone
December 20th, 2013 | Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (Department) announced today that it has enrolled its 400,000th member into the Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) program. This is the third year of the ACC program, which is designed to improve client health while lowering costs. The ACC is not only achieving its financial goals, but has created a client-centered approach to health care that is delivering efficient, coordinated care to improve the overall health of its clients. The ACC is comprised of seven Regional Care Collaborative Organizations (RCCOs) across the state that connect Medicaid clients to Medicaid providers and help Medicaid clients find community and social services in their area. The RCCOs help providers communicate with Medicaid clients and with each other, so Medicaid clients receive coordinated care.

New Colorado Medicaid Program Doubles Its Savings in One Year
November 4th, 2013 | Health Care Policy and Financing
The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (Department) announced today that the Department achieved $44 million in gross savings or cost avoidance with its Accountable Care Collaborative (ACC) program. This is more than double the amount of cost avoidance achieved by the program last fiscal year. After accounting for payments to providers and regional care organizations, the program’s net savings for state fiscal year 2012-13 was approximately $6 million.

Meeker Students Exercise on the Way to School
October 9th, 2013 | Greeley Tribune
Third-grader Austin Merriman, Third Grader Delilah Rodriguez, Kindergartner Kaylen Merriman, Kindergartner Elizabeth Merriman and Second Grader Xander Selby prepare to sign the walk to school/bike to school banner.Meeker Elementary students lined up outside the school Wednesday morning, excitedly talking with friends or straining to see the table they were waiting to get to. They were being rewarded for walking or biking to school.

Greeley Schools to Participate in International Walk to School Day
October 7th, 2013 | Greeley Tribune

Meeker and Shawsheen elementary schools will celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday as approximately 300 students will walk or bike to school with parents, teachers and community leaders. Special activities are planned that include welcoming walkers and bikers to school with balloons, music and special prizes, and classes will compete for the highest participation.

Poor Diet Main Reason Impoverished in Greeley, Evans Unhealthy
October 6th, 2013 | Greeley Tribune
From the center of The Pines, just a few yards from the playground that draws children like ants to a sugar cube, a dirt path leads to a barren field. You could call the path a trail, since it looks as worn as some of the paths used by hikers up 14ers. But it fades as it cuts through the field, and by the time it approaches the busy street that divides the apartment complex from the Greeley Mall, it vanishes under your feet.

Poor in Greeley, Evans have hard time staying fit, healthy
October 6th, 2013 | Greeley Tribune
Rocio Miramontes parks her car in The Pines apartment complex on a hot summer afternoon. A half-mile away rests a series of units that the police visit so often, the kids who live at the Pines don’t want to go near them. Rocio knows all about them and she’s a 20-year-old woman jumpy enough that vacant lots scare her because of the possibility of snakes resting in the tall grass. Yet she begins her walk toward the neighborhoods that surround John Evans Middle School. Her air-conditioned, safe car calls to her, but she needs to walk.

Tribune Opinion: We All Must Work to End Health Inequality
October 6th, 2013 | Greeley Tribune

Among all the challenges that come with being poor, the one most of us probably think least about is among the most important — health. When you don’t have money, there are lots things that make it difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. Without a car and a nearby grocery store, it’s tough to get the kind of fresh fruits and vegetables that form the staples of healthy diets. If English isn’t your native language — or if you lack education — it’s difficult to see through the billion-dollar marketing campaigns that cast sugary cereals as healthy breakfast food. Many neighborhoods in poor areas don’t have sidewalks, so it’s hard even to go for a run or take a walk. And if you’re struggling to make ends meet, you’re not going to buy a gym membership.

Health Alliance to Aide in Meeting Health Insurance Mandates
September 28th, 2013 | Greeley Tribune
A path to guaranteed — and affordable — health insurance is about to be open for Weld County’s uninsured, and residents won’t be on their own in navigating the complications.The state’s health insurance exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, is set to open Tuesday for residents to enroll as a part of the federal Affordable Care Act’s mandate for all residents to obtain health insurance by Jan. 1. And the North Colorado Health Alliance, the Weld County hub for the state exchange, will be there with aides on the ground, online and on the phone to help residents get from A to B, officials say.

Healthy Start for Care Plan
September 6th, 2013 | Northern Colorado Business Report
A three-year-old boy named Adrian, clad in a Captain America t-shirt, squeals
with delight when his family’s Accountable Care Collaborative case manager,
Fatima Groom, walks through the front door of his home. Adrian’s mother, Luisa, happily greets Groom in Spanish while on the phone with the hospital where her son receives medical care.

July press releases 2013
July 2013 | Greeley Tribune, Northern Colorado Business Report, Northern Colorado Gazette, Northern Colorado News Channel 5

Critical Mass Bike Ride #2
July 30th, 2013 | Media Release
The Weld County community health campaign, Make TODAY Count!, announces a critical mass bike ride. The ride is open to the public and will begin at the Greeley Farmer’s Market at 902 7th Ave. on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 at 11 AM. Bicycle transportation has many benefits, such as providing exercise, reducing impact on the environment, and saving money.  The goal of this critical mass ride is to draw attention to those benefits, to heighten awareness throughout the community of great bicycle connections and safe routes, and bring public attention to areas still in need of improvement

Weld County’s Bike to Work Organizers Look to Local Employers to Encourage Participants
June 22nd, 2013 | Greeley Tribune
Organizers of Bike to Work Day in Weld County have focused this year on reaching out to employers in the hopes that they, too, can inspire residents to dig in their garages and dust off their bicycles this summer. From 6-8:30 a.m. Wednesday, local agencies will be at eight stops in Greeley, two in Evans and one in Windsor with prizes and free breakfast to lure employees into riding their bikes to work. Wendy Polulech, coordinator for the event and a wellness specialist at North Colorado Medical Center, said company-based bike to work competitions and other incentives for healthy living are picking up steam.

Greeley Hosts Bike Ride to Promote Healthy Living
June 11th, 2013 | Greeley Tribune
A health improvement initiative had 13 bicyclists ready to ride in Greeley on Tuesday. With a collective snap of helmet buckles, riders for the “Make Today Count” event pedaled from the Greeley Train Depot into the hot afternoon sunshine. It was an opportunity for riders to view the parks of Greeley and also get a glimpse of any needed improvements as they road from the depot to the Rodarte Community Center garden.

Critical Mass Bike Ride
June 4th, 2013 | Media Release
The Weld County community health campaign, Make TODAY Count!, announces a critical mass bike ride. The ride is open to the public and will begin at the Greeley Farmer’s Market at 902 7th Ave. on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 11 AM. Bicycle transportation has many benefits, such as providing exercise, reducing impact on the environment, and saving money. The goal of this critical mass ride is to draw attention to those benefits, to heighten awareness throughout the community of great bicycle connections and safe routes, and bring public attention to areas still in need of improvement.

$500k Grant Will Help Northern Colorado Group Deliver Health Care
May 31st, 2013 | Greeley Tribune
An organization called the Community Care Corps will be launched this month to help Northern Colorado residents address barriers to receiving health care. Thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation, the group will be comprised of neighborhood-sourced health workers throughout the region, and the work will be organized by the North Colorado Health Alliance.

New Workforce Will Connect Northern Colorado Residents to Stronger, Healthier Communities
May 30th, 2013 | Media Release
The North Colorado Health Alliance today announced the formation and deployment of a Community Care Corps of neighborhood-sourced health workers in northern Colorado. This new workforce will help residents identify and address economic, environmental, and social barriers to health in the community. With this Community Care Corps, supported by a $500,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation, NCHA aims to turn up the volume on a Make TODAY Count! community health campaign uniting public and private interests in a synchronized collaborative effort to make Weld County and Northern Colorado the healthiest region in the healthiest state by 2020.

Winning Name of Health Campaign Announced
May 2nd, 2013 | Media Release
The winning entry naming the Weld community health campaign to launch this summer was announced on Wednesday.  A  new iPad mini was presented to Raquel Loma of Greeley for her winning entry, Make Today Count!” “We are grateful for the strong response,” said Carlee Rosen, Alliance Campaign Coordinator.”Over 300 entries were received from all over northeast Colorado.”

North Colorado Health Alliance Looking for Name, Logo Submissions
March 19th. 2013 | Greeley Tribune
The North Colorado Health Alliance is looking for a name and logo for its three-year community health campaign. The winner of the public contest will win an iPad Mini. The campaign, which received grants from Kaiser Permanente and the Colorado Health Foundation, is scheduled to launch in June and will address active living  and healthy eating at home, schools, and the workplace.

Weld County community health campaign launched
January 31, 2013 | Northern Colorado Business Report
The North Colorado Health Alliance Thursday announced the launch of a three-year community health campaign, supported by a $750,000 grant from the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Fund. The Weld County Community Health Campaign will work to improve the nutrition, physical activity and social and emotional wellness of residents of Weld County.

Kaiser Permanente awards $750,000 grant to Weld
Kaiser Permanente News Center & Greeley Tribune
Weld County officials are taking on the challenge of a health care crisis with the help of a $750,000 grant.Kaiser Permanente on Thursday announced the grant to the North Colorado Health Alliance to help kick off a health campaign for the next three years. It will launch in June with ambitious goals of reaching throughout the county to get people off the couch, eating more fruits and veggies, de-stressing and just moving.They plan to do it through community outreach from recurring messages on the television or radio, or billboards, or working in tandem with existing school programs, all with quarterly updates on the community’s progress.

Kaiser Permanente Commits $750,000 to Community Health Campaign in Northern Colorado
January 31, 2013 | Kaiser Permanente News Center
Kaiser Permanente Colorado and the North Colorado Health Alliance today announced the launch of a three-year community health campaign in Weld County. A $750,000 grant from the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Fund* will support NCHA in leading theWeld County Community Health Campaign to improve the nutrition, physical activity and social and emotional wellness of individuals and families living in the county. This announcement follows a two-year community assessment led by the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment and other community partners to develop acommunity health improvement plan as recommended by the Public Health Act of 2008.

Some Like it ‘Hot’
The Colorado Health Foundation
When Cindy Schmidt, a case manager for North Colorado Health Alliance, came into Carole Morgan’s life, the Greeley woman was at the lowest point in her long struggle to survive. Bipolar and a paranoid schizophrenic with a long history of substance abuse, Morgan, 53, was reeling from the overdose death of her fiancé and a badly fractured arm that had never healed correctly.

There Is No ‘I’ in ‘Safety Net’
September 6th, 2012 | Huffington Post
For Felicia Barrow, whose illnesses over the last 20 years include HIV, Hepatitis C, hypertension, osteoarthritis and breast cancer, no single health expert nor course of treatment could weave a true safety net of care. It takes a team. At the center of Mrs. Barrow’s team is Felicia herself; her needs, her feedback, and her participation are essential. Then, working collaboratively and across all facets of her daily life, she is supported by a nurse-led team of health professionals who make sure she gets to her doctor’s appointments, maintains good baseline health, fully understands and complies with her medications, and successfully overcomes the depression and anxiety that can result from isolation.

Hot-Spotting Saving Weld County Money
August 19th, 2012 | 7 News
A way of looking at numbers has cut emergency room visits in Weld County. It’s called hot-spotting. But for Weld County hospitals it can be called saving money. Dr. Mark Wallace of the North Colorado Health Alliance has been crunching data and picking low-hanging fruit for over a decade now. What he has discovered is that a small number of Medicaid recipients were costing a lot of money. Furthermore, a lot of those accumulated costs were for preventable visits.

Guest Commentary: Health Care Reform, The Colorado Way

July 20th, 2012 | The Denver Post
Whether the Affordable Care Act should be upheld, tweaked or repealed, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on the matter isn’t the first or last word on reforming health care in Colorado. In recent years, Colorado organizations and policymakers have explored many innovative approaches to improve Coloradans’ health, health coverage, and health care – Both in tandem with and independent of the Affordable Care Act. In many respects, our state is already ahead of the curve in health and health care.
July 11th, 2012 | Mark Wallace
Too often, bedbugs get in the way of delivering cost-effective, efficient, high-quality health care – both literally and figuratively.In the literal sense, consider a case of a middle-aged woman I’ll call Mary. A frequent visitor to emergency rooms in northern Colorado, Mary brings with her a long list of complex medical problems. She takes multiple prescription medications and suffers from behavioral health issues and chronic pain.

Colorado Access Reinvests Almost $300,000 Back Into 6 Community Providers  
Media Release
Colorado Access was awarded performance incentive funds for meeting or exceeding performance targets in one or more of the three current Key Performance Indicators, including the reduction of unnecessary emergency department use, 30-day hospital readmissions, and high-cost imaging.The mission of Colorado Access is to partner with communities and empower people through access to quality, affordable care. To further this mission, Colorado Access has reinvested their performance incentive funds back into the community as grants to healthcare providers, helping Primary Care Medical Providers (PCMPs) increase the integration of physical and behavioral health care services within their practices. The award for integrated care focus is in direct response to a survey asking how the funds should be reinvested. Colorado Access awarded the funds to 6 providers through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process.