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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Colorado Students’ Health Assessment in Mountain Area Points to Lack of Assisted Living

Colorado School of Public Health students from the community health assessment course at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus recently presented data they collected from a three-month-long assessment for the rural Chaffee County Public Health Department. The data will be used as part of the county’s 2017-2021 health improvement plan.

[Photo: Ms. Nicole Harty, ColoradoSPH student who led the community health assessment project for Chaffee County Public Health, presents data she and other students collected]

The class of graduate MPH students presented their top three recommendations, which focused primarily on assisted living, oral health, and the availability of health care providers.

Members of Chaffee County Health Coalition and Beacon Health Options, a mental health focused organization, sat in on the presentation.

The recommendations were determined by a ranking of health concerns among county residents, how these concerns impacted the community and what percentage of the population is affected, and how effectively public health interventions can negate the issue, as well as a final analysis of efforts currently combatting the issue on a county and statewide level.

A total of 150 individuals gave input to the study, using nominal group technique and key interviews involving community members, health professionals, and health stakeholders.

Assisted living was decided as top priority due to several factors, including: the county’s growing senior population, which is higher than the state average; gaps between transition from independent living to nursing homes; and the fact that local efforts are already under way for this need.

Read the full story here.