Press Releases: Colorado
January 31, 2013
Kaiser Permanente Commits $750,000 to Community Health Campaign in Northern Colorado
GREELEY, Colo. — 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 the Weld 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 a community health improvement plan as recommended by the Public Health Act of 2008.
Weld County mirrors the rest of the country in many health aspects. Sixty-nine percent of adults and 89 percent of children do not consume the recommended daily amounts of fruit and vegetables. Forty-six percent of Weld County adults and 68 percent of adolescents do not participate in the recommended daily amount of physical activity. And, just like the rest of the country, far too many Weld County residents are overweight or obese (61 percent of adults and 33 percent of children) and/or suffer from depression, anxiety, or some other type of social or emotional health problem (16 percent).
The Weld County Community Health Campaign is a concerted effort led by the NCHA and collaborating agencies in Northern Colorado to reduce costly obesity, social and emotional-health epidemics that have contributed to chronic illness in the U.S. Launching in June 2013, the campaign will promote healthy eating, active living and emotional and social wellbeing.
Kaiser Permanente’s grant funding to the NCHA will allow for the coordination of strategies to improve nutrition and access to healthy food, increase access to safe and enjoyable physical activity, and intervene in unhealthy conditions throughout the community.
“North Colorado Health Alliance has a proven track record of collaborating with partner organizations to cultivate programs that improve wellness and reduce health care costs,” said Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, vice president of government and external relations for Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “For years, Colorado has been considered the healthiest state in the nation, but our state is quickly losing our hold on that distinction. It’s time for community action. Kaiser Permanente is excited to help fund the comprehensive Weld County Community Health Campaign to kick-start a positive community transformation.”
NCHA is a public and private joint venture dedicated to generating healthy communities by expanding access to fully integrated heath care while improving quality, eliminating disparities and controlling costs. In addition to Kaiser Permanente, collaborating NCHA partners include health care organizations, local government agencies, non-governmental organizations, charitable foundations, and educational institutions such as School District 6, the University of Northern Colorado and Aims Community College. All NCHA partners and participating agencies are leaders in promoting greater community understanding of community health as a single puzzle with many interlocking pieces.
“We are grateful to Kaiser Permanente for their leadership in promoting healthy Northern Colorado communities and for their specific focus on addressing the complex issue of integrating physical, mental and behavioral health in Weld County,” said Mark Wallace, MD, founder and chief executive officer of the North Colorado Health Alliance.
“Health is more often than not largely determined by non-medical factors,” added Vincent Atchity, PhD, chief operating officer of the Alliance. “Through our partnership with Kaiser Permanente and other agencies, the Weld County Community Health Campaign intends to revolutionize the way individuals, organizations, businesses and governmental entities collaboratively engage to promote the whole health of our communities.”
Kaiser Permanente opened two new medical offices in Fort Collins and Loveland in October 2012. The health plan’s Northern Colorado expansion also includes a medical office in Greeley opening in 2014, a network of more than 400 community physicians, and a partnership agreement with Banner Health hospitals and physicians.
As Colorado’s largest nonprofit health plan, Kaiser Permanente actively works to give back to the communities it serves. In 2012, the health plan made a $90,000 donation to support Red Cross Wildfire Relief; awarded a $150,000 grant to the Colorado Meth Project to expand the organization’s public education campaign focused on reaching at-risk youth in Weld County; and piloted free performances of Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Programs’ Amazing Food Detective at 15 elementary schools in Northern Colorado. Kaiser Permanente also premiered HBO’s groundbreaking obesity series The Weight of the Nation in Fort Collins and Greeley in 2012. Since 2006, Kaiser Permanente has provided more than $1 million in funding to LiveWell in Greeley and CanDo communities in Fort Collins and Loveland.
About the North Colorado Health Alliance
The North Colorado Health Alliance was incorporated as a 501©(3) non-profit organization in 2002. The Alliance, based in the town of Evans in Colorado’s Weld County, is a creative and strategic collaboration of partner organizations that are dedicated to cultivating the health of the communities they serve while leveraging collective action to enhance the health care delivery system in the region. Alliance partners recognize that health does not begin or end with accessible, affordable, and high quality medical, dental, and behavioral health services. Health largely depends on features of the built environment and on a variety of social determinants that make it harder for many to resist the chronic illnesses of our times. Thinking globally, the Alliance acts locally and creatively to convene, integrate, and support community partners in our common effort to make northeastern Colorado the healthiest region in the healthiest state. For more about NCHA, visit northcoloradohealthalliance.org or follow us on facebook.com/NoColoHealthAlliance.
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for more than 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 535,000 members through 26 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the fifth straight year. Kaiser Permanente was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top-ranked commercial health plan in Colorado, No. 6 in the nation and the second ranked Medicare plan in the U.S. Kaiser Permanente was also recently recognized as a 2012 Hypertension Champion by Million Hearts™. In 2011, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $90 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.