Friday, April 29, 2016

Public health reminds parents to Turn off the TV and Play together as a family.

Research shows too much “screen time” with television, video games, cell phones and other devices can lead to obesity and other health problems. TV advertising is loaded with commercials for sugary cereals, high-sugar energy drinks, candy, fast food and processed meals.

To stay healthy, turn off the TV and play together as a family.
  • Allow no screen time for children under 2 years.
  • Limit screen time for children 2 years and older to 2 hours a day. 
  • Make your children’s rooms “no screen zones” - they’ll sleep better. 
  • Turn off the TV when no one is watching it. 
Ever since they could toddle, your children followed you. To limit their screen time, be a role model.
  • If they see you with your face buried in a screen all day, they will do the same. 
  • If they see you turn off the screen and pick up a book, listen to music or go outside to play, they will do the same.
Try out some Healthier snacks

Banana Bobs
  • 2 bananas cut into ½ inch slices
  • ¼ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons oat and honey granola cereal 
How to make:
  1. Place the sliced banana pieces on plate.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons of yogurt onto the plate.
  3. Place the tablespoons of granola cereal onto the plate.
  4. Use fork to pick up a slice of banana and dip into the yogurt, then into the cereal. 
** Try different flavors of yogurt.

Rabies Confirmed in a Skunk found in Arvada

Vaccinate your pets and avoid contact with wild animals

Jefferson County Public Health has confirmed that a skunk collected in Arvada near Sheridan and 70th Avenue was infected with rabies. The skunk came in contact with a family pet, a dog, that was fortunately up-to-date with rabies vaccination. There was no known human exposure to the skunk. The skunk was euthanized and submitted for testing today at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) laboratory. JCPH received positive rabies test results back from the CDPHE lab this afternoon. While rabies has been found in skunks in Denver and neighboring counties, this is the first terrestrial wild animal that has tested positive for rabies in Jefferson County. The public is strongly urged to vaccinate all of their domestic pets and valuable livestock against rabies and to be sure vaccinations are kept up-to-date. Now that rabies has been found in a terrestrial animal within the county, any domestic animal encounter with any wild animal will be treated like an exposure to a rabid animal. Domestic animals with one expired rabies or without any rabies vaccinations will be classified as high risk and be required to undergo a 180-day quarantine.

“This rabies case is a good opportunity to remind people that having dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies is an easy and effective way to protect pets and humans from this deadly disease,” said Dave Volkel, environmental health specialist with Jefferson County Public Health’s Zoonosis Program. “We also encourage the owners of horses, cattle and other livestock to consult with their veterinarians regarding rabies vaccination.”

Rabies is caused by a virus that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals, and is nearly always fatal. The virus is shed in the saliva of infected animals. People or animals can get rabies from the bite of a rabid animal or from a rabid animal’s saliva if it comes in contact with their eyes, nose, mouth or open wounds. Immediate medical treatment is required after exposure to an infected animal. Skunks, bats, foxes, raccoons and other wildlife should not be handled or fed to prevent exposure to this virus.

In addition to rabies vaccinations for pets and livestock, there are additional precautions to prevent possible exposure to rabies: 
  • Avoid contact with any wild animals, especially any that act unusually. A healthy wild animal will generally avoid human contact.
  • Teach children to stay away from all wild animals, stray domestic pets, or any dead animals and tell an adult if they are scratched or bitten 
  • Wildlife suffering from rabies will often be out during the day, act aggressively and violently approach people or pets. Rabid wildlife might also stumble or have trouble walking 
  • Do not let pets roam freely, since this can increase the chance that they could be exposed without your knowledge 
  • Contact your veterinarian if your dog or cat is bitten or scratched by a wild animal 
  • If a person has been bitten or scratched by a wild mammal, they should wash the area thoroughly with soap and water, seek immediate medical attention and also notify their local public health agency. Prompt medical treatment is the key to preventing rabies after a possible exposure
  • Do not feed wild animals, since this reduces their natural fear of humans
  • Do not leave pet food or livestock feed outside or feed more than your outdoor pet will finish in one feeding 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day!

Empowering Women to Become Mothers When They Are Ready
Jefferson County, CO--May 8, 2016 is Mother’s Day and a wonderful time to celebrate mothers worldwide. It is ideal for a woman to become a mother when she is ready – physically, emotionally, financially and in all the other ways a person can imagine. Jefferson County Public Health can help women develop a reproductive life plan to assist women in becoming parents when they are ready to do so on their own terms. A woman can decide what goals she would like to accomplish before having children, and her health care provider can help her acquire and use the birth control method that works best for her until she is ready to have a baby. When women are ready for a pregnancy, they should start adopting healthy behaviors at least 3 months before trying to conceive – a healthy diet, exercise, taking prenatal vitamins, avoiding alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs are all essential for a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancies that are planned pregnancies are more likely to have healthier outcomes for babies, mothers, and the family as a whole.

May is also National Teen Pregnancy Prevention month and a good time for parents to talk with their teens about the importance of reproductive health. Studies show that teens who are able to talk with their parents about sex and choices related to sex are more likely to wait to have sex for the first time, use protection when they do, and are less likely to become young parents themselves. Support exists for families who need assistance in talking with their children about these topics, and Jefferson County Public Health is committed to providing assistance for community organizations and schools to assist in this venture.

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) clinicians are ready to help teens, women and their families in whatever way is needed for women to achieve their goals of motherhood on their own terms. For teens and women who are not ready to be mothers yet, JCPH clinic offers all methods of birth control including long acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs and implants at the Lakewood location. For women who are ready for a pregnancy, we can provide physical exams as part of a women’s wellness visit, pregnancy testing, advice on how to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and referrals to local prenatal providers for pregnancy care. Our low cost services are provided on a sliding fee scale and to people with Medicaid and many other insurance plans. No one is denied services due to the inability to pay. 

“Jefferson County Public Health is committed to empowering individuals to make informed choices about their reproductive health, as well as empowering people to become parents when they are ready to do so,” states Kelly Conroy – Jefferson County Clinic Services Nurse Manager.   “We provide family planning clinics that are confidential and include comprehensive services to support and educate teens, adults and families in our community.”

Women who are currently pregnant and celebrating Mother’s Day this year may also benefit from other programs at Jefferson County Public Health. The JCPH Nurse Family Partnership program is a home visitation program for first time mothers and their babies from pregnancy to 2 years of age, and Prenatal Plus is a home visitation program for first time or any time mothers offering community resources and a focus on empowering women to make healthy lifestyle choices and achieve their goals throughout the pregnancy.

JCPH Family Planning Services:
·                  Health education and counseling, including information regarding abstinence
·                  Pregnancy testing and counseling
·                  Birth control Information & supplies, including free condoms
·                  Long-acting reversible contraception, including IUDs and implant
·                  Screening for sexually transmitted infections and HIV
·                  Emergency contraception/Plan B
·                  Treatment of minor gynecological problems
·                  Referrals to other health and social services

To schedule an appointment, please call our Lakewood clinic: Lakewood 303-239-7078.
For more information:

Rethink Your Drink . . . Choose Water

JCPH is working promote drinking water as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks and the answer to dehydration.  The Jeffco Healthy Beverage Coalition exists to increase awareness of and access to healthy beverages for all Jefferson County families.  The Coalition is part of the Jeffco Community Health Improvement Network  as well as the Metro Healthy Beverage Partnership, a partnership to increase healthy beverages across seven counties in Denver metro.

A soda or sweet tea might seem harmless, but we now know that drinking just one sugary drink per day adds an extra 39lbs of sugar in a person’s diet each year. By drinking one sugary drink a day, an adult or child has 25% increased risk of type 2 diabetes, 33% higher risk of dying from heart disease, and 55% risk of being overweight, as well as tooth decay problems that really impact kids. In Jefferson County, as cited in our CHIP, 28% of adults and 19.1% of children are drinking one or more sugary drinks a day. 

Helping to Make Water the Easy Beverage Choice!

According to a 2015 nationwide study published in the American Journal of Public Health, more than half of American children are dehydrated at aby given time.  Dehydration can negatively impact both health and academic performance.  The School Wellness Coalition, also part of the Network, is providing a tool that helps schools assess if they have enough water fountains and water bottle refill stations available for students. The coalition is also helping schools find funding to install new ones! Parents, teachers, and students can all participate. Find out more by watching this video

Drinking Water Week May 2-6, 2016

Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper has proclaimed May 2-6, 2016 as Colorado Drinking Water Week.  The week provides an excellent opportunity for everyone to think about water and to become better stewards of this precious resource.  Consider the value safe drinking water brings to our personal  lives, our community and our state.  The Colorado Department of Health and Environment, Denver Water, Westwood Unidos and One World, One Water Center  will host a panel on drinking water issues on Tuesday May 3, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Denver Central Library, 10 W. 14th Ave. Denver, CO 80204. Participation is free.

Free Movie Screening: Flow- Join CDPHE and others in a free screening of Flow on Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Esquire Theater in Denver.  The movie builds the case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with a focus on politics, pollution, human rights and the emergence of a world water cartel. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Health Starts Here . . . Public Health Week April 4-10, 2016

During the first full week of April each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. Did you know Americans are living 20 years longer than their grandparents’ generation, thanks largely to the work of public health? Still, people in many other high income countries live longer and suffer fewer health issues than we do.  This is the defining challenge of our generation – a challenge that we, the public health community, are uniquely positioned to help overcome. That’s why, National Public Health Week 2016, is rallying around a goal of making the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation — by 2030. This week highlights the changes that must be made within our health system to realize this goal. Changing our health means ensuring conditions that give everyone the opportunity to be healthy.

Health must be a priority in designing our communities, from healthy housing to parks and playgrounds. Walking and biking must coexist with cars and public transportation. We need lower levels of violence and crime so everyone can safely live, work, learn and play. Support farmers markets and local businesses that value health, such as retailers that don't sell tobacco. 
Education is the leading indicator of good health, giving people access to better jobs, incomes and neighborhoods. Call for policies that start with early school success and lead to higher on-time high school graduation rates. Be a champion for school-based health centers in your local schools. Become a mentor — you can make a difference!

The science is clear: Poverty and poor health go hand-in-hand. It’s time to fix our country’s growing income inequality and the unhealthy stresses it puts on adults and children. Support policies that ensure a living wage and remove barriers that make it harder to advance to higher incomes.

Everyone has the right to good health. We must remove barriers so everyone has the same opportunity to improve their lives and their health. Speak out against racism and an unequal criminal justice system. Demand a fair allocation of community resources. Fight against the trend of growing voter restrictions. Everyone needs a voice in improving our communities.

Our food system should provide affordable food with nutritious ingredients, free from harmful contaminants. For many families, eating healthy is a daily challenge. Call for policies that help eliminate food deserts and bring healthy food to all neighborhoods and schools. Support measures like menu labeling that help people make healthier choices. Start a community garden. Volunteer for a local food bank!

Our health is connected to our environments. What happens upstream to our environments at work, school and home affects our health downstream. Support policies that protect the air we breathe indoors and outdoors and the clean water we drink as well as those that help protect our health from natural and manmade weather events and disasters. 

Health reform was just a start. To fulfill its potential, we must continue to pursue options for expanded access to quality care at the federal, state and local levels. But we also need to shift the main focus of our health system from one that treats illness to one that equally emphasizes prevention. 

Strong and consistent funding levels are necessary for the public health system to respond to both everyday health threats and also unexpected health emergencies. Support more funding for key public health agencies like the CDC and HRSA. These agencies strengthen the public health workforce and are a major source of funding for state and local programs.

2015 Public Health Champions of the Year

Jefferson County Public Health recognizes community members

Jefferson County, Colorado--Public Health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our communities. Each year, during National Public Health Week, April 4-10, 2016, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) honors some of the many people it works with throughout the year that help to make our county healthy.  While they may not have made public health their profession, the work they do, the partnerships they provide and their enthusiasm for protecting the health of Jefferson County residents qualifies them as the 2015 Public Health Champions. An award ceremony hosted by JCPH, the Jefferson County Board of Health and the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners was held on March 30, 2016.  JCPH is pleased to announce the following 2015 Public Health Champions:
·         Ensuring  Safe  Science Classrooms & Laboratories for Children in Jeffco Schools
 Kimberly MacDonnell, Karen Minteer and Jenelle Vierzbicki

Jeffco Schools Kimberly MacDonnell and her colleagues Karen Minteer and Jenelle Vierzbicki are Public Health Champions for their work ensuring that Jeffco Schools’ science classrooms and laboratories are safe. The State of Colorado issued rules and regulations back in 1990 to address safety issues in science classrooms and laboratories.  The rules and regulations which Jeffco Schools are mandated to meet were amended in 2002, updated in 2006, and amended again in 2015. These public health champions actively participated in the 2015 Rules and Regulations Governing Schools revisions. They attended scheduled meetings and added valuable experience and input. 
As Director of Environmental Services for Jeffco Schools, Kim MacDonnell knows that science classrooms can be a unique challenge.  Kim and her team evaluate the potential hazards of evolving curriculum, provide training and resources to staff, maintain safety equipment, assess chemical storage areas, manage spills, and properly dispose of experimental leftovers.  Kim also sees to it that communications with JCPH Environmental Health Services is consistent and regular. 
Karen Minteer is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.  Her background in teaching high school chemistry is especially valuable in understanding the challenges in school laboratory settings. Kim is able to offer tips and tools to teaching staff that can be incorporated quickly have a huge impact on safety.
Jenelle Vierzbicki is a Certified Safety Professional with a wealth of knowledge in accident prevention.  Her years of experience and background in risk assessment are key in developing best-practice recommendations for science experiment preparation and safety.   Jenelle helps to ensure that Jeffco Schools continually strives to improve safety.
Kim and her team have been a wonderful resource to Jefferson County Public Health when it comes to achieving and maintaining long term compliance with safety regulations at Jeffco Schools. Their commitment to public health & child safety makes them 2015 Public Health Champions.  Congratulations Kim, Karen and Jenelle!   
·         Reducing the Toll of Tobacco in our Communities through Youth Engagement
Breathe Easy (BE) Team students Brittany Willis, Tristin Roman, Morgan Lester, Jessie Jennett and Lakewood High School BE Team sponsor Kim Morrow

In 2015, four Jefferson County youth passionately pursued tobacco prevention efforts within their schools and their communities by immersing themselves in local Breathe Easy (BE) Teams. Supported by their high schools and Jefferson County Public Health’s (JCPH) Tobacco Prevention Initiative, BE Teams continue to make significant gains in shaping tobacco-free norms, changing local community policy and reducing the environmental impact of tobacco in local communities. Brittany Willis, a sophomore at Golden High School; Tristin Roman, a senior at Lakewood High School; Morgan Lester, a junior at Lakewood High School; Jessie Jennett, a senior at Lakewood High School and Kim Morrow a counselor and sponsor of the BE Team at Lakewood High School are all 2015 Public Health Champions for their work to reduce the toll of tobacco through youth engagement.
During the Spring of 2015, BE Teams led students from other area schools in a Kick Butt’s Day Cigarette Butt Pick-Up at Crown Hill and Discovery Park. Together, youth collected almost 6,500 cigarette butts in 45 minutes, but the work didn’t stop there. These Public Health Champions were so moved to create a healthier, tobacco-free community that they testified before Wheat Ridge City Council to lend support for a smoke and vapor-free parks ordinance in Wheat Ridge. In addition, they organized numerous tobacco prevention events in their schools and field trips to survey tobacco retailers within 1,000 feet from Jeffco schools. Both Brittany and Tristin have volunteered time at the Health Department to work on various youth-related tobacco prevention issues. Their concerted efforts helped raise awareness about the negative impact tobacco has on youth and their community and the benefits of smoke and vapor-free parks and other public areas. Kim Morrow has provided remarkable support and encouragement to youth and has contributed greatly to the team’s success. Her consistent willingness to volunteer time and energy as well as her excellent leadership skills are to be applauded. Thank you and congratulations to Brittany, Tristin, Morgan, Jessie, and Kim, for their meaningful contributions to tobacco prevention.

              Cheryl Yeske, RN, Care Manager
Cheryl Yeske, RN, Care Manager at Lutheran Medical Center is a public health champion for her work advocating for the health and safety of Jefferson County newborns and their parents. This Public Health Champion does an amazing job of assessing the needs of new parents including risk factors that make them vulnerable when returning home with a newborn. As an RN and care manager, Cheryl has the opportunity to build meaningful and trusting relationships with her patients. She works to connect moms with home visitations from a public health nurse, mental health treatment, substance abuse counseling, tobacco prevention, the WIC program and referrals to Medicaid and other resources as needed. Cheryl’s primary concern is that mothers and their newborns have a safe and supportive start and she is there to help build a safety network around them. She acts as a liason between JCPH nurse home visitors and Lutheran Medical Center.
Cheryl has been an advocate of the Nurse Family Partnership and Prenatal Plus programs for many years and makes referrals regularly. Both of these programs assist families as they begin their parenting journeys with the support of a caring public health nurse visiting them in their home. Cheryl sends valuable information to nurse home visitation nurses and assists with developing care plans for mom and baby. She is meticulous and thorough in her care management.  Cheryl’s ability to identify risk factors and resources available to moms going home from the hospital improves the lives of many of Jefferson County’s youngest and most vulnerable and makes her a Jefferson County 2015 Public Health Champion.
·         Increasing Physical Activity through the Built Environment
                Rose Chavez, Healthy Places Initiative Coordinator, and the City of Arvada
Jefferson County Public Health is proud to honor Rose Chavez, Healthy Places Coordinator, and the City of Arvada, as Public Health Champions for their work to create healthy and thriving communities through the Healthy Places Initiative.
This three-year initiative, funded by the Colorado Health Foundation, began in the Spring of 2013 and is being led by a stakeholder committee made up of a mix of community residents, city staff, Jeffco Schools,  businesses and faith leaders.  The initiative is working to increase healthy communities in three neighborhoods in Arvada and will focus on community engagement and community-driven approaches to select infrastructure improvements in a variety of settings.  The Healthy Places Initiative will help Arvada improve access and connectivity to a variety of important destinations, making it easier to walk, bike, play and engage in daily activities that encourage movement and connection wi th the community.  Arvada and its partners are successfully integrating health into a variety of planning documents to ensure healthy community design, programs, and infrastructure changes are sustained and encouraged.
Congratulations to Rose Chavez and the City of Arvada for your contribution to the public’s health in 2015. Rose is also an active member of the Jefferson County Health Improvement Network’s Active Living Coalition.

·        Increasing Physical Activity, Healthy Eating and Psychosocial Well-Being through the Jefferson County Community Health Improvement Network

The Jefferson County Community Health Improvement Network has made significant strides towards creating a healthier Jefferson County using a collective impact framework to coordinate health improvement efforts throughout the county. In 2015, Jefferson County Public Health engaged over 200 partners from mulitiple sectors to work together towards a common goal: to increase physical activity, healthy eating and psychosocial well-being.  To organize these efforts, six coalitions, also known as CoINs, were formed, each focusing on a particular area. These include the Active Living Coalition, the Food Access Coalition, the Healthy Beverage Coalition, the Health in Early Childhood Collaborative, the School Wellness Coalition and the Preventive Care and Behavioral Health Resources Coalition. While we thank and appreciate everyone who contributes to this network of community coalitions, certain individuals stand out this year as champions for their leadership.  The following community members are Public Health Champions for their work within the Jeffco Community Health Improvement Network:

o Supporting Local Food Access and Participating on the Jefferson County Food Policy Council - Jacki Paone
Jefferson County Public Health is proud to honor Jacki Paone, Director of the Colorado State University Extension office in Jefferson County, as a Public Health Champion for her work to support local food access. 
Jacki’s commitment to build and sustain partnerships across a variety of departments and agencies, and her energy and enthusiasm to align resources at CSU Extension, to support local food access, has moved food systems work in Jefferson County to a new level. Examples of this are her co-facilitation of the Healthy Food For Jeffco Kids Network, her continued support and commitment to the newly formed Jefferson County Food Policy Council, her leadership on the East Central Jeffco Food Assessment, and her integration of food systems work into her job at Extension.
Additionally, Jacki Paone is committed to providing opportunities for dialogue and capacity building on food system issues. This was demonstrated by her leadership and facilitation of the Mark Winne food policy council training held in April 2015.  In addition, Jacki is always willing to meet and brainstorm with partners about how to integrate healthy food access, physical activity, and other healthy behaviors into youth programming. Jacki and her staff continually support local food growers by offering programs such as “Building Farmers,” “Top Ten Vegetables to Grow in Colorado,” “The Thrill of Starting Seeds,” “Understanding Pests and Disease,” “Container Gardening,” "Cottage Food Safety" and more.  All this, while also providing fresh local produce from the Extension’s demonstration garden to local food pantries. Congratulations and thank you to Jacki Paone for your considerable contributions to the public’s health in 2015.
o   Increasing Awareness of and Access to Healthy Beverages for Jefferson County Families
Traci Jervis and Jesse Greaves-Smith
Traci Jervis and Jesse Greaves-Smith are public health champions for their work increasing awareness of and access to healthy beverages for all Jefferson County families. These two champions are also accepting on behalf of everyone on the Healthy Beverage Coalition.   Traci has been instrumental in helping launch the Healthy Beverage Coalition.  As a Jeffco resident, mother, and public health student, Traci knows how important access to healthy beverages is in our communities and is passionate about the work of the coalition. Traci shared at the bi-annual Jeffco Network meeting about the launch of the Healthy Beverage Coalition, and is a current active and involved member.

Jesse Greaves-Smith has a decade of experience redesigning summer camp experiences for the Denver Area Boy Scout Council. As a director of Colorado Adventure Point, he uses scouting ideals and experiential methods, refined through the lens of educational research, to create a new version of what learning can look like for all youth.  Jesse joined the Healthy Beverage Coalition to work towards real results with a wide group of people who also believe that when it comes to health, we can do better for all kids.  Recently, Jesse has partnered with the Healthy Beverage Coalition to conduct a vending assessment at Adventure Point, ensuring that the environment supports positive food choices for the thousands of youth that pass through that facility.  Jesse is also an active member of the School Wellness Coalition.  Congratulations and a huge thank you to Traci, Jesse and all of the Healthy Beverage Coalition members.
o   Supporting School Wellness in Jeffco Schools through the School Wellness Coalition
Kyle Conrad,  Cynthia Farrar, and Leslie Feuerborn

Kyle Conrad,  Cynthia Farrar, and Leslie Feuerborn are all public health champions for their work on the Jeffco School Wellness Coalition.  These champions are also accepting on behalf of everyone who has worked hard all year as part of the Coalition.  The School Wellness Coalition focused their efforts on two initiatives this year: improving drinking water access and advocating for water bottle refill stations at schools; and, coordinating efforts to provide safer routes to schools for Jefferson County students.
Kyle Conrad is the Girls Scouts of Colorado North Jefferson County Volunteer Support Specialist.  Her work for the Girl Scouts over the past 5 years has included supporting community gardens and bringing local foods into Colorado schools.  Her work on the Jeffco Wellness Coalition has included designing and facilitating the creation of a training video now in use at Jeffco Schools that teaches volunteers to assess the availability of drinking water fountains and water bottle refill stations. The video stars girls scouts and has been a valuable resource for the Coalition as it reaches out to schools to do water assessments.

Cynthia Farrar has worked in public and community health settings in the Jefferson County area for over 25 years and has generously brought this experience to the School Wellness Coalition. Cynthia currently provides health education through three Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) School-based Health Centers for children and teens. In addition, she has supervised twelve teams of AmeriCorps members in her work.  Cynthia has a breadth of experience with classroom and small group health education and excels at maximizing resources to help students adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. Each year, her programs and staff provide nearly 1,000 classroom education sessions, and she has influenced youth health and safety behaviors for thousands of students in her past 15 years of work in the MCPN School-based Health Centers.

And, Public Health Champion, Leslie Feuerborn is the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Safe Routes to School Program Manager and an active member of the School Wellness Coalition. Leslie has  worked in different capacities to encourage healthy eating, active living and injury reduction for almost 40 years in Colorado. Her current work includes guiding communities in building Safe Routes to School coalitions to enable and encourage more school children to walk and bicycle safely to and from school. Leslie has been instrumental in helping the coalition set up goals for a coordinated approach to improving the infrastructure around schools to make walking and wheeling to school safer and more appealing. She has also spearheaded efforts encouraging municipalities to work together to apply for CDOT funding for these important built environment improvements.
Congratulations Kyle,  Cynthia, and Leslie for your work supporting school wellness in Jefferson County.
o   Improving collaboration among Early Childhood wellness programs in Jefferson County - Patricia Bolton

Patricia Bolton, Executive Director of the Triad Early Childhood Council is a champion for her work improving the health of children through the Early Childhood Council serving Jefferson, Clear Creek, and Gilpin counties and the newly formed Health in Early Childhood Collaborative. Pat has worked in the early care and education field for more than 30 years and is also Director of Child Care Innovations at Red Rocks Community College. In this capacity, she manages programs that include a variety of early childhood education training and support initiatives, child care subsidies for families in crisis, and child care licensing. As Executive Director of the Triad Early Childhood Council, Pat works to increase quality, access, and quality of early childhood services across the domains of early learning, health, mental health, and family support.

In 2015, Pat collaborated with Jefferson County Public Health and the University of Colorado to develop the Healthy Preschool Partnership. This partnership aims to increase reach and sustainability of evidence -based practices to improve nutrition and increase physical activity in licensed childcare facilities with a focus on working with low-income facilities. Pat has been a critical partner and supporter in the development of the Health in Early Childhood Collaborative and has provided the infrastructure to house this group within the TRIAD Early Childhood Council. Pat truly understands the impact the social determinants of health have on early childhood and works with families to address the whole family system and its psychosocial well-being. Pat is also an ordained minister and former registered nurse. Her extensive work in the early care and education field has included operation of a licensed family childcare home, serving as president of state and local family childcare associations, as well as involvement on local, state, and national task forces, advisory committees, and boards. Thank you and congratulations Pat on being a 2015 Public Health Champion for your work improving the health of so many of Jefferson County’s children.

o   Supporting the Creation of a Coalition to Connect Preventive Care and Behavioral Health Resources in Jefferson County
Corina Lindley,  Monica Buhlig and Carol Salzmann
Next, we would like to highlight partners instrumental in the creation of our newest Jeffco Community Health Improvement Coalition, the Preventive Care & Behavioral Health Resources Coalition. This coalition is working toward documenting and networking care resources throughout the county in order to ensure better access to care for all types of health and wellness needs. This coalition is also planning a county-wide stigma reduction campaign to reduce discrimination against those with behavioral and mental health conditions. Centura Health’s Corina Lindley, Vice President of Community Health and Mission and her colleague Monica Buhlig, Group Director of Community Health Improvement and Lutheran Medical Center’s Carol Salzmann, Vice President of Community Development and Executive Director of Lutheran Medical Center Foundation are 2015 Public Health Champions for helping to make the formation of this coalition possible. 

As representatives of the county’s two hospitals, these champions have also worked to coordinate their health assessments and improvement plans with Jeffco Community Health Improvement Network plans and inititatives—and have agreed to continued and expanded coordination in as we all move toward aligning our efforts to improving the community’s access to—and coordination of—care—including both preventive care and behavioral health resources.  In addition to their contribution to the Jefferson County Community Health Improvement Plan and the implementation of the Preventive Health and Behavioral Health Resources Coalition,  both hospitals are members of the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact.  As such, they are building healthier nutrition environments and have agreed to offer healthy food options to patients and their families, visitors and staff. Congratulations and thank you to Corina Lindley, Monica Buhlig and Carol Salzmann. 

CVS Health Extends its Commitment to Help People Live Tobacco Free Lives

CVS Health, the nation’s largest pharmacy company, announced Be The First, a five-year $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation on March 10, 2016. Recognizing that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States and that youth use of some tobacco products is on the rise, Be The First comprises comprehensive education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming in partnership with organizations uniquely positioned to tackle this public health challenge.

In addition, in February of this year, CVS announced a $5 million five-year commitment to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to launch its new "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program. Through the program, the CVS Health Foundation will partner with Tobacco-Free Kids to provide grants to organizations committed to implementing public health strategies to reduce youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Jefferson County Public Health applauds CVS for its meaningful work protecting our communities from the dangers of tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke. For information on the Jefferson County Public Health Tobacco Prevention Initiative and its work to support tobacco-free living, please visit

Immunizations can Save your Child’s Life . . .

National Infant Immunization Week (April 16-23, 2016) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.

Thanks to immunizations, children can be protected against more diseases than ever before. In fact, some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Take polio for example, this was once the most-feared disease in America, causing death and paralysis across the country, yet today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the U.S.

Despite advances in immunizations, too many children in Jefferson County, Colorado and in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. View the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Immunization Rates and Data web page. JCPH urges everyone to be sure their children have the vaccinations they need.

Please call 303-239-7078 to schedule an immunization clinic visit at our Lakewood clinic.
For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit

Learn about mental health first aid

Did you know that more than 43 million adults in our country struggled with mental illness in the past year? Half of us will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in our lives. Visit the CDC’s Mental Health website to learn more.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a way to put upstream, public health prevention strategies for behavioral health in action. Hundreds of local public health agencies, including Jefferson County Public Health, community mental health centers, primary care practices, hospitals, schools, law enforcement agencies and more are now using this evidence-based training to help address behavioral health needs in their communities. The program's popularity is impressive, but its supporters see the growth so far as just the beginning. So, if you're not one of the 25,000 certified Mental Health First Aiders in Colorado, what exactly is it all about?

The Mental Health First Aid Colorado (MHFACO) team has put together a short, introductory video explaining why it is important and how to get involved. Click here to watch the video and learn how you can become a lifeline for yourself, a colleague, client, friend or family member in need of support. You can also learn more at
More Resources:

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, there are people who want to help 24/7 at:
  • The National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-283-TALK (8255)
  • Colorado Crisis Services: 1-844-493-TALK (8255)

Early Childhood Development

The first years of a child's life are some of the most important in terms of cognitive, social, and physical development. Early experiences occurring when a child's brain and behavior are being shaped affect a child's ability to learn, to get along with others, and to develop an overall state of well-being. Unfortunately, not all children have the same positive experiences or opportunities, which can lead to disparities. Social, economic, and environmental factors have been closely linked to health disparities.

Research suggests that many disparities in overall health and well-being are rooted in early childhood. For example, those who lived in poverty as young children are more at-risk for leading causes of illness and death, and are more likely to experience poor quality of life. This growing problem costs the United States billions of dollars annually.

Our understanding of the lasting value of early experiences continues to grow. Interventions that support healthy development in early childhood reduce disparities, have lifelong positive impacts, and are prudent investments. Addressing these disparities effectively offers opportunities to help children, and benefits our society as a whole. View pdf of CDC Grandrounds presentation on Early Child Development. Together we can address health disparities in early childhood through increased collaborations, public health partnerships, and early intervention.

The Jeffco Community Health Improvement Network was formed in 2015. The Network is comprised of over 200 members working together to increase physical activity, healthy eating, and psyshosocial well-being among low-income families with children 0-18. By working together, partners throughout the county plan to use a collective impact framework to collaboratively and strategically improve the health and well-being of our community.

Jefferson County Public Health’s home visitation programs such as Prenatal Plus, Nurse Family Partnership and the Family Collaboration Programs as well as its HEAL in Early Childhood and Clinic Services provide the support necessary to keep children and their families healthy. The Community Health Services Division implements evidence-based prevention strategies to reduce health disparities and promote health equity to positively impact later health, well-being, education and productivity and self-sufficiency.

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