Thursday, September 11, 2008

Public Health Summit Set for Dec. 1 & 2, 2008

Following a process set in motion by Gov. Bill Ritter's signing of
Senate Bill 194 in June, Colorado public health officials will gather
at the Colorado Public Health Summit: From Vision to Action, December
1-2, 2008, at the Marriott Denver West, 1717 Denver West Boulevard in
Golden. The Summit will be co-hosted by the Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment (, the
Public Health Alliance of Colorado (http:// and the Caring for Colorado Foundation (

Senate Bill 194, the Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act,
requires identified boards, agencies, and public officials to
collaboratively develop state and local public health plans that set
priorities for the public health system in Colorado. The primary
purpose of the Act is to assure that core public health services are
available to every person in Colorado.

The Summit will convene health professionals to begin the process of
developing the state public health improvement plan required by the
Act. Groundwork for this process was laid in 2007 when a series of
meetings were held across the state to begin identifying gaps and
barriers to providing essential public health services. The meetings
were sponsored through a partnership of the same organizations hosting
this summit.

Under SB194, each county must establish - or be part of - a local or
district public health agency organized under a local/district board
of health with a public health director and other staff necessary to
provide public health services. In addition, the state of Colorado
must have a comprehensive public health plan by Dec, 31, 2009, that
outlines how quality public health services will be provided.

Colorado is one of several states nationwide revamping its public
health system, in part recognizing the evolution of issues that
challenge the public health workforce. Today's public health issues
include the safety of food and water, emerging diseases such as West
Nile Virus, obesity and childhood immunizations.

Online registration for the Summit will begin in mid-September on the
Public Health Alliance website, Public
health directors, public health nurses, environmental health
directors, other public and environmental health professionals, public
health partners, county commissioners, other elected officials and
representatives of other public health stakeholder groups are
encouraged to attend.

About the hosts: The Caring for Colorado Foundation is a non profit,
health grant-making foundation focused on improving the health and
health care of the people of the Colorado. The Foundation places an
emphasis on strengthening the existing health care system, building
additional capacity within that system and finding ways to link people
to care. Contact: Renee Rockford, Director of Communication,

The Public Health Alliance of Colorado is a collaborative of ten
public health organizations joining together to share resources,
administrative support, and communications. The mission of the
Alliance is to strengthen public health in Colorado by building
capacity within the participating organizations as well as connecting
its members. Contact: Amanda Bosworth Hensley, Communications
Coordinator, Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials,

The mission of the Colorado Department of Public Health and
Environment is to protect and improve the health of Colorado's people
and the quality of its environment. The department works closely with
local public health and environmental health partners toward its
mission of making Colorado the healthiest place to live. Contact:
Mark Salley, Deputy Director, Communications, 303-692-2028.