Thursday, February 11, 2016

Share the Love During Heart Health Month

February 14 is Valentine’s Day - a day to celebrate love in its many forms. But did you know that nearly 50 years ago, February was designated as American Heart Month? During this month, we raise awareness about the risks for heart disease, as well as healthy lifestyle changes that can reduce cardiovascular risks and promote healthy hearts.

Given that February is dedicated to celebrating love, caring, and heart health, it’s a great time to improve your own heart health or encourage others to improve theirs by quitting smoking. The Surgeon General has concluded that cigarette smoking greatly increases one's risk for heart disease.

By the numbers:

About 130,000 cardiovascular disease deaths per year in the United States are attributable to smoking
Approximately 26% of heart attacks and 12–19% of strokes are attributable to smoking.

Being smoke-free and eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke is important to heart health. Quitting smoking could be the best Valentine’s Day present you can give to your family or your loved ones. For free quit support, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit This service provides free support and advice from experienced counselors, a personalized quit plan, self-help materials, the latest information about cessation medications, and more.

How can clinical decision supports help manage patients with chronic disease?

Clinical decision support (CDS) tools within the EHR can be designed to organize, filter, and present useful information at the appropriate point in time to the person who can use it to make a decision. When implemented properly and used correctly these tools should produce measurable improvement in the clinical decisions made by clinicians, care teams, and patients.

For the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs in 2016, eligible professionals and eligible hospitals must meet the (CDS) objective by:
Implementing five CDS rules related to four or more clinical quality measures or related to a high-priority health condition for the eligible professional, eligible hospital, or critical access hospital’s scope of practice or patient population
Enabling and implementing functionality for drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks

Providers can customize the implementation of the CDS to their own needs for their clinical practice and patient population. Providers are not limited to just “pop-up” alert CDS interventions. They can meet the objective by using other methods of CDS.

To learn more, review the specification sheets for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals or check out the Clinical Decision Support Toolkit.

New Resources to Promote Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Benefits

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is pleased to announce the launch of a statewide mass media and outreach campaign to educate Medicaid enrollees about the benefits available to help them quit smoking.

The campaign, “Quitting Smoking is Covered with Medicaid!” will feature online and mobile ads in English and Spanish, and will run during February and March 2016. 

The ads will target the general Medicaid population and will also be directed toward pregnant women. In the coming weeks, new downloadable resources will be available to support the campaign messaging. State Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership (STEPP) Grantees will be able to access the new templates here via the site. In the interim, please click here to download PDF versions of the fliers and posters in English and Spanish.

The mass media campaign is part of a larger effort to encourage physicians to educate patients about cessation benefits such as counseling and medications available to them as part of their health insurance with Medicaid. Community health clinics across Colorado including Pueblo Community Health Center, Marillac Clinic, Denver Health, Peak Vista, MCPN and ClĂ­nica Tepeyac will also be featuring the campaign.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NIH launches public health campaign on link between hypertension and brain health

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that uncontrolled high blood pressure is not only the leading cause of stroke but may also be linked to cognitive decline and dementia. The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is launching a public health education campaign called Mind Your Risks. It is designed to raise awareness about how controlling risk factors for stroke in middle age, particularly high blood pressure, may reduce the risk of cognitive decline later in life.

NINDS is partnering with Million Hearts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; and also with the Administration for Community Living, and the NIH’s National Institute on Aging and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

For more information please visit:

State health release RFA for School-Based Health Center funding

The School-Based Health Center (SBHC) Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is pleased to announce the release of a new, five-year Request for Applications (RFA). This planning-to-operations request for applications (RFA) is to establish new school-based health centers in Colorado.
Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis for the period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2021.  Annual awards are contingent upon available funding, a strong operations plan, solid grantee performance, and compliance with all contract requirements. Funding is never guaranteed, even if previously funded by CDPHE.

CDPHE’s SBHC Program will host an information webinar about the RFA on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2 – 3:30 p.m. MST. The webinar will provide an overview of the application and address questions. ​
Call-in information: 
​​Participant Code: 664237#

Questions will be accepted and answered via email from Wednesday, Feb.10 through Thursday, March 10. Submit questions via email to Questions and answers will be posted weekly at
Application Deadline
The application submission deadline is Monday, March 14, by 4 p.m. MST. Electronic submissions of RFA applications in the original formats (e.g. PDF, Excel) with signatures must be submitted to 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Getting the word out about Children's Dental Health Month

Children's Dental Health Month in February will be a great time to promote the work you are doing through the PIOHQI project, demonstrating how a pregnant woman's oral health shapes her newborn child's risk of tooth decay. To make it easier for you to do this, CDHP has co-produced a social media kit with messages that you can use on Facebook and/or Twitter. The kit can be accessed here: (The kit includes a section on page 8 that is headlined "Moms Matter & Pregnancy," containing messages that connect with the purpose of PIOHQI.)

When should you use these messages? Anytime during the month of February, but CDHP is helping to coordinate two social media events that enable you to join with other health stakeholders to raise awareness of oral health's importance: 

Thursday, February 4 (2:00 to 2:30 pm Eastern) -- We're co-hosting a social media storm with the DentaQuest Foundation. During this half hour, participants are encouraged to post any messages they would like about children's oral health on Facebook and/or Twitter. Be sure to include the hashtag of #Month4Smiles somewhere in your message.

Wednesday, February 17 (2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern) -- At our request, MomsRising has agreed to make children's oral health the focus of its weekly "Wellness Wednesday" Twitter chat. This event is built around a Q-and-A format. We expect one of the questions to focus on moms and/or pregnancy. This would be a good time to tweet an answer that mentions how important it is for pregnant women to get dental care during pregnancy. Be sure to include the hashtag of #WellnessWed somewhere in your answer.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Incorporate Tobacco Cessation Services and Supports at Your Clinic

Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases including heart disease and cancer, and reduces the health of smokers in general.

Primary care clinics are on the front lines of helping clients quit using tobacco. As such, BHWP and its partners, the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and ECHO Colorado, have issued a Request for Applications to join the 2016 Build a Clinic Learning Community.

The Build a Clinic program is a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide primary care practices with all the skills and knowledge they need to evaluate and redesign their current workflows to incorporate or augment tobacco cessation services and supports.

Applicant organizations should be (1) primary care practices (2) working in rural, provider shortage, or medically underserved areas and (3) ready and able to adopt or augment tobacco cessation services into existing clinical practice no later than six months after the program’s conclusion in September.

Deadline for applications is mid-February and space is limited!

For more information visit the BHWP website: