Friday, November 21, 2014

Adolescent Suicide in Colorado, 2008-2012

The Health Statistics Branch at CDPHE has released the Health Watch - Adolescent Suicide in Colorado, 2008-2012 report on youth suicide data.

This report describes the issue of adolescent suicide in Colorado by using the National Violent Death Reporting System surveillance data. The purpose of this report is to increase suicide awareness, as well as present unique aspects and factors of adolescent suicide. These data can be used at the state and local levels in Colorado to help inform intervention and prevention efforts that will reduce adolescent suicide.

Colorado Insurance Alert Urges Smokers to Quit

DENVER — Colorado insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar is urging people to take advantage of smoking-cessation programs at no cost through plans under the country's new health-care law.

Salazar issued a consumer alert Thursday to raise public awareness about help available to stop smoking. She notes that plans compliant with the Affordable Care Act offer free counseling and medications, like patches or gums.

"It's one thing to tell people that they ought to stop smoking and that there's benefits and those kind of things. But I think when we emphasize that this is an alert, we want people to pay attention and to realize that we take this very seriously," Salazar said. It's the first alert she has issued since becoming commissioner in August 2013.

Also Thursday, one of Colorado's largest hospital groups, Centura Health, announced it would no longer hire tobacco users after Jan. 1. The policy won't apply to current workers, but job applicants will be tested for tobacco as part of their employment screening. Centura outlawed smoking and tobacco use at its premises in 2012.

Salazar announced her alert to mark the annual "Great American Smokeout," an American Cancer Society event that urges smokers to make a plan to stop.A consumer alert means the state's division of insurance will publicize the information online and ask health-insurance companies to post the details on their websites. Salazar said the insurance benefits to help smokers quit has been available since 2012 under the new health law, but she's trying to get more people to know about it.

"I think we have to keep repeating that message because someone may not have been ready to stop smoking when it first came out," she said. "And maybe if they hear it again and they realize that there is not out-of-pocket expense if they want to try to stop smoking, that again, those people who are ready now to quit will pay attention and go find help."

Associated PressNovember 20, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Colorado forms first state-sponsored hospital nutrition compact

CHHC launch 
Hospitals from across Colorado joined the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Nov. 14 in launching the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact, a first-of-its kind agreement to promote healthy food and beverage options in hospital cafeterias, vending machines and patient menus and support new moms in breastfeeding their babies.

State health department Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk recognized founding partners, new partner hospitals and those that have achieved a level of recognition under the Compact's comprehensive standards. 

Founding Partners

Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Public Health, Jefferson County Public Health Kaiser-Permanente Healthcare, LiveWell Colorado, Lutheran Medical Center, Tri-County Health Department, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.

Partner Hospitals

Gold: Children's Hospital Colorado, Lutheran Medical Center
Silver: Avista Adventist Hospital, Littleton Adventist Hospital, St. Anthony Summit Medical Center
Bronze: Denver Health Medical Center, St. Anthony Hospital
New: Longmont United Hospital, Medical Center of Aurora, Sky Ridge Medical Center

The state health department is committed to making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. State health experts worked with founding partners to develop the nationally-recognized compact as a way to improve hospital nutrition and reduce obesity. While Colorado is the leanest state in the nation, one in five Colorado adults and one in seven Colorado children are obese. 

Compact hospitals choose programs to implement and are recognized for what they achieve against a comprehensive set of standards. Here are the four programs available and a sample of the standards for each:

  • Healthy Food Program: Compact hospitals offer daily healthy adult and child meals and a proportion of healthy snacks and side dishes. 
  • Healthy Beverage Program: Compact hospitals offer free water and sugarless drink options. 
  • Marketing Program: Compact hospitals promote healthy food and beverage choices through signage, labeling and discounts. 
  • Breastfeeding Support Program: Compact hospitals provide trained staff members to help mothers breastfeed their babies in the hospital and refer them to lactation support services upon discharge. They also must offer staff members a time and place to breastfeed. 
To learn more, contact Susan Motika at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or go to

Thanksgiving is Family Health History Day

Thanksgiving is Family Health History Day! Create a family health portrait.

Each year since 2004, the Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be National Family Health History Day. Over the holiday or at other times when families gather, the Surgeon General encourages Americans to talk about, and to write down, the health problems that seem to run in their family.

Family health history can be a powerful screening tool. Family history of heart disease, diabetes and cancer can be significant in preventing, identifying and treating these conditions. Use the free Surgeon General's My Family Health Portrait to create your family's health history. It's is a secure website that takes about 20 minutes to generate a unique family health portrait.

Join our Thanksgiving Thunderclap for #FamilyHealthHistory and help spread the word about the importance of knowing your family health history.

Knowing your family's health history may help ensure a longer, healthier future together.

Visit to learn more!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

National Diabetes Education Program releases Guiding Principles for diabetes care

A newly published set of 10 guiding principles for diabetes can be clinically useful in diabetes management and prevention. Presented by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), Guiding Principles for the Care of People With or at Risk for Diabetes is aimed to identify and synthesize areas of general agreement among existing guidelines to help guide primary care providers and health care teams to deliver quality care to adults with or at risk for diabetes.  

The ten principles cover topics including identifying people with undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes, ongoing self-management education, individualized nutrition therapy, and blood pressure screening and control, among other topics. More than a dozen federal agencies and professional organizations support the document.

November is National Diabetes Month 2014. Throughout National Diabetes Month, NDEP and its partners will promote “Be Smart About Your Heart: Control the ABCs of Diabetes” to help people with diabetes learn they are at greater risk for heart disease, and also how they can lower that risk by managing the diabetes ABCs: the A1C test, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Stop Smoking.

To find related information and additional resources about diabetes prevention and management that you can use in your National Diabetes Month outreach efforts, visit

Source: National Institutes of Health.

Next Colorado Coalition for Healthy Schools Meeting

December Colorado Coalition for Healthy Schools (CCHS) Meeting

Register for the next CCHS meeting on December 5, 2014 from 8:30am-2:30pm at the Adams 12 Conference Center. 

The agenda includes nationally-recognized family engagement expert, Eileen Forlenza, who will share stories and strategies from over 15 years as an expert in this field. 

We will also feature real life stories from the field including parents engaged with Action for Healthy Kids, Colorado PTA, the Family Leadership Training Institute, and more! We also have a presenter joining us from the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington DC to share information about engaging families in school policy and rules, with a focus on Smart Snacks in Schools rules. 

Register by November 28, 2014. Contact Pam Hitt with any questions. 

HKCS 2013 Regional Data and 2015 Survey Question Proposal Process

2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey Data

New 2013 HKCS data is now available! For the first time, Colorado has data available for the state and for health statistics regions, as well as data by sexual orientation and race/ethnicity.

2013 data tables, the Executive Summary and data from previous years can be found here.  Partners can request additional data analysis with this form.

2015 Question Proposal Request Form

The HKCS Steering Committee is now accepting proposals for questions to be added to the 2015 surveys. To propose a new question for the survey, complete this form by December 15, 2014. The HKCS Steering Committee will review and approve any new questions in February 2015. 

Questions? Contact Sarah Nickels, CDPHE Healthy Kids Colorado Survey Lead.