Author Archives: Caroline Lallo

Health is More than Healthcare

Good health depends on more than just health care. Our health is affected by where we live, the work we do, the education we receive, and our income.  I work with residents to improve their health and reduce their chances of developing heart disease and diabetes. There

Nicole are three recommendations that I often make to clients: 1. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats; 2. Increase physical activity; and 3. Take your prescribed medications. For some clients, these are strategies they can incorporate into their lives. But not everyone can.

One client, let’s call her Jane, is a single mother working two part time jobs. She wants to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables, but can’t afford them from her local grocer. Canned foods, which are high in sodium and/or sugar, are the basis of most of the meals she cooks. Jane doesn’t have much time to cook, so sometimes prepackaged foods are the most efficient way to feed her kids – like frozen pizza and chicken fingers. Speaking of time, exercise is low on her priority list because she’d rather spend time with her kids. During the summer she comes up with ways to get the entire family exercising by playing outside, but winter is a tough challenge. Jane doesn’t have insurance through her workplaces, and she sometimes has to choose between paying for her prescriptions or paying for the heat to stay on. So my suggestions might be well meaning, but how helpful are they really? Is health care the solution to the challenges Jane faces, or do we need to do something more?

The Tri County Health Network has received funding from the Colorado Trust to support local discussions about what we can do as friends and neighbors to support each other’s health and well-being. These discussions will focus on “health equity.” Health equity is a vision of communities where every person has the chance to achieve his or her full health potential. When health equity is achieved, no one is prevented from fulfilling their potential because of their income, job, race, or where they live. Discussions about health equity will look at some of the challenges our friends and neighbors face in affording healthy food, having time to cook and exercise, have health insurance coverage that pays for preventative care and prescriptions, and much more. Health equity is about more than health care, it’s about friends and neighbors caring about their community’s health overall. As a community, we work, learn, play, and live together. Let’s make sure that everyone has the chance to enjoy life to its fullest (and longest) in our beautiful town.

Click here to find out more about the Health Equity Learning Event being held February 11th!

This post was written by Nicole Gans, Ouray and Telluride Community Health Worker

Bringing Better Health to the Westend

Nestled between Telluride, Placerville, Norwood, Nucla and Naturita rests the San Miguel watershed. Known for its natural beauty there is a harsher reality than most realize for those living along the San Miguel River. Traveling downstream from the affluence of Telluride, the scenery, economy and lifestyles change. Venturing farther from the headwaters, isolation becomes an… Continue Reading

When You Think You Know

Coming from a rural part of the country I have been exposed to many of the troubles facing impoverished populations. Growing up, my father and stepmother lived in a trailer in the northern-most part of Michigan. They worked constantly to make sure their five daughters (between the two of them) had all that they needed,… Continue Reading

Paul Major Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul Major, President and CEO of the Telluride Foundation, was awarded the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved Life Achievement Award last week. Each year, CCMU honors four community members who have made outstanding contributions to improve health care systems and provide care for the medically underserved. Paul has dedicated his time working at the… Continue Reading

Health Equity(or lack thereof) in Small Town, USA

New healthcare laws have created a whirlwind in the health industry, confusing and frustrating many people in the process. The Affordable Care Act has initiated a revolutionary movement across the United States, requiring everyone to buy into some form of health coverage or pay an annual penalty. Many Americans, who were previously uninsured, are now… Continue Reading

National HIV Testing Day

Since the height of the epidemic in the 1980’s there have been great strides made in the containment and treatment of HIV/AIDS. The total number of new infections has been reduced by over two-thirds (from 130,000 to 50,000 annually). Although this is a great accomplishment there are still far too many people living with this… Continue Reading

Increasing Outreach in Rural Colorado

Affordable and accessible healthcare is something that every person has the right to. Our goal is to assist the people in the four counties we serve(Montrose, Delta, San Miguel and Olathe) in gaining just that. However, in rural Colorado it is often very difficult to continue our outreach successfully. This is why over the past two months… Continue Reading

Memorial Day Weekend Safety

With summer quickly approaching, we are in full swing here in Telluride. It is Memorial Day Weekend and that means a swarm of environmental advocates and adventurous tourists will be gracing us with their presence for the well-known Mountainfilm Festival. The next four days will be filled with new faces, great films and copious amounts… Continue Reading