Category Archives: Uncategorized

Minority Health Month

April is Minority Health Month—a time for us to think about the fact that people of different races and ethnicities experience different health outcomes. This is a real issue in Colorado, where, for example, Latino infants are 70% more likely to die than white infants and Latino people are 62% more likely to die from diabetes than white people.

Immigration laws can have a big impact on the health of people of color in Colorado.  In the past, a pregnant woman could not be deported. However, that rule was recently changed and now a pregnant woman can be arrested and deported from the U.S. Additionally, if immigrants are legally present in the U.S. with VISAs, they cannot renew their VISA if their children (who are U.S. citizens) use social services like Medicaid or Food Stamps.

Policy changes like these force families to make impossible decisions. As a parent, how can you choose between getting your children food and getting yourself deported? Or, if you are pregnant, would you want to seek prenatal care if you knew that it would lead to arrest and deportation?

These policy changes are preventing families from applying for programs like Medicaid or Food Stamps. It is also preventing them from accessing medical care for their unborn children. They live in fear of the government and deportation; they don’t want to give their name and their addresses.

It is no surprise that Latinos have experienced the largest increases in chronic stress since President Trump was elected. High levels of stress increase the chances of a slew of health problems including diabetes, heart conditions, obesity, and even infant mortality.

At Tri-County Health Network, we are working to build health equity in our region. Health equity means that race and other traits—like living in a rural area, income, or educational level—do not affect health. While we are making strides at improving health equity, race, ethnicity, and income are still linked to health outcomes. If you are white and wealthy, on average, you’re going to have the best health outcomes of anyone in the country.

We hope you join Tri-County Health Network during Minority Health Month in our fight for health equity. None of our neighbors should be forced to choose between the food, housing, and healthcare they need and the people and country they love. Call your Senators and Representatives and tell them that you hope they will take the steps needed to protect the health of all Coloradoans, especially people of color, during Minority Health Month.

By Kody Gerkin, Community Outreach Manager

Skippy+ and Beyond!

Tri-County Health Network’s Skippy dental program has grown up since we started our mobile, in-school services in 2008. Our original scope of work was to bring licensed dental hygienists into the school and let them work at the top of their licensure: cleaning, identifying potential cavities or other concerns, and educating the kids about how… Continue Reading

Yippy Skippy!

After a brief winter hibernation, Skippy is well rested and back in action for the Spring semester. With all the planning and coordination that Skippy requires it doesn’t even feel like it ever stopped, for me anyway. That’s probably because of the new enhancements the program is piloting this Spring semester. Haven’t you heard? Lots… Continue Reading

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

The room was completely quiet—a surprise given the variety of people in attendance. Teachers, advocates, counselors, and elected officials are often not left speechless. At least one person was visibly crying and the rest were on the verge of tears. There were 8 of us together for an all-day Youth Mental Health First Aid training.… Continue Reading

Getting Past Public Speaking Anxiety

We surveyed the block before we turned. To the left, I see upturned sidewalks, cars on blocks, broken swing sets and dilapidated kids toys. To the right, I see mostly fences, which to me means dogs. We turn left. I am canvassing one of Denver’s poorest neighborhoods with another woman, Dawn, who is about my… Continue Reading

February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month and in honor of this occasion Tri-County Health Network would like to highlight its effort to combat heart disease in our rural, underserved region. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. — 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. Fortunately,… Continue Reading

Guiding Through Enrollment

I was not sure what to expect when Open Enrollment began. As the newest Health Coverage Guide (HCG) with Tri-County Health Network (TCHNetwork), all I could think of were the horror stories from last year’s enrollment period. Hours on hold with Connect for Health Colorado fixing technical issues, dealing with aggravated clients, lost usernames and… Continue Reading

Navigating Options for Our Elders

All of us witness and experience aging. When we are younger, our lives are filled with work, play, children and more. Aging does not seem to impact us personally unless we have an aging family member or loved one. At some point in our lives however – aging becomes a very personal affair and one… Continue Reading

You Only Get What You Give

This past month, Tri-County Health Network competed in Telluride Gives, an online giving campaign designed to unite the Telluride community to give back to local nonprofits who improve the quality of life for everyone in the region. This was a big campaign for us since this is the only time of the year we solicit… Continue Reading