Last July, I joined the Community Partnerships team at Center for Health Progress. On my second day, I attended the annual meeting of the Colorado Network of Health Alliances (the Network). In the future, I would be facilitating these meetings. On this day, my role was to listen, meet health alliance members, and start to learn about the Network. For one of the activities, members brainstormed what has worked well with the structure of the Network meetings and what can be improved in the future. Several health alliance members expressed an interest in sharing more “bright spots” or highlights from individual health alliances.
As a member-based network of health alliances from around the state, the Network provides a unique space for learning and networking—of course we would gladly share more bright spots and highlights! We embrace any opportunity to brag about the incredible work these groups are doing! And, it might just give a health alliance its next big idea or chance to partner with a neighboring alliance. So, that’s what we are doing. Now in our meetings, we schedule time for members to highlight bright spots. It’s a great opportunity to hear about the incredible change health alliances catalyze in their communities.
For example, did you know that Northwest Colorado Community Health Partnership recently incorporated as its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or that Tri-County Health Network has improved access to a comprehensive behavioral health delivery system in San Miguel, Montrose, and Ouray Counties? You can read about these bright spots and more in the newly released, Progress & Possibilities.
It’s also been a big year for the Network as a whole. Here are a few of its recent bright spots:
Collective Priorities: In 2016, the membership developed a statewide common agenda with two priority areas: to support long-term financial sustainability of Colorado’s health alliances by exploring coordinated efforts to fund health alliance work, and to collectively influence the implementation of statewide health systems transformation efforts. We are working on our identified goals and tactics to accomplish these key strategies, like developing decision-making protocols for when and how the Network would engage in health systems change efforts and how to distribute shared funding.
Collaboration for Impact: Last fall, the Network drafted and agreed to a series of comments that were submitted to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing in response to the Accountable Care Collaborative Phase II draft request for proposals.
New Membership: Park County Mental Health Alliance, among the newest health alliances in Colorado, joined the Network in 2016. We are excited to expand our reach and membership across the state, working to leverage their collective capacity for impact across the state.
The process of creating a health care system that works for all Coloradans is slow and arduous. In order to maintain momentum, we must celebrate each small victory along the way. As health alliances work together to uncover commonsense solutions to the complex challenges of their local health systems, we’ll also be uncovering and sharing the bright spots that remind us of our progress. We hope you will, too, because we could all use a little more celebration! Tell us—what are the bright spots in your work?