This post was written by Gretchen Hammer, a previous member of our team.
“We all want to throw the Hail Mary, but sometimes we have to celebrate three yards and a pile of dirt.”
During the recent debt ceiling debate, a Southern lawmaker said something to this effect during an interview on National Public Radio. I smiled then and I smile every time I think about this quote. When you work in the public sphere, more often than not, progress is measured by “three yards and a pile a dirt,” instead of single, spectacular events. Progress can be slow and sometimes even a bit messy, but it is critical that public leaders find ways to recognize progress when it is made.
Recently, CCMU has made a lot of progress, both at the Capitol and in communities. To start, three new policies that will streamline eligibility and enrollment for Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus became effective this week; these are changes CCMU, through our All Kids Covered partnership, has worked hard advocating for over the past three years.
Aurora Health Access, a community health initiative that CCMU participates in, made strides last month, too – a town hall with Governor John Hickenlooper and his Deputy Policy Advisor Lorez Meinhold. During this event, we celebrated the work of Aurora Health Access as a community lead initiative and the Aurora Lights program which helps put students on a path toward health care careers. The chance to host the Governor, as well as Joan Henneberry from the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange, added energy and momentum to our efforts in Aurora.
Finally, we also made progress with our Colorado HealthStory project which collects and shares stories of everyday Coloradans to start new community conversations. Along with our partners, ClinicNET and the Colorado Rural Health Center, we have completed the pilot phase of the project, which included Aurora, Summit County, and Rocky Ford. In each of these communities, we collected stories and hosted forums to engage people in the conversation about their health and local health care system. I invite you to visit www.coloradohealthstory.org, listen to some of these stories, and be inspired and reminded why – after we celebrate our three yards of progress – we’ve got to dust ourselves off and get ready to run again.