Dear Health Community Colleague,

Welcome to the debut second monthly edition of the Navigator. In this issue, you’ll find an article highlighting the health disparities that continue to affect the Black community, a provider partnership story, and a deeper dive into social determinants of health.

If you want to learn more about anything in this issue of the Navigator or just have a question, don't hesitate to contact us or follow us on any of our social media channels using the links below.

In good health,
Colorado Access


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

For Kids First Health Care, they’ve been advocating for the health of underserved children since Day One. Kids First Health Care is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of children who otherwise could not afford care. Each year they serve thousands of children in their Commerce City, Westminster, and Brighton clinics – many of whom are enrolled in Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+).
Colorado Access has proudly supported Kids First Health Care for years.
The collaborative partnership was really put to the test in 2020. It was a year unlike any we’d seen. It was a time where clinics needed more support than ever before, and Colorado Access stepped up to answer that call. In total, Colorado Access invested in more than 150 organizations throughout the year. This was in addition to regular support that practice support and provider relations teams regularly provide.

Kids First Health Care received a portion of those investments, and wasted no time putting it to good use. “Colorado Access has been one of our trusted partners for years, and we appreciate receiving these funds at the time when we did. We were able to use them to help with our staff cost, which allowed us to better serve our community by continuing to focus on things like our texting campaign and getting flu vaccines out,” said Maria D. Zubia, director of community outreach at Kids First Health Care.

Colorado Access provides a wide range of support to its provider network.
The dedicated practice support team partners directly with providers to offer specialized services, including quality improvement efforts for care delivery, so that contracted providers meet, if not exceed, their contractual requirements.
“Colorado Access values each and every one of our providers, and we want to continue to strengthen these critical partnerships in a manner that aligns with their goals,” said Eileen Forlenza, one of our practice facilitators who has been working closely with Kids First Health Care. “Health care is a local effort - providers know their community in meaningful ways. We look to our providers to innovate, create and evaluate on what makes sense for them. We are honored to support these efforts and to be seen as part of the fabric of their health
care delivery.”

Our practice support facilitators strive to build lasting relationships with our providers, that enable our provider network to feel supported and able to operate at the top of their licensure. Zubia recently turned to this partnership for help collecting data needed to launch a mass text messaging campaign. She contacted the practice support staff at Colorado Access to help aggregate attribution data, which they used to launch a mass text message campaign.
Through this campaign, Kids First Health Care was able to better identify individual needs and barriers to care among their patient population. As texts went out, staff at Kids First Health Care immediately saw an increase in calls and inquiries from patients wanting to schedule appointments and discuss their needs. This information will guide the creation of targeted programming and outreach efforts, and ultimately, will help eliminate barriers and increase access to services. In fact, through this endeavor, Kids First Health Care recognized the need for a staff member dedicated to eliminating barriers for patients and has since brought on a volunteer to provide this service.

To learn more about Kids First Health Care, visit their website at

Do you have a story to share? We’d love to hear from you! Please email us at

Community Events

The 2021 Rock It Sock It Sock Drive will run until February 27th. The drive provides clean, new socks to help those in need get one step closer to health care. Click here for more information.

City of Aurora economic development program: If you work with individuals or groups who are experiencing food insecurity, contact Frank Butz at 303-739-7272 or to connect them to free meals at local restaurants.

Denver Food Rescue has expanded their No Cost Grocery Program. Click here to learn more.

2021 Collaborative Black Health Summit: The Center for African American Health is hosting a free virtual summit on community health, COVID-19, and moving forward together on February 26th and 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Click here for more information and to register.

If you have an upcoming community event that you'd like us to share, please email us.
COVID-19 Resources

For COVID-19 utilization management information, click here.

For COVID-19 pharmacy information, click here.

For COVID-19 administrative information, click here.

For COVID-19 training information, click here.

For COVID-19 practice support information, click here.

The new Social Determinants of Health - Connecting the Dots series will illuminate social factors that lead to health inequalities and disparities, or help to decrease them. We hope this monthly series will support your existing efforts by providing resources and educational opportunities while exploring current trends and best practices. Click here to read this month’s column, which is about disparities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Black History Month
February is Black History Month. This year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) is partnering with health care professionals and fellow HHS OMHs around the nation to educate the public on the impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities. Click here to learn more.
Black Americans are lagging in COVID-19 vaccinations
ABC News analyzed vaccination data broken down by demographic in 15 states. Click here to read more.

New white paper - "Behavioral Health Care Service Trends During the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Health First Colorado Population"
COVID-19, and its disruption to our daily lives, has led to an increased need for behavioral health services for depression and anxiety. It’s also changed the way we receive care, shifting from traditional in-person treatment to a virtual environment. We have long offered telehealth services through our subsidiary company, AccessCare Services. When the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare loosened their restrictions around administering telehealth, we, and our providers, were able to swiftly respond – eliminating barriers to care and improving the health outcomes for members. Our evaluation and research team found that this shift to telehealth has allowed providers to continue meeting the needs of a large portion of our members even as the COVID-19 pandemic complicates the health care delivery system. Click here to read more.

  • Colorado COVID-19 vaccine finder tool: Nick Muerdter, a local computer programmer, created a website to make it easier to find COVID-19 vaccine appointments across the state. Click here for the tool and click here to read more about it.

  • COVID-19 long-haulers and disability benefits: Disability advocates and lawmakers are calling on the Social Security Administration to make a decision. Click here to read more from NPR.

  • Getting back to normal: Experts say it’s not yet time. Click here to read more from Kaiser Health News.

  • Potential supply and demand issues:
    1. Even after billions of dollars and dozens of wartime declarations, vaccines are still in short supply.
      Click here to read more.
    2. Vaccinators themselves are in short supply in some areas, and this may only get worse. Click here to read more.
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