Current projects

Trailhead Institute is a resource for everyone in the public health and environmental health community. We work in a variety of roles with a wide array of individuals, programs and organizations to improve the health of individuals, communities and the environment. The following descriptions provide a brief overview of the efforts and initiatives we currently support through our Community Engagement, Leadership Development and Administrative Partnerships programs.

Please contact us if you’d like more detailed information about any of these projects.

Community engagement

The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) is a collaborative enterprise involving Colorado universities, research organizations, health care organizations, and multiple community organizations. Together, these organizations seek to translate research discoveries into improved patient care and public health more quickly within our communities—with the ultimate goal of reducing health disparities in the Rocky Mountain Region. Recognizing the crucial role of community engagement in these endeavors, the Community Engagement Core of CCTSI was created to transform the existing community research processes and infrastructure using community-based participatory research principles while growing community-academic partnerships. A dynamic Partnership of Academicians and Communities for Translation (PACT) guides the work of the Community Engagement Core while enabling a more collaborative exchange between communities and academic programs. Trailhead Institute manages all the funds that are going into the community for this program and oversees a Community Research Liaison (CRL) Program and a Pilot Grants program.

Community Research Liaisons live in their own communities and have received training in community-based participatory research and translational research. They establish working partnerships between academic researchers and community members, serving as facilitators, ambassadors, confidants and educators. The relationships they help build can create community-based participatory research projects that better inform research and identify interventions, which ultimately improve the health of the community. They work with scientific staff on health surveillance, coordinate pilot studies and partner with investigators on initiating and conducting translational research in their communities.

This project explores partnership sustainability through four phases: developing an advisory panel to identify priority topics around sustainability, hosting a series of meetings with individuals sharing their stories and lessons learned on these priority topics, hosting an interactive workshop to further refine and report out findings, and developing resources and tools to facilitate successful partnership sustainability to wider audiences.

Our staff at Trailhead Institute comprises a team of public health specialists with a broad base of experience and expertise. Together, we can provide consulting for just about any public-health-related effort, including community engagement support, fiscal trainings, grant writing and meeting facilitation. We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise and expand our partnerships.

Trailhead Institute provides ongoing support for a variety of special projects and events for existing partners. We serve in different roles based on the specific needs of each partner, providing a wide range of support that can range from serving as an administrative support system to behind-the-scenes coordinators.

Leadership development

An official program of Trailhead Institute, RIHEL provides leadership training, builds linkages among leaders, and strengthens the relationships among health professionals, environment professionals, the academic community, the public sector and the private sector. With over 800 graduates of our flagship Advanced Leadership Training Program, RIHEL is a valued resource for vibrant, forward-looking professionals dedicated to the health and environment in our region.

Youth Sexual Health

Trailhead Institute’s goal is to become a trusted, centralized, multi-sector resource for youth sexual health, education and resources across Colorado as a way to connect initiatives, dismantle silos, and build seamless synergy across health topics.

Food Access & Security

The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger is a multi-year plan to end hunger for all Coloradans. It was developed, with funding from the Colorado Health Foundation, by individuals and organizations from across the state who are working on or experiencing hunger in their own homes and communities.

Administrative Partnership

Affinity Consulting works to advance health and health equity by connecting with others to collaborate and cultivate community well-being.

AOPYO focuses on youth engagement in the areas of wellness, leadership, common sense, and social responsibility. They create advocacy points around health and wellness initiatives while orienting youth to the AOPYO philosophy, which is reinforced with the practice of tai chi.

At the Table Colorado (ATTC) convenes forums, throughout Colorado, designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and inspire collaborative action to improve communities. ATTC brings people from all walks of life together to participate in conversations about what makes their communities great and what can be done to make them even better.

CHARGE for Positive Youth Development (CHARGE PYD) works across the six counties of southeast Colorado. It started out using the County Health Rankings to determine major health issues in the region and then applied the Community Guide to determine what efforts would be most feasible and meaningful to the communities. Youth sexual health was identified as a key area of focus and additional funding has helped to support efforts to address this issue. Creating cultural change within these rural, tight-knit communities requires trust and understanding of the community. A youth empowerment model has allowed CHARGE to be successful in starting conversations around these issues in areas where they previously did not exist.

A grassroots organization, CREA (Community + Research +Education + Awareness) Results Community Health Workers was created in 2006 to focus the talents and abilities of community members on eliminating health disparities and environmental poverty through local action. The organization’s team of Promotores de Salud, or Community Health Workers, are members of the community who are fluent in the Latino language and sensitive to the local culture. The overall project goal is to recruit, train and employ Promotores de Salud/Community Health Workers to provide a bridge between health care service providers and the community.

The Colorado Cancer Coalition (CCC) is a unique alliance of organizations and individuals that share a common focus: the prevention and control of cancer in Colorado. The CCC is dedicated to achieving increased prevention, research, early detection and improved treatment of cancer for all Coloradoans in the coming decade.

The Colorado Perinatal Care Quality Collaborative is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and infants throughout the state by working closely with hospitals and perinatal providers, as well as partnering with organizations such as the March of Dimes, Colorado Hospital Association, and other professional groups working in the interest of perinatal care.

Formed in 2011, the Colorado Prevention Alliance (CPA) seeks to engage and empower Colorado health plans, public health entities, businesses and other stakeholders to work collaboratively on disease prevention issues and to leverage resources to support these endeavors. The CPA addresses a wide spectrum of prevention efforts based on stakeholder direction to ensure relevance, buy-in and active engagement. The CPA also uses a review of the National Business Coalition on Health’s evalu8 Request for Information and HEDIS data set results for Colorado health plans to inform decisions and prioritize projects.

This project is a state team collaborative where there is an in-person skill-building and networking workshop focused on community engagement as a best practice to address health equity in local decision making processes. The primary objective of the workshop is to increase local public health agency (LPHA) capacity to conduct effective community engagement that supports successful local coalitions and partnerships, and guides collaborative decision-making for assessment and planning in Colorado.

This youth engaged community based participatory engagement creates a body of data and information to strengthen youth program strategies across city agencies and city organizations related to substance use and marijuana use.

This is a youth engaged community based participatory engagement that creates a body of data and information to strengthen youth program strategies across city agencies and city organizations while raising awareness of youth health issues in the community and with key organizational partners.

The Colorado Farm to School Task Force was created to study, develop and recommend policies and methods to implement a statewide farm-to-school program that will bring healthy, fresh, local food to K-12 schools in Colorado to improve school food nutrition and student health. In addition to mapping out what it will take to have sustainable farm-to-school efforts statewide, the task force is working to identify and address specific gaps for farm-to-school to flourish in Colorado.

The goal of Gaining Ground is to grow momentum and system-level support to help Colorado local public health agencies learn about and engage in quality improvement efforts. It also focuses on helping these agencies prepare for national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. This is a collaborative project involving multiple system-level public health partners, including:

  • Trailhead Institute
  • Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials (CALPHO)
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • Colorado Health Institute (CHI)
  • Colorado Public Health Association (CPHA)
  • Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH)
  • Center for Public Health Practice
  • Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center
  • Colorado Public Health Practice-Based Research Network (COPHPBRN)

Believing in the power of youth as a catalyst for change and an essential ally in the work to improve health in our communities, Kaiser Permanente creates youth engagement programs that provide high school students the opportunities to be educators, leaders and advocates for health. Under the guidance and facilitation of professional actors/educators from their team, high school youth partner with experts from school, city and state health organizations to identify health barriers, raise awareness of youth health concerns, offer youth driven solutions, and implement youth driven strategies to improve the health of the community. Following the principles of Positive Youth Development, the Arts Integrated Resources (AIR) Youth Engagement Programs provide opportunities and experiences for all youth leaders. The programs also provide youth leaders with stipends for their community work, reflecting the organization’s belief that youth are resources to be cultivated not problems to be fixed.

Mountain Roots Healthy Foods’ mission is to cultivate a resilient food system in Gunnison Valley by enhancing healthy connections between earth, food, and community.  They are partnering with Trailhead to  place AmeriCorps members in rural counties of Southwestern Colorado who will address rural capacity issues with a focus on community food security through education and outreach.

The NCR HCC facilitates the opportunity for health care partners to share best practices, develop networking relationships and enhance collaboration and communication for the purpose of increasing the ability of the health care delivery system to prepare for, prevent, mitigate, respond to and recover from any and all emergencies.

The Patient Navigator Training Collaborative (PNTC) provides national leadership for the development, education, standardization and sustainability of the growing patient navigation workforce. Patient navigation is a form of intervention in which a patient navigator assists individuals in accessing health services during an episode of care by minimizing potential barriers. Patient navigators may focus on patients with particular health care conditions or during other phases of care ranging from prevention to end of life. They are widely used in hospitals, community health centers and, increasingly, in community-based agencies. The goals of the PNTC are to accomplish the following:

  • Create and deliver the coursework necessary for developing a competent patient navigator workforce.
  • Provide expertise in the effective dissemination of the patient navigator intervention.
  • Disseminate the evidence base of Patient Navigation to community, academia and public health professionals.

Postpartum Wellness Center of Boulder has created a nonprofit arm of their work, The Margaret L. Shaw Institute for Perinatal Mental Health (Shaw Institute), to improve the lives of mothers and their families by transforming systems of care.  They partner with local stakeholders to create awareness of and provide early screening and assessment to perinatal women and their families, as well as offer high quality training to mental health professionals.

The goal is to educate and mobilize communities negatively impacted by health and environmental issues to organize themselves, address these issues, and promote community health. They expect to see clean energy policy and practice changes that protect the most vulnerable populations in communities, allow entrepreneurship and participation in the environmental movement and increase the political and civic engagement of residents.

The Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center works in collaboration with several organizations to develop, market, deliver and evaluate a wide range of trainings based on current needs and public health trends. Trailhead Institute is providing training and leadership support in two specific ways: through our administrative partnership program and our staff expertise to develop trainings.

VUELA’s primary objective is to engage the Latino community through strategic partnerships that build leadership, promote public health, and foster economic, environmental, and social well-being. A team of Promotoras (Community Health Workers), passionate cultural and linguistic liaisons who advocate on behalf of the community and build trust between community members and local service agencies, drive its work.

VNLs provides research, evaluation, tools, and training that focus on translating data to practice in order to guide people in communities to successfully build cross-sector partnerships to tackle today’s most pressing issues. They do this by engineering tools to make personal and community assets visible, identify gaps, and strengthen the system of resources to serve them.