//Current projects
Current projects 2017-10-18T17:00:23+00:00

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.

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.

A collaborative between Colorado and New Mexico, EvidenceNOW Southwest (ENSW) is designed to help small and mid-sized primary care practices that are focused on improving the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular risk. Trailhead Institute is one of the local host organizations supported by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality through the EvidenceNOW program. We contract with multiple practice transformation organizations, which support practices engaged in this type of effort. We also manage the Regional Health Connector program for the ENSW program.

Regional Health Connectors (RHCs) serve as liaisons to physician offices, public health and community organizations, creating partnerships that lead to healthier communities and healthier practices. RHCs provide links among the various components of the healthcare delivery system (with a particular focus on primary care), practice transformation organizations, public health system, community organizations, state, county and city agencies, and the academic health system. One function, for example, is to build relationships with primary care practices to make them aware of the resources available to help them evolve to new models of care delivery and compensation. RHCs are deployed across Colorado as a part of the Colorado Health Extension System, a multi-stakeholder collaborative that creates a statewide infrastructure to support and coordinate practice transformation and to connect primary care to local public health and community organizations for community health improvement initiatives.

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.

The Patient Centered Outcomes and Research Institute (PCORI) was authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as a non-profit, nongovernmental organization to help patients, clinicians, purchasers and make better-informed health decisions by “advancing the quality and relevance of evidence about how to prevent, diagnose, treat, monitor, and manage diseases, disorders, and other health conditions.” PCORI’s Pipeline to Proposal Awards (also called Pipeline Awards), is a progressive, three-tiered funding approach that is designed to speed up research proposal submission and dissemination, and to develop a nationwide foundation of patients, stakeholders and researchers who are equipped and eager to participate in patient-centered outcomes research. Trailhead Institute is responsible for the operational, programmatic and fiscal duties associated with Pipeline Awards across 16 western states and serves in a consulting role for overall program development and improvement for the program nationally.

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.

Administrative Partnership

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.