What Guides Our Work
Our mission, vision, and drivers.
Trailhead’s work is grounded in our vision of a Colorado where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy and live in a healthy environment. Through fiscal and administrative capacity building, strategic programs and initiatives, and community engagement, we support and lead work that addresses fundamental health needs, advances health equity, centers communities as experts and advocates for policies and funding that enable public health entities and communities across Colorado to thrive.
Our mission to advance innovation and collaboration in public and environmental health is guided by three primary drivers:
We believe that collaboration is the only way to address the public health problems we face because no one partner or industry can solve them alone.
We believe that for communities to thrive, there must be a recognition of the inequities that they face, and an awareness of our role in contributing to these racist and systemic barriers. With this awareness, we believe that we must support equitable practices to ensure communities are at the forefront of decision-making and resource distribution.
We believe community leaders are best suited to identify and address their needs. We manage, build and grow resources needed to achieve community based goals because we believe that it is essential to offer a space for community members to address community challenges, and improve the places where they live, work and play.
Striving for abundance.
Our work is supported by our commitment to becoming a regenerative organization. Our guides and partners in this journey, nRhythm, define regenerative organizations as living, evolving and naturally functioning organizations where abundance and resilience are recurring outcomes of their underlying health. This way of being is transformational, continuous, and has challenged us to move away from thinking of our organization as a machine, laden with characteristics of white supremacy work culture, and towards a mindset that views Trailhead as a living system made up of unique, developing members whose well-being and interdependence determines the health of our organization.
nRyhthm’s regenerative framework has provided us with guidance, discovery, and spacious room for growth, through which we are redesigning roles, resources, systems, and structures at Trailhead with the aim of regenerating people and communities.
Where We Thrive
Our organizational strengths.
We hold in-depth expertise as a nonprofit public health institute across numerous focus areas. In alignment with the core competencies of public health institutes outlined by the de Beaumont Foundation, our strengths as an organization include:
Trailhead serves as a flexible and strategic administrative partner delivering premier fiscal sponsorship and operations support for collaboratives, individuals, LLCs, and new or strengthening nonprofits. Our Administrative Partnership Program differs from a traditional Fiscal Sponsorship Program because we work with partnerships before funding is secured to provide capacity and the expertise needed to move their mission forward.
Multi-sector collaboration is centered across all areas of Trailhead’s work and is grounded in our belief that no one individual, partner, or sector alone can solve the challenges that our communities face. Our roles as administrative partners, program managers, facilitators, thought partners, and connectors have forged a network of relationships with community-based organizations, academic institutions, state and local governmental agencies, health care systems, and philanthropic entities.
These relationships enable our ability to respond to existing and emerging needs in communities across Colorado and have facilitated the creation of collaboratives such as the Youth Sexual Health Alliance and the Colorado Public Health Workforce Collaborative that aim to dismantle siloes and increase coordination across public health initiatives.
Through our network of relationships, Trailhead has and continues to engage in initiatives such as addressing opioid use disorder, eliminating asthma disparities in underserved adolescent populations, gun violence prevention, support for Colorado’s public health workforce, and advancing health equity through various capacities including facilitation, technical assistance, strategic planning, and program implementation.
From ideation to implementation, Trailhead holds extensive practice in program exploration, development, delivery, and support. Our level of programmatic engagement varies by initiative depending on the needs of the community and the initiative.
Within programs across the state, we have served as conveners, facilitators, funding advocates, program managers, and strategic planners for operationalizing visions and new approaches to building healthier communities.
Trailhead Institute’s Workforce Programs & Initiatives (WPI) support health in Colorado communities by ensuring a resilient, skilled, diverse, and sustained public health workforce for years to come. Guided by our value of collaboration and building the capacity of communities, WPI is actively addressing the need to restore the public health workforce by
- Activating equitable career entry pathways in public and environmental health
- Leading innovative workforce development, advancement, and sustainability strategies
- Leading, supporting, and partnering on guided learning experiences
- Developing data-inspired workforce capacity building resources for learners, employees, and employers
These foundational strengths, coupled with our deep network of relationships, enable Trailhead to serve as a basecamp in Colorado’s public health field from which new approaches to improving population health can be mapped, reimagined, and implemented into community.
To discuss how we might work together, contact us below.
The Work We Do
Fiscal & Administrative Capacity Building
Through our Administrative Partnership Program (APP), Trailhead supports collaboratives, individuals, LLCs, and new or strengthening nonprofits through nearly every model of fiscal sponsorship, utilizing our 501c3 status, and taking on the fiscal and operational responsibilities that can often prevent partners from focusing on their mission’s core objectives.
The APP program serves a diverse collection of partners working across a wide range of needs including, but not limited to, hunger and food access; economic mobility; youth mentorship and empowerment; mental wellness; social isolation; support for people with disabilities; disease prevention; violence prevention; patient navigation and access to healthcare.
Community engagement is a core component of our ability to achieve impact at Trailhead. We approach community engagement as both a practice and a mindset of how we show up in our work. While we may utilize different approaches when working with communities to address their unique health needs, these core underlying beliefs guide how we engage with communities across the state regardless of program, project or initiative:
- We believe that every community member matters and has lived and/or professional experiences that are essential to determining collective solutions to the health issues that they face
- We believe that communities are already full of expertise, assets and answers in the public health issues they seek to address
- We believe in supporting processes and models that allow for communities to have ownership over the outcomes, which ultimately impact them
These beliefs recognize that health is shaped by the cultures, values and needs that are present in communities. Therefore creating long-term strategies for public health must center the voices and expertise of community members with diverse lived experiences and prioritize solutions that have community support and can be sustained over time.