This quarter, we took a wandering journey through the world
of public health to illuminate what it means to work in public health and the
impact public health practitioners have on the individuals and communities they
Regardless of your exact title, your job, as outlined by
Corona’s Matt Herndon in
his blog last week, is often a blend of assuring public health outcomes
through education and advocacy, assessing the state of the public’s health
through research, and developing and implementing policies that support
positive public health outcomes.
clients represent a very diverse cross-section of our communities, ranging from
the government agencies that guide us, to the nonprofits that support us, to
the businesses that sustain us. Perhaps
our most rewarding projects, however, are the opportunities we have to work
with people who are working hard every day to make our world a better
place. We frequently work with public
health departments at various levels of government to help them better
understand the needs that their constituents have and how public health can
help. But what actually makes public health officials tick? What do they love about the job? And what are some of the ways people get into
that world in the first place?
We work in a number of areas here at Corona
Insights that touch on a person’s health.
Over the past 20 years, our topics have included everything from smoking
to exercise to mental health to proximity to nuclear waste. We often are retained to help understand a
specific problem and guide strategy toward that problem.
In the bigger picture, though, we also do a
lot of work with needs assessments – public health needs assessments,
low-income needs assessments, general community needs assessments, and
others. In those types of studies, we
examine a range of issues and help our clients identify key issues and how to
In an interview with a public health
practitioner recently, the interviewee noted that one of the challenges for
public health is that “when we are doing our jobs well, the public doesn’t
really see what we do.” This holds true for two of the roles the public often
looks to public health organizations for guidance: translating research into
public health policy and advocacy. When public health policy and advocacy are
addressing the problem, we don’t see it.
Over the past few years, we’ve had several projects related
to teen health in some way or another.
These have varied from studies of marijuana use to teen sexual health to
smoking to mental health, among others. I thought it might be interesting to
summarize some of the biggest health concerns that teens in Colorado face today.
As we kick off a new quarter of blogging at Corona Insights,
I’m especially excited to announce that we will be focusing on public health
this quarter. Beyond the personal connection I have to the field through my
wife—a current graduate student at the Colorado
School of Public Health—we’ve had the opportunity at Corona recently to
think broadly about the state of public health, including what the work
entails, who works in the field, and where public health is heading in the future. On top of that, this week is National Public Health Week.
This quarter, we spent some time thinking and writing about some of the key issues that our local communities are facing and offered some suggestions on how some communities are facing those challenges.
Many of our clients throughout Colorado are experiencing and planning for population growth. Looking at the skyline around the Denver Metro area, you might see more than a dozen construction cranes from one viewpoint. Near my home, formerly vacant land is being and plotted for new houses. According to the Colorado State Demographer, Colorado’s population is expected to grow by 76,000 people in 2019 alone (for reference, the City of Loveland has a population of about 76,000).
While Denver Public Schools has managed to
limit its first teacher strike in 25 years to three days, the reality
that it had to come to that is an indicator of a fact that has become common
knowledge around the country: public education is hard. While most agree that teachers are
chronically underpaid in many areas of the country, few agree on what can be
done about it. In Colorado, there is an
unending debate about how to pay for education, roads, and healthcare, and most
of the ballot initiatives aimed at raising taxes to support these priorities
fail. While we at Corona won’t be
solving all these problems in this blog, we wanted to highlight a few of our
clients who have made moves to improve the educational landscape in recent