RADIANCE BLOG

Category: Human Services

Public Health Blogging Series Recap

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 serve.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

We started with a broad overview of public health, digging into what the phrase itself actually means. Kate helped us understand what’s happening with the health of Colorado teens before we used tobacco and vaping as a case study of the nuances of public health today. Kevin shed light on how our work conducting needs assessments points to the importance of taking a more holistic, human-centered approach to understanding the public health needs of a population. Matt dug into the realities and responsibilities of everyday public health work before we closed the quarter out with particularly unique-to-Colorado topic in marijuana and public health.

Stay tuned to the Radiance blog next quarter!


Marijuana and Public Health – The Complicated Story of Impact We’re Still Writing

Take a moment to imagine you’re a public health professional in Colorado. You might work as a researcher for an organization like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or a university like the Colorado School of Public Health; as a program manager focused on community health for the Human Services department at your local government office; or as a communications and policy analyst for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (the list could go on).

Photo by Sam Doucette on Unsplash

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.

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Making the world a healthier place

Corona’s 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?

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Understand the People, Understand the Problem.

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 address them.

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Public health policy and advocacy in Colorado: A case study in tobacco and vaping

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.  

Photo by Nery Zarate on Unsplash.
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Exploring the World of Public Health

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.

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash
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Community Challenges Recap

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. 

We explored the rapid population growth Colorado is experiencing, including an analysis that shows how one Colorado county has experienced 9,900% growth in the past century.  That population growth has forced communities to seek creative solutions to the country’s housing affordability crisis

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9,900% Growth

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).

Downtown Denver (photo by Henry Desro on Unsplash)
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The Challenging Landscape of Public Education

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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 years.

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