Hickenlooper's Plan For A Healthy Future

Do you have a plan for getting, or staying, healthy? I’m trying to exercise more and eat fewer sweets. Most of us at the Colorado Health Institute are working at standing desks and scheduling walking meetings.

Maybe your plan for health is working with your neighbors to build a park or playground in your community or volunteering as an after-school tutor. Or maybe your plan is to take an active role in your health care, making sure you have a health care home that supports emotional wellness and oral health along with annual immunizations and cancer screenings.

We learned this morning what Governor John Hickenlooper’s plan is for Colorado’s health.

This afternoon, under a sunny noon sky in Civic Center Plaza, the governor shared his plan for helping Colorado to reach its goal of becoming the healthiest state in the nation.

In “The State of Health,” the governor issued his first health-related vision statement since he took office in 2011, promising to reinforce efforts underway to meet that healthiest state goal. His vision calls for action in four areas of health and health care, with benchmarks for measuring progress within each area. 

He said he wants Colorado to be a place where “everyone has the chance to live the healthiest life they can.”

Becoming the healthiest state is an ambitious challenge. In its newest brief, the Colorado Health Institute discusses five questions surrounding efforts to achieve the goal.

  • How can Colorado make sure that the state’s hardest-hit communities will get the needed attention – and resources?
  • How can these new goals best work with existing state and federal health reform efforts?
  • Will Colorado invest in what contributes to health?
  • Will we know if we are making progress?
  • How can Colorado share what works locally?

The governor called on all Coloradans to tackle the task of making Colorado the healthiest state, recognizing the need for individual commitment, public and private partnerships and innovation.

“If we’re going to do this, it’s going to require all hands on deck,” he said. “Everybody has to invest themselves.”

He’s encouraging Coloradans to lend their ideas. So whatever your plan for getting, or staying, healthy, there’s a good chance it fits into the governor’s vision.

And just so you know: The governor rode his bicycle to the public event unveiling his plan. That’s part of his plan for health.

Sara Schmitt is the director of community health policy at CHI.