The Work That I Love in the Place That I Love

It feels really good to be back. I moved to DC in 2012, and not a day went by that I didn’t miss Colorado.

But last week I moved back to Denver to join CHI as a policy analyst working on population health, including behavioral health and other public health issues that impact Coloradans.

CHI’s mission to provide evidence-based data and analysis to inform policy and advance health places it in a unique role in Colorado’s health policy community. It’s this vision that put CHI at the top of my search when I chose to come back to Colorado.

I’m joining CHI after nearly five years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where I served as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation on planning, implementation and evaluation of public health and other health-related issues. ASPE’s mission to provide the best evidence and data analysis to the Secretary closely mirrors CHI’s mission. I regularly briefed HHS leadership, convened internal and external stakeholders, and developed policy recommendations and presentations on a number of high-priority issues.

My portfolio at HHS included priorities related to behavioral health, the opioid epidemic, food safety, and global health, among others. I covered issues across the spectrum of HHS’s public health services agencies, from convening all 50 states to discuss best practices for combatting the opioid epidemic to reviewing regulations from the Food and Drug Administration or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

But it was my work related to the opioid epidemic that reminded me just how much interesting public health policy work is happening at the state level. Plus, I missed Colorado!

Joining CHI isn’t my first stint in Colorado health policy. Before heading to HHS in 2012, I worked for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing from 2009 through 2012, most recently as a budget analyst and the fiscal note coordinator. The exposure to the state budget and legislative development process and policy making was invaluable. Medicaid will always have a special place in my heart.

While I’m originally from the Bay Area, I moved here as a high school freshman and consider Colorado my permanent home.

It’s good to be home.

Teresa Manocchio joined the Colorado Health Institute in January 2017 as a policy analyst. At CHI, she researches and analyzes issues that impact population health, including behavioral health and other public health priorities.