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Children's Hospital Colorado, in partnership with Together Colorado and the Tri-County Health Department, was recently awarded a $75,000 grant from the BUILD Health Challenge for their proposal, "Increasing Access to Behavioral Health Screening and Support in Aurora." The grant will support Children's Colorado and its community partners in an intensive one-year planning effort aimed at understanding existing health inequities in Aurora and finding ways to provide more comprehensive health services during the critical period of a child's first 1,000 days.
The Children's Colorado team that will partner with community groups will be led by Abby Waldbaum, research and prevention coordinator for Healthy Kids.
"We are so thrilled to be able to use a collaborative approach to better serve the children right here in Aurora," Waldbaum said. "We look forward to working closely with our county health department and community partners to engage constituents in identifying solutions and barriers to behavioral health services."
Heidi Baskfield, executive director for Child Health Advocacy at Children's Colorado, said she knows the time spent researching and engaging with the community before the team decides on next steps will be time well-spent.
"Whatever we implement will be more effective because we will have thoroughly analyzed challenges and root causes of challenges impacting a segment of our patient population. This award is really a product of the hospital wanting to do more work that is population-based and community driven," Baskfield said. "It's directly tied to our 1,000 days initiative aimed at reducing toxic stress by reducing exposure to adverse childhood events in kids' first 1,000 days."
In addition to Waldbaum and Baskfield, Deborah Federspiel, manager for the Healthy Kids Program, Julie Gibbs, community benefit specialist for Child Health Advocacy, and Ayelet Talmi, PhD, IMH-E® (IV-C), associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, associate director for the Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health, and program director of Project CLIMB, all within the University of Colorado School of Medicine, will also serve on the Children's Colorado team.
Children's Colorado and its "Increasing Access" collaborators were honored at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on June 9.
About the BUILD Health Challenge
BUILD stands for "Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-Driven." The BUILD Health Challenge seeks to advance partnerships between health departments, healthcare systems and community-based organizations that are dedicated to improving opportunities for health in low-income urban neighborhoods.