West Slope collaboration earns award

A collaborative effort among six Western Colorado counties to pool public and environmental health services has earned statewide recognition along with a $25,000 award.

The West Central Public Health Partnership (WCPHP) received the Grantee Leadership Award and money from the Colorado Trust.

Formed in 2006, the WCPHP pools the public and environmental health services of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties.

“WCPHP is a trailblazer in conceptualizing and operationalizing a collaborative approach to streamline and strengthen the delivery of public health in rural communities,” said Dr. Ned Calonge, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Trust.

“Working across local boards of health, county commissions and public health agencies, this innovative partnership has served to increase access to public health services not previously available in these six counties,” Calonge added.

Earlier this year, the WCPHP completed the first ever regional public health improvement plan in Colorado, an effort that’s expected to serve as a model for developing other such efforts across the state.

In addition, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has identified the WCPHP as a pilot organization to help other public health departments develop and deliver regional health care services, particularly in rural areas.

Established as a grant-making foundation in 1985 with the proceeds from the sale of the nonprofit PSL Healthcare Corp., the Colorado Trust works with agencies and organizations across the state to fund efforts that improve access to health care services.

The Colorado Trust has awarded the Leadership Award to selected grant recipients for five years in recognition of of John Moran Jr., the former president and CEO of the trust. Moran retired in 2006 after serving the trust for 21 years.