Home » Newsletter

Promoting Data-Informed Policy Solutions for Perinatal Health


Following the passage of Senate Bill 21-194 the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) partnered with the Colorado Lab to better understand barriers and facilitators to using research evidence during policy decision-making. The goal is to improve perinatal health and decrease disparities by ensuring Colorado decision-makers have the tools and support they need to efficiently and effectively use data. Working together with state agencies, health organizations, and community groups, the project aims to generate data-informed guidance on how Colorado can better integrate research evidence into policies that shape the lives of pregnant and parenting people.


From pregnancy to birth through the first year of life.

Creating a Collaborative Vision
The Colorado Lab developed a tool (below) to visualize the complex layers that go into unlocking data-informed solutions to perinatal health. This “ecology” of perinatal health helps communicate the need for policy solutions to consider a broad base of research evidence that reflects the many real factors faced by childbearing families. Project priorities were then identified through interviews and listening sessions with state agency representatives, community leaders, and family partners. We explored the pressing priorities in Colorado maternal health, opportunities to leverage data, and ways to put learnings to use in support of Colorado decision-makers and the families they serve.

From Collaborative Vision to Project Execution
Grounded in this collaborative visioning, the project is now underway with an analysis of perinatal health bills that have passed in recent legislative sessions. We’re looking to identify success cases where research evidence was used to help drive evidence-based decision-making so we can learn from the commonalities and strengthen key processes. We are also using an assessment tool to explore how Colorado decision-makers are using research evidence as one factor in their thought process, recognizing that other factors like resource availability and community voice are equally important. Lessons learned from the study will be used to help shape a facilitated stakeholder convening in the spring. The convening will include agency partners, health care organizations, community groups, and families as we collaboratively answer the question: “How can meaningful evidence use in policy creation and implementation be promoted?” While the strategies developed will be tied to the perinatal period, we expect that lessons learned will be relevant to a wide variety of stakeholders and systems.

Learn more about the Colorado Lab and CDPHE partnership to activate SB21-194 evidence-building priorities, and reach out to Dr. Courtney Everson for more information on this use of research evidence project.