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S-HIE Maternal Health Innovation

Social Health information Exchange (S-HIE) is recognized in Colorado as a prime opportunity to improve care coordination and reduce barriers experienced in delivering high-quality care with effective resource use. This collaborative effort between the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Lab, Illuminate Colorado, and the Kempe Center assessed the feasibility of leveraging for maternal health innovation through the Plan of Safe Care pilot study which focuses on health and well-being of maternal infant dyads affected by perinatal substance use.

Support for the Timothy Montoya Task Force to Prevent Children from Running Away from Out-of-Home Placement

The Timothy Montoya Task Force to Prevent Children from Running Away from Out-of-Home (OOH) Placement was created to analyze the root causes of why children run away from OOH placement. The Colorado Lab conducted focus groups with children in out-of-home placement and young adults under 22 who have aged out of the child protection system to assist the task force in fulfilling its duties.

Office of Economic Security Technical Assistance

The Employment and Benefits Division (EBD) of the Office of Economic Security at the Colorado Department of Human Services administers Colorado Works (TANF) and Colorado Refugee Services Program, employment programs, and adult financial programs. The Colorado Lab will support EBD in designing and implementing statutorily-required evaluations and help division staff develop the internal capacity to leverage the available data to most effectively inform policy and practice.

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Learning from ARPA Investments

Through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), the federal government provided $3.8 billion to Colorado in support of pandemic-related recovery efforts across health, education, economic development, housing, and other public sectors. The Colorado Lab supportED the state in identifying opportunities to learn from these investments. The goal was for evaluation processes and findings to inform and advance each agency’s immediate public benefit efforts and provide learnings to target future innovation and investments.

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Use of Research Evidence in Prenatal Policies

SB 21-194 (Maternal Health) includes a provision authorizing a study on the use of research evidence (URE) in policies related to the perinatal period in Colorado. The Colorado Lab partnered with CDPHE to conduct this study and develop data-informed guidance for improving URE in policy creation and uptake, with the goal of reducing perinatal health disparities.

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Early Childhood Stimulus Funding Evaluation Planning

The Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC) is dedicated to evaluating stimulus-funded activities to ensure the goals of the funds were met and to assess their influence on providers, families, and the workforce supporting young children. CDEC partnered with the Colorado Lab to support evaluation planning of the stimulus-funded activities so the best possible evaluation strategies were pursued.

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Strategy to Build Knowledge in Colorado’s New Department of Early Childhood

The Colorado legislature passed a monumental bill during the 2021 session that approved the launch of a brand new state Department of Early Childhood in the Executive Branch. This makes Colorado one of a handful of states that has an entire agency dedicated to early childhood policies and programs. The Colorado Lab laid out an approach to effectively support the early childhood system and allow the state to comprehensively understand which families are being served and how and where to address unmet needs.