mother feeding child bottle

Establishing a Baseline: Substance Use and Infant and Maternal Mortality

A new study, Phase One Supplemental: Maternal & Infant Mortality in the First Year of Life, builds on last spring’s initial study focused on the risk of infant removal by child welfare shortly after a birth event due to a referral of substance exposure. The supplemental study establishes a baseline understanding of infant and maternal mortality outcomes for families in Colorado involved in child welfare and impacted by perinatal substance use.

colorado state capitol

2021 Legislative Review

Several significant bills passed this legislative session, strengthening opportunities to improve the lives of Colorado residents across the lifespan, from prenatal care to early childhood development to adult services. The Colorado Lab worked together with state and local government agencies, legislators, the Governor’s Office, research colleagues, and subject matter experts to inform this suite of legislative decision making.

Potential Health Care Cost Savings of Dual-Enrollment in Medicaid and SNAP

Colorado ranks among the lowest in the nation in terms of the percentage of the population receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with about 60% of eligible residents participating. This study examines the impact of SNAP enrollment on healthcare costs–particularly emergency room visits and hospitalizations–among Colorado residents enrolled in Medicaid. If the study identifies substantial cost savings, it will provide a fiscal reason for increasing enrollment in SNAP among those who are eligible.

Supporting Caregivers through the Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral (TCARE) Process

Colorado is taking a data-informed approach to understanding the needs of non-professional caregivers who take care of loved ones with chronic or acute health conditions or developmental disabilities. This project examines the impact of the TCARE process on caregiver well-being and use of preventive health care, while also looking qualitatively at whether TCARE is a viable care option in Colorado.

Prenatal Substance Use and Improving Family Health

Families affected by substance use during a pregnancy are at risk for infant and maternal mortality, significant health consequences, and threats to well-being of the family as a whole. This data linkage study improves our ability to monitor current trends by establishing a comprehensive set of definitions for prenatal substance use for affected mothers and infants in Colorado.

small child eating food

Increasing the Understanding of Food Insecurity by Medical Providers and Educators

Almost 13% of the population in Mesa County, Colorado lack access to or have limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. This project developed a training video to enhance the ability of medical professionals and educators to identify and discuss food insecurity with their clients and families. The efficacy of the video at increasing access to food assistance programs among the food insecure will be tested as part of a future project.

photo of man in window

Mapping the Intersection of Housing and Mental Health in Colorado

The stress of navigating unaffordable housing contributes to poor mental health, but there is more to understand about the intersection of housing and mental health. Using Colorado statewide data at the census tract level, this study uses geospatial analytical techniques to investigate geographic relationships and identify priority area census tracts where these two critical issues coincide.

grandfather and grandchild looking at ocean

Common Cross-System Metrics to Inform Coordinated Care for Multisystem Utilizers

A large number of Coloradans find themselves in need of services from multiple public systems, and government leaders struggle to understand the best way to coordinate a shared response for these multisystem utilizers. This project starts the work of building common metrics of public system utilization across state agencies so that state government leadership and their teams can make more informed decisions about how to meet the needs of multisystem utilizers.