Project Abstract

Senate Bill 21-194 (Maternal Health) was passed in the first regular session of the 73rd General Assembly of the State of Colorado. Section 25-52-104 included a provision authorizing a study on the use of research evidence (URE) in policies related to the perinatal period in Colorado, to be fulfilled by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and findings reported to the legislature no later than September 1, 2023.

The purpose of the study was to: (a) understand driving processes, barriers, and facilitators for using research evidence in policy development and uptake related to the perinatal period in Colorado; and (b) develop data-informed guidance for improving URE during development and uptake of policies related to the perinatal period, with the expressed goal of reducing perinatal health disparities and promoting the equitable achievement of perinatal well-being for Coloradans. A focus on health and health care policies anchored the study. Because infant and maternal mortality and morbidity—and the observed disparities therein—are driven by multiple social determinants of health (SDOH), this study also worked to identify major policy influences in other SDOH categories that intersect with health/health care policies and could open the door to better reach and access within the perinatal continuum of care.

To accomplish this purpose, CDPHE partnered with the Colorado Lab to design, conduct, and share learnings from this perinatal policy URE study. The evaluation was guided by an implementation science frame for URE by policy decision-makers.


Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Research Partners: 

University of Denver, Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab


Studying the Use of Research Evidence in Perinatal Policymaking

Analysis Plan

Improving Perinatal Health for Colorado Families: Strategies to Advance Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Policymaking

Policy Brief

Improving Perinatal Health for Colorado Families: Strategies to Advance Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Policymaking

Top Line Summary of the Policy Brief

Related Resources

Advancing Evidence-based Decision-making for Perinatal Health Equity


Colorado Lab and CDPHE Partnership in Executing SB21-194 Studies


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