December 22, 2022

Denver earns an overall gold medal

CityHealth recognizes Denver for its leadership in supporting policies to help residents lead healthier lives.

CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, recently awarded Denver an overall gold medal for its adoption of policies to improve residents’ access to healthy choices and address critical health disparities.

Denver qualified for overall gold by earning 5 total gold medals in the policy areas of affordable housing trusts, earned sick leave, access to greenspace, safer alcohol sales, and smoke-free indoor air.

In its new report, CityHealth rated America’s 75 largest cities based on their combined quantity and quality of evidence-based policies in each of the 12 categories.

“We congratulate and celebrate Denver for taking bold action to adopt policy solutions that can expand healthy choices available to all residents,” said Catherine Patterson, co-executive director of CityHealth. “Local policies that address the key social determinants of health can have a tremendous impact on people’s lives.”

“City leaders and local policymakers play a critically important role in creating opportunities for their residents to live healthy, full lives,” said CityHealth co-executive director Katrina Forrest, J.D. “Denver has demonstrated it’s a leader in the movement for better health.”

Denver was among 37 cities this year that earned overall medals — rising to the top, earning overall gold along with Boston.

“Denver is thrilled to have achieved gold medal status from CityHealth this year. We have worked since 2018 to bring together city health leaders and experts to take a multidepartment and multifaceted approach to public health in Denver,” said Tristan Sanders, director of Community and Behavioral Health in the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment.

CityHealth annually awards the nation’s largest cities with gold, silver, bronze, or no medal in different policy areas that help all people in these cities have access to a safe place to live, a healthy body and mind, and a thriving environment.

“On behalf of the city of Denver, we are grateful for this recognition,” said Denver City Councilmember Amanda Sawyer. “Our city is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all of our residents.”

In 2022, CityHealth updated its policy package to ensure that its work continues to resonate with cities and is aligned with the latest evidence, can promote health and racial equity, and has bipartisan appeal. The initiative was also expanded from the largest 40 to the largest 75 cities. See the complete results, including individual medals by policy area.

“These types of cross-sector partnerships taking place in Denver with public health experts and city leaders working together are critical to improving health across communities,” said Mike Ramseier, president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “They are also essential to our vision for addressing health disparities.”

CityHealth’s tried and tested policies help all people in our nation’s largest cities have access to a safe place to live, a healthy body and mind, and a thriving environment.