January 31, 2024

Prioritizing policies for health and well-being in Colorado

CityHealth’s 2023 Annual Policy Assessment awards cities for their policies to improve health and address key issues like affordable housing and green space in communities.

CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, awarded Denver with an overall gold medal in recognition of the city’s commitment to adopting policies that address critical health disparities and enhance residents’ access to healthy options that allow their communities to thrive. Aurora and Colorado Springs received an overall bronze medal.

Assessing America’s 75 largest cities, CityHealth evaluated the quality and strength of 12 evidence-based policies.

“Denver’s commitment to the health and well-being of its residents is truly admirable,” said CityHealth co-executive director Katrina Forrest. “Local leaders are operating at the intersection of complex and convergent issues; everything from homelessness and housing affordability to food insecurity. Denver’s gold medal shows that the city’s leaders are seeing the critical role they play in promoting health equity through policy.”

Denver is 1 of 7 cities that rose to the top and earned overall gold medals.

We’re so proud that Denver is being recognized as a leader in passing policies that improve the health and well-being of our residents.

Each year, CityHealth recognizes cities nationwide by awarding gold, silver, or bronze medals across various policy categories. These policies are designed to ensure that all residents have access to secure housing, physical and mental well-being, and a flourishing environment.

“We commend and applaud Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs for taking meaningful actions to transform health outcomes for all residents,” said Catherine Patterson, co-executive director of CityHealth. “Local policies are the building blocks of a healthier city. When we equip leaders, policymakers, and residents with tools to drive meaningful health improvements in their cities, everyone has the opportunity to live healthy, full lives.”

Denver, which was 1 of 2 cities that received an overall gold medal in the 2022 assessment, maintained its medal level and joined 6 other cities that earned an overall gold medal for 2023. This is the first year that Aurora and Colorado Springs received an overall medal.

“At Kaiser Permanente, we know that there are a variety of factors that influence people’s health and well-being,” said Mike Ramseier, regional president of Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. “We applaud Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs and the state of Colorado for taking the lead on effective policies and programs that build vibrant, healthy communities.”

CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, works to advance a package of proven policy solutions that will help millions of people live longer, better lives in vibrant, prosperous communities. CityHealth regularly evaluates cities on the number and strength of their policies.