Larimer County Health Department Unveils Five-Year Plan to Enhance Community Health

Larimer County Health Care Action and Democratic Socialists of America are sponsoring a presentation and community discussion on What is Improved and Expanded Medicare for All? The presentation will cover the history, economics, and the experiences of other countries with universal health care. The community discussion will focus on how we get universal health care implemented here and what we can do to make it happen. Please come join us to learn more. Date & Time: Saturday, February 9, 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm Location: Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St, Fort Collins

The Larimer County Board of Health has approved the 2024-2029 Larimer County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), marking a significant step towards enhancing the well-being of local residents. This comprehensive plan outlines collaborative efforts to be undertaken over the next five-years aimed at fostering better health outcomes for all people in Larimer County.

In 2008, the Public Health Act of Colorado was enacted, ensuring the provision of core public health services across the state with a consistent standard of quality. In accordance with the Act, each local public health department is mandated to conduct a Community Health Assessment and a capacity assessment, leveraging the findings to formulate a five-year, localized plan for health improvement.

To ensure an accurate reflection of community needs, the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) worked closely with community members, leaders, and more than 75 local agencies to develop the new five-year plan, which incorporates a framework for evaluating progress. Through robust processes and data analysis, two health-related priority areas have been identified:

  1. Social Environment: Recognizing the profound impact of loneliness on health, efforts will be directed towards strengthening community support systems, particularly for vulnerable groups facing barriers to optimal health. This includes elevating access to and use of community-building spaces. These spaces, such as parks and community centers, serve as vital hubs where the community interacts and forges meaningful connections. By fostering social cohesion and mitigating isolation and loneliness, it paves the way for a healthier, more resilient community.

  1. Mental Health: Understanding that mental well-being is foundational to individuals’ ability to navigate life’s challenges, ensuring access to tailored resources and social support is key. The need is magnified for groups at increased risk of experiencing mental health issues, including veterans, youth, and LGBTQIA individuals. The plan aims to enhance mental health and well-being by growing social support networks and fostering meaningful connections. From mentorship programs to the creation of safe community spaces, these initiatives will be vital in bolstering the community’s resilience and collective well-being.

“We are dedicated to working together with our community partners to provide everyone in Larimer County with the opportunity for a healthy life,” says Public Health Director Tom Gonzales. He emphasizes, “These challenges cannot be addressed in isolation. The CHIP serves as a dynamic blueprint to mobilize the community towards impactful solutions.”

Joy Sullivan, President and CEO of United Way, believes that the CHIP will support efforts to bring people together to feel connected, which is key to building a healthy community. “We value how the plan brings partners together to deepen our collective impact, and we look forward to continuing to work together to build a more inclusive and accessible community,” Sullivan says.

“Together, we are committed to fostering a more vibrant and resilient Larimer County,” says Gonzales.

For further details and to access Larimer County’s 2024-2029 Community Health Improvement Plan, please visit

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