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Hundreds to Gather for Colorado Public Health Summit

DENVER, Nov. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Colorado's upcoming statewide Public Health Summit: From Vision to Action, is set for December 1-2, 2008 at the Marriott Denver West, 1717. The event will bring together more than 300 stakeholders in public health in Colorado from nearly every county in the state.

"The work at this summit will be of interest to every Colorado community, because it has to do with delivery of basic health services," said Chris Wiant, Caring for Colorado CEO and long time public health leader. "A viable and vibrant community begins with the health of its people," he said. Caring for Colorado Foundation, the Public Health Alliance and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment are partners in presenting the Public Health Summit.

The Summit will feature dozens of local and state public health leaders, Lt. Governor Barbara O'Brien, as well as author/illustrator Bryn Barnard, and his most recent book, Outbreak: Plagues That Changed History. Barnard offers a look at diseases and their powerful impact on the course of human history.

Other speakers will include Jim Martin, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; Jeanne T. McGinnis of the Colorado State Board of Health; Dr. Christopher E. Urbina, Director of Denver Public Health; Dr. Ned Calonge, Chief Medical Officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Jill Hunsaker, Manager, Eagle County Public Health; Jackie Brown MSN, FNP, Director, Prowers County Public Health Nursing Service; and Alyson Shupe, MSW, PhD, Chief, Health Statistics Section, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The Summit reached its maximum number of participants more than a month in advance of the event date. The event is designed to gather input from public health professionals statewide for Colorado's public health improvement plan.

Senate Bill 194, passed in the last legislative session and signed by Governor Ritter last June, requires identified boards, agencies, and public officials to collaboratively develop state and local public health plans that set priorities for the public health system in Colorado.

Groundwork for this process was laid in 2007 when a series of meetings were held across Colorado to begin identifying gaps and barriers to providing essential public health services. The meetings were sponsored through a partnership of the same organizations presenting this summit.

Colorado is one of several states nationwide revamping its public health system, in part recognizing the evolution of issues that challenge the public health workforce. Today's public health issues include the safety of food and water, emerging diseases such as West Nile Virus, and other public health issues including obesity and childhood immunizations.

     Contact: Renee Rockford
              Communication Director
              Caring for Colorado Foundation
              Mark Salley
              Communications Director
              Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

SOURCE Caring for Colorado Foundation
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