Connecting Students to Careers, Professionals to Communities, and Communities to Better Health
Welcome to the Central Colorado AHEC monthly newsletter for June 2018.
Read below for information on upcoming community events, employment and service opportunities, updates on our programs, staff highlights, and more.

This month we hit 200 Likes on Facebook! This is a big milestone for us, and we thank everyone who has engaged with us on social media so far. If you haven't, please take a moment to head to our Facebook page and give us a like. The more likes we get, the more people we can reach!
Denver Finalists win big at ISEF 2018!
Each year, more than 7 million high school students around the globe develop original research projects and present their work at local science competitions with the hope of making it to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science competition, a program of the Society for Science & the Public. 
Staff Highlights
New Opportunities, New Outreach

In January, right before the Annual Denver Metro Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Central CO AHEC reached out to me to come back as the IT & Communications manager, working remotely. I had held this position briefly in the fall of 2015, but I had to abruptly move to Wisconsin due to some personal circumstances.

Nine Years and Counting

If you would have told me nine years ago that I would be bookkeeping for a non-profit here in Colorado, I would have looked at you cross eyed! But my career life was taking a turn at the time.

I started out in DeKalb, Illinois working for a publishing company there, putting out the TV listings to many newspapers across the country via magnetic tape. But that company went out of business and I was free to find employment elsewhere. That elsewhere was to be Colorado.

Twelve by September!
Recruitment for the Colorado AmeriCorps Community Opioid Response Program (CORP) began in April with the goal of enrolling twelve full-time (1,700 hours), reduced full-time (1,200 hours), or part-time (900 hours) Members pledging to “strengthen our communities” while making “our people safer, smarter and healthier.”

With a year of recruitment experience in the rearview mirror, Program Staff are busy laying down robust strategies to further recruitment efforts for year 2. Armed with feedback and tools from Serve Colorado, partner and host sites, and our current Members, CORP anticipates increased interest and enrollment as a result. One such tool,, was made available to Colorado AmeriCorps programs this year free of charge, in order to reach applicants that are taking a gap or service year between college graduation and entering the workforce. Platform capabilities will allow CORP Program Staff to post positions, search for applicants, manage the recruitment process, and access to resources and toolkits.
Cross-County Partnership
As Central Colorado AHEC’s Education and Workforce Manager, my goal is to have some sort of presence in each of my 11 +1 counties. With my summer Health Careers Pre-Apprenticeship (HCPA) program, I am able to work with 5 of our counties all at the same time! Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson county workforces not only contribute participants to my 3-week program, but also help with the planning, marketing, recruitment, and execution of the program as well. One of the biggest parts of being an AHEC is partnering with other organizations in order to make a societal or community impact. 
Community Opioid Response Program Supports "Lifting the Label" on Opioid Addiction
Monday, May 14 th , the State of Colorado launched “Lift the Label”, a public awareness campaign that strives to remove stigmas that prevent those with opioid addiction from seeking effective treatment. The event took place in front of the Capitol and a wall of 4,200 prescription pill bottles (commemorating the 420,000 lives lost to heroin or opioid overdoses in the U.S. in 2016). The campaign was developed by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health and is funded through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.

Four AmeriCorps members of the Community Opioid Response Program (CORP) attended the launch of “Lift the Label” which featured remarks from Governor John Hickenlooper and state officials Reggie Bicha (Colorado Department of Human Services Executive Director), Larry Wolk (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director), and Kim Bimestefer (Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing Executive Director). The program also featured Coloradans sharing their own personal stories of addiction and recovery. An injured survivor of the Columbine shooting, Austin Eubanks, spoke of how he turned to substances, including opioids, in the wake of the tragedy. Dana Knowles, a former broadcast journalist for 9NEWS, spoke of how she developed an addiction to opioids following surgery. Today, both are in long-term recovery and hope that sharing their stories will help to lift the stigma of addiction and encourage others to seek help. CORP looks forward to continuing to support the mission of campaigns, like “Lift the Label” to end the stigma surrounding opioid addiction, as well as conducting youth education, provider education, and community awareness events in an effort to prevent and reduce opioid misuse.

CORP Participates in Youth Education

A 2016 survey of Colorado teens found that 99% of teens ages 15-17 and 100% of teens ages 12- 14 did not misuse prescription pain killers or stimulants in the last month. Nevertheless, teen curiosity and access to prescription drugs have increased since 2013 . That is why, the Community Opioid Response Program led by the grant partner, Rise Above Colorado, has made it one of their priorities to educate Colorado’s youth (ages 12-17) about safe use of prescription drugs using the lesson, Not Prescribed.

Park County Veteran Family Weekend Retreat

As a host organization, CCAHEC is hosting one of the twenty-one RHCs that are located throughout the state of Colorado. Regional Health Connectors (RHCs) are locally based individuals whose full-time job is to improve the coordination of services to advance health and address the social determinants of health.
Ashley identified access to primary care, access to mental health resources and substance abuse prevention, as the three chosen target areas for HSR 17. While Ashley’s first project revolves around opening health clinics to serve Region 17’s rural population, Ashley’s second project includes expanding awareness and access to available mental health resources in HSR 17. Ashley has shifted focus on this project to now include a Weekend Retreat for Park County Veterans and their families.

2018 Regional Nightingale Luminary Awards

Florence Nightingale would be proud to see the fruits of her labor on display at the March 10th recognition banquet named in her honor! The Double Tree Hotel in Denver was the venue selected this year for the annual event. One hundred and forty -one nominees, family and friends were present to see 24 registered nurses selected as Luminaries who will go on to the Colorado State Nightingale Award Gala to be held at the University of Colorado South Campus in Lone Tree on May 12, 2018.

Employment & Service Opportunities
STAFF POSITION: Professional Education Assistant Manager

SERVICE POSITION: AmeriCorps Community Opioid Response Member

SERVICE POSITION: AmeriCorps VISTA Community Opioid Response Member
Upcoming Community Events
Biomedical Research Bootcamp | June 11-15 and July 23-17
Find out what it’s really like to be a biomedical scientist!

From Poisons to Potions: The Science of Toxicology and Pharmacology | June 25-29
Learn about the science of toxicology (home chemical substances can harm us) and pharmacology (how we use chemical substances to help us)!

Microbes: Pahtogens and Protectors | June 18-22
Learn about the wild world of microbes inside and outside of the human body!
FREE YHC Castle Rock Medical Clinic

Saturday, June 9th, 2018, 8:30 am - 10:30 am
St. Francis of Assisi Church
2746 5th Street, Castle Rock, Colorado
Pre-Health Faculty and Advisors Training
June 14th
Anschutz Medical Campus

This program aims to help undergraduate and high school pre-health advisors improve their understanding of what is required of students entering health care careers particularly for those interested in serving in rural and urban underserved communities.
July 11-13, 2018
Nurse Educator Conference
NEC in the Rockies

NEC in the Rockies brings together nurse educators from around the nation to develop new skills, demonstrate best practices, exchange lessons learned, share current evidence-based research, and discover valuable resources.
19th Annual Donor Dash
Sunday, July 15th 8:00am
Washington Park, Denver, Colorado
This 5K is for runners, walkers and the entire family to honor the lives of organ and tissue donors, celebrate the lives of organ and tissue recipients and recognize those waiting for a lifesaving transplant.

Visit for more information and to register!
Get Back into Nursing!
Our refresher courses help LPNs and RNs renew their Colorado license if they have been expired for more than two years. These online "anytime, anywhere" programs are self-paced and approved by the Colorado State Board of Nursing.

Click on one of the logos above for more information.
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