El Paso County, CO – El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for the second straight year. The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. The 2023 award recognizes the EPCPH Care Coordination program.
Responding to a growing need to assist members of our community in accessing the tools to support their physical and mental health, EPCPH quickly launched the Care Coordination program in 2022. Care coordinators work within communities to reduce barriers and increase easy access to care by connecting individuals to resources and assisting them in effectively navigating complex systems.
Currently, the EPCPH Care Coordination program has three care coordinators, including one bilingual coordinator, who receive ongoing training to understand the emergent needs within the communities in El Paso County. The program demonstrates service excellence through a uniquely customized approach to care coordination and support for residents throughout El Paso County to achieve optimal health.
Since its introduction, the reach of the EPCPH Care Coordination program has expanded to include community health navigators, individuals who are funded through our agency and work for key community partners. They include: several paramedics at Colorado Springs Fire Department, youth behavioral health coaches who support resiliency programs in schools, and a navigator who coordinates the cross-sector effort to address youth suicide in the Pikes Peak Region. This multi-sector approach to community partnerships creates a stronger collective impact in the community.
In an average month, EPCPH care coordinators:
- Generate 75 new referrals for assistance within the internal Care Coordination program.
- Provide bilingual assistance to Spanish-speaking clients, who typically represent 10-15 percent of referrals.
- Address needs ranging from: housing, food, utilities, rental assistance, mortgage assistance, transportation, health insurance, disability, child care, infant supplies, employment, COVID-19 information and COVID-19 testing.
“This recognition reflects innovation and collaboration in pandemic recovery efforts, serving residents throughout all El Paso County communities,” said EPCPH Director Susan Wheelan, M.B.A. “Our primary focus is prevention and building safe, strong, healthy, resilient communities where everyone has a chance to thrive. Care Coordination is an essential service to address complex health issues and provide residents with the vital information and resources they need to improve the well-being of themselves and their loved ones.”
Each year, NACo’s Achievement Awards are given in 18 categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and more. Launched in 1970, the program is designed to recognize innovation in county government.
Each nominated program is judged on its own merits and not against other applications.
For more information about the Care Coordination program, click here. For more information about NACo’s Achievement Awards, click here.