Tag Archives: quality improvement

Support SB 14-118, Protections for Individuals with Disabilities

Where: Capitol Building, 3rd floor, room SCR 352

When:  Monday, April 21, 2014, 1:30 pm

What it is:  An attempt to align the Colorado Civil Rights Act with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This legislation would make the Disabilities portion of the Colorado Civil Rights Act enforceable.

  •  It will increase statutory damages from $50-500  to $3,500.
  •  Adjustment of a provision that allows for attorney fees in cases of discrimination against a service animal, but not a person.
  •  Continues current protections for service animals in training.


The presence of families/children at this hearing is strongly encouraged – this is the greatest legislative priority for the disability community this year and will significantly affect people for many years to come!

Increasing Medical Home Access

For nearly four years, Family Voices Colorado has served as a subcontractor with the Colorado  Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to assess and support a wide range of health care practices in becoming certified as medical homes.

A medical home is not a residential facility; it’s not even a building. Rather, it is an approach to health care that is comprehensive, coordinated, family- and patient-centered, accessible, and committed to quality and safety. (Learn more at the Colorado Medical Home Initiative.)

Sounds ideal, right? Like what you’d look for in a primary care office, regardless of your age or level of health care needs? And while every provider seeks to do their best in providing the kind of care that patients and families deserve, the medical home certification process helps by identifying specific benchmarks and practices that improve the quality of care and the patient experience, assessing both staff and family perspectives on how well those benchmarks are currently implemented, and then supporting the clinic or office or hospital department in taking steps to improve in areas that are assessed less positively.

Since 2009, Family Voices Colorado has helped certify more than 2,000 practices, from private family and pediatric practices to school-based clinics, federally qualified health centers, mental health providers, and more. In the course of that work, our staff have met tens of thousands families and thousands of providers; conducted and analyzed close to 32,000 family surveys and 20,000 staff surveys; and traveled more than 30,000 miles across the state!

Now that our contract has ended, we are moving into different approaches to our ongoing work of increasing access to and quality of health care for all children, especially those with special health care needs. Without wanting to be too mysterious, we’re not quite at liberty to describe the details of these new programs yet, but keep an eye out for some announcements in the next month or two!

Susana Herrera and Suzette Elledge, two of Family Voices Colorado's Medical Home certification staff
Susana Herrera and Suzette Elledge, two of Family Voices Colorado’s Medical Home certification staff

Tremendous thanks go to Suzette Elledge, our Medical Home Project Coordinator; Susana Herrera, Medical Home Navigator; Colleen Roahrig, Western Slope Coordinator; and other staff who have supported the program over the years. Together, they have helped make sure that more children across the state – both those with special health care needs and those with typical needs – have access to a medical home, which leads to both cost savings and improved health outcomes. Thank you for your commitment to this important work!

Thank you – and share your thoughts!

Tom Rose, far left, thanks Family Voices staff at Hearts on Fire 2013.
Tom Rose, far left, thanks Family Voices staff at Hearts on Fire 2013.

On behalf of the staff of Family Voices Colorado, thank you to everyone who attended, donated to, or otherwise supported Hearts on Fire this past weekend. We are still tallying the donations, but we had a wonderful time dancing the night away, and we couldn’t have done it without all of you who wear your heart on your sleeve on a daily basis.

As we look to the future, we want to be sure we are making the best use possible of the resources available to us, and so we would like your input on the kinds of events we offer and how to have the greatest impact. Whether you attended Hearts on Fire 2013 or not, would you take our survey? It should take less than 5 minutes to complete; just click on the link below.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. At Family Voices Colorado, we deeply value the voices of families, self-advocates, health care providers and other professionals as together we work to make Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs.