The commitments we make to each other

In his Inaugural Address today, President Obama spoke eloquently about the publicly funded programs that ensure vulnerable people have access to the care and services they need:

“We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.

“We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

– President Barack Obama, January 21, 2013

As we begin a new presidential term, what are your hopes for our nation, or for Colorado, regarding health care? Where do our commitments to each other need to be renewed, strengthened, or changed?

Health Care News Roundup

Infographic: what matters to consumers in the new Colorado Health Benefits ExchangeColorado’s Health Exchange: What Consumers Want

As full implementation of the Affordable Care Act draws nearer, advocates and policymakers across Colorado are hard at work developing plans for the state’s new Health Benefits Exchange. Michael Booth at the Denver Post takes a look at the results of recent community forums that asked consumers what features or qualities are important to them in a tool that is supposed to help them understand their options and choose a health insurance plan. Click on the image at left to see the infographic larger.

Share Your Health Insurance Story (CCHI)

Is your insurance unaffordable? Have your rates increased unreasonably? Tell us about it! The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, an advocacy organization that works for barrier-free access to quality healthcare, wants to hear your story. We are building a storybank – a collection of real peoples’ experiences with the healthcare system – so that we can better inform the media, elected officials, and our fellow Coloradans about important issues. We want to help you make your voice heard. Click here to share your story! 

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, January 22, 12:00 – 1:30pm MST, health care providers and administrators are invited to a webinar hosted by the National Wraparound Initiative: Using Medicaid Health Homes with Wraparound to Serve Youth Populations with Complex Behavioral Health Needs. Click to register. This webinar will provide an overview of the Medicaid Health Home provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its application to children with serious and complex behavioral health needs. Learn what administrative, workforce, and practice level strategies states can adopt within the Health Home model to implement a high quality wraparound and intensive care coordination approach for these youths and their families.

The 5th Annual Jewish Disabilities Awareness Day and Family Resource Fair, Finding Ability in Disability: Promoting Understanding and Inclusion, is on Sunday, January 27, 2:00 – 5:00pm at the Elaine Wolf Theatre and the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 South Dahlia Street in Denver. Free and open to the public.

PEAK Parent Center’s Conference on Inclusive Education is coming up, February 7-8, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Denver.  Parents, teachers, special educators, school administrators and other school professionals will all find something of interest in the speakers, workshops, and break-out sessions. There’s still time to register, but hurry, since the event may sell out!

Firefly Autism is having an intensive Social Skills Camp for children with Autism from March 25-29.  We want to get the word out and would appreciate your support in letting your families know, and the Autism Community at large.  Please refer any questions to Jenny Blankenship, Director of Outreach & Social Skills Services, at jblankenship@fireflyautism.org (303-759-1192, x12).

Come wear your heart on your sleeve: Join us for Hearts on Fire 2013!

Happy New Year! If the winter blues get to you after the holidays are over, plan now to join us for an evening of fiery fun at Hearts on Fire!

When: Saturday, March 2, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Where: 13199 East Montview Blvd, Aurora (Yes, that’s our office address. The event will take place in the spacious ground floor meeting and dining rooms, and you’ll be amazed at the transformation!)Dancers in front of flaming heart

Learn more or REGISTER NOW

Salsa lessons and a dance contest, delicious hors d’oeuvres from Diego’s, open bar, live music and great silent auction prizes are sure to make Hearts on Fire 2013 a night to remember.

Last year, more than 150 people came out to indulge their passions and help us make Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs. You don’t want to miss out on the fun – or the opportunity to make a difference – with this very special event.

Click on the link below to RSVP.

REGISTER NOW

If you have any questions about the event or how to register, contact Chrystal Ferber, Development Associate, at 303-733-3000 x107 or chrystal@familyvoicesco.org.

Thanks to our event sponsors: Southmoor Wine & Spirits, Diego’s Mexican Food & Cantina, PASCO Home Health. (It’s not too late to become an event sponsor – call Chrystal at the number above to learn more!)

Making Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs