Friday, October 17, 2014

Keeping Confidential Information Secure

In this world of technology, it’s easy to forget that information sent over the web is not as secure as we might think. Since we all work with protected health information (PHI) on a daily basis, it’s important to keep this information secure. Here are some tips for preserving the integrity of confidential information:

1.    Always lock up confidential documents when not in use. Never leave confidential documents unattended. Do not leave confidential documents open on your desk or computer screen. Don’t leave documents sitting on the printer or FAX.

2.    Use email encryption software. Any email that contains names, dates of death, dates of birth, death certificate numbers, or other types of PHI needs to be encrypted. Meeting reminder emails with a list of names to be reviewed need to be encrypted. If you are unsure if your email is encrypted, don’t send it, call or FAX the recipient(s) instead! Google has an encryption add-on to email that you can purchase. WinZip is also great software to encrypt files that you can then email. (You may use your team’s CFPS funding to purchase these).

3.    Use desktop encryption software. Store electronic files on a secure drive. When you download death certificates from the death certificate FTP website, they go to your Downloads folder, which is not secure if your laptop or computer is not encrypted. Move them to a secure drive or delete them once you have printed them out.

4.    Feel free to share confidential information over the phone to your team members, this is okay!

5.    Use a secured FAX area to send and receive confidential documents. FAX machines should not be accessible to the public. Use a cover sheet.

6.    Have a procedure plan for mail, voice messaging and faxes for work days when you are not there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Smoking and SIDS

Parents can help protect their babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by taking the following actions:

  • Do not smoke when pregnant
  • Do not smoke in the home or around the baby

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October is SIDS Awareness Month!

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a sleep-related death of an infant younger than one year of age. SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death, such as accidental suffocation, share similar risk factors that can be prevented. Despite awareness campaigns promoting safe sleep practices, sleep-related infant deaths are still the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age, claiming more than 40 lives each year in Colorado.

Click the link below to learn lifesaving steps parents and caregivers can take to help protect their baby from SIDS and other sleep-related deaths.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Do you have questions about retail marijuana in Colorado?

Then, ask the Retail Marijuana Education and Youth Prevention Coordinator!

The Retail Marijuana Education and Youth Prevention Coordinator, Erin Flynn, will be providing technical assistance and resources to community agencies, local public health partners, and statewide coalitions. The Coordinator will be the liaison between local efforts and concerns and state initiatives.

Technical Assistance includes:
  • The development and implementation of primary prevention and education programs
  • Community-based prevention recommendations
  • Substance abuse prevention strategies
  • Increased understanding of retail marijuana laws
  • Resources on effective strategies and lessons learned from alcohol and tobacco
How to request technical assistance?
  1. Go to
  2. In the upper right hand corner, click Community Agencies
  3. Select contact our Retail Marijuana Education and Youth Prevention Coordinator. Within two business days, you will receive a response from one of the retail marijuana team members. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

"Are We Crazy About Our Kids? -- the Cost/Benefit Equation" Film Screening in Grand Junction, CO

The Avalon Theatre and Rocky Mountain PBS host screening of early childhood development film

The Avalon Theatre is gearing up for their grand reopening with several events in September, including a public screening of PBS’ Raising of America series episode, “Are We Crazy About Our Kids- The Cost/Benefit Equation,” Monday September 22 at the Avalon Theatre in downtown Grand Junction.

The 30-minute documentary examines the economic advantages of investing in high-quality early childhood care and education, from birth to five years of age.

“We need to delve into discussions about how to make our education system work best for our youngest community members. This film could help us do that,” Robbie Breaux, Avalon Grand Opening Committee Chair, said.

The event is open to the public, with a special reception at 6:30 p.m. and the film at 7:30pm. A panel discussion will follow. “The panel discussion should be very interesting and engage the audience in a way that makes the film even more meaningful,” Breaux said.

Ryan Stringfellow, Regional Director of RMPBS, said, “We’re very excited about this collaboration with the Avalon. Not only is this a very important message to deliver to the community, but Rocky Mountain PBS is gets to show this film in the beautiful new building in which so many people contributed time and funding. We live in a very generous community.”

The $9.65 million project doubled the size of the theatre. The reopening week is full of events, including the #2 cellist in the world performing with the Grand Junction Symphony Sept. 20, to showcase the acoustic improvements Avalon made during the renovation.

For more information on the event, please call Rocky Mountain PBS at 970.245.1818.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day

Light a candle of hope...

State employees are invited to wear yellow and gray
on Wednesday, Sept. 10 for World Suicide Prevention Day. 

The Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (C-SEAP) and Colorado State Employee Wellness Program, which are part of the Department of Personnel & Administration, along with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's (CDPHE) Office of Suicide Prevention, the Colorado Department of Human Services and the Carson J Spencer Foundation, have joined together to call attention to the State's suicide prevention efforts.

"We're asking people to wear yellow and gray not only to raise awareness about suicide, but to convey a message of hope," said C-SEAP Director Randi Wood. "We want to visibly demonstrate to those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts that we support them on their journey from darkness to light."

State employees can pick up a free yellow and gray ribbon sticker and access other important informational resources between 8 and 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10 at C-SEAP's offices, 1525 Sherman St. Stickers will also be handed out to visitors at the Colorado State Capitol on Wednesday morning.

The national theme for this year's suicide prevention efforts is connectedness. Everyone is invited to help raise suicide awareness by posting photos of their yellow and gray outfits and ribbons via social media venues using the hashtags #suicideprevention and #COconnected.

Also on Sept. 10, people are encouraged to light a candle in a window to raise awareness and remember those lost to suicide, or attend a candle-lighting ceremony hosted by the Carson J Spencer Foundation from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. at Denver Union Station.

In 2013, suicide ranked above motor vehicle accidents as the number one injury-related cause of death in the state. CDPHE reports that Colorado regularly ranks in the top 10 states annually for suicides.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a proclamation designating the week of Sept. 7 through 13, 2014, as Suicide Prevention Week. The proclamation indicates that many Coloradans are struggling to cope with the pressures of mental illness, a stressed economy, substance abuse or other factors that render them thinking suicide is their only alternative.

CDPHE offers all Colorado citizens assistance through the Suicide Prevention Lifeline -- an online and telephone resource to help those in a suicide crisis. "One of the major challenges facing those who suffer from mental illness or substance abuse is the stigma that is associated with seeking help," said Jarrod Hindman, director of the CDPHE's Office of Suicide Prevention.  "We need to reduce the social pressure that keeps some from seeking life-saving assistance, and recognize this as a winnable battle."

C-SEAP offers no cost, confidential counseling services for State employees and their families at locations throughout the state. Individual services include drug and alcohol, work and family, couples/relationship, domestic violence, stress, and grief or loss counseling and can be accessed at  or by calling 1-800-821-8154. State employees may also have additional coverage through their health benefits provider. The State Employee Wellness Program has also incorporated mental health into an online program for employees.

"The State believes that early intervention and counseling can help reverse the trend of suicidal thoughts and actions, and we intend to educate as many State employees as we can about suicide prevention," said Wood.

Colorado also recently opened its first statewide mental health hotline, the Colorado Crisis and Support Line. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides crisis counseling and resource referral from trained professionals and peer specialists for Coloradans experiencing a mental health crisis or with a loved one in crisis. The toll-free number is 844-493-TALK (8255).

"One of our most promising suicide prevention strategies is to 'get upstream,'" said Sally Spencer-Thomas, CEO and Co-Founder of the Carson J Spencer Foundation. "Programs the State is implementing -- like the Working Minds program -- encourage working-aged people to think about their problems in a different way, before problems become catastrophic."

For more information on suicide prevention, please visit the following resources:
Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado at
Online or telephone hotline  or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
C-SEAP (for state government employees) at
CDPHE Office of Suicide Prevention at
Statewide mental health hotline, 844-493-TALK (8255)
Carson J Spencer Foundation at