Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Spotlight on Weld County - Safe Sleep Campaign

Two years ago, Weld County experienced four sleep-related infant deaths in a matter of months. The county coroner, who identified this pattern and unusually high number, brought it to the attention of the Prevention Services Unit at the Weld County Department of Human Services. As the Unit further investigated the deaths, they learned that all four deaths were the result of an unsafe sleep environment in which the baby was sharing a bed with an adult.

Weld County Safe Sleep Press Conference - 2013
Left to Right: Caroline Gelatt, Kathi Brown, Melanie Cyphers
Given the similar risk factors that were identified in all four cases, the Prevention Services Unit was compelled to take action to prevent other sleep-related infant deaths from occurring in Weld County. The Unit recognized that the death of these children was a community problem and would require a community solution. Thus, they convened local stakeholders, including United Way, Nurse Family Partnership, Lutheran Family Services, University of Northern Colorado, North Colorado Medical Center and Fetal Infant Mortality Review members to create a public awareness campaign.

Weld County Commissioner Proclamation on Safe Sleep - 2014
Heidi (Weld County mother and her baby) and Mike Ward (Weld County Coroner)

The campaign was multi-faceted and reached a broad audience.  Some of the activities of the campaign included:

  • Press conference and press release that was picked up on TV, radio and social media
  • Crib display comparing a safe and unsafe infant sleep environment and public testimonial from two Weld County mothers 
  • Presentations to healthcare professionals and child care workers
  • Toolkits provided to healthcare professionals and child care workers that consisted of a safe sleep checklist, brochure, magnet, press release and online resources 
  • Campaign website with safe sleep educational materials
  • Social media posts and distribution of posters at grocery stores, doctor’s offices, laundromats, and the drivers license office

Weld County is an exemplary case of “taking data to action:”

  1. Analyzing infant death data to identify trends and patterns;
  2. Convening community stakeholders to brainstorm prevention strategies;
  3. Using demographic characteristics and risk and protective factors to define their target audience; and
  4. Leveraging local resources to implement a public health program.

Click this link for more information about Weld County’s Safe Sleep Campaign.  

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 Colorado.gov/marijuana
  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.