Healthy Archuleta focuses on three areas of action and learning
Health Equity Healthy Archuleta has been working alongside health and community partners to better understand access to primary and preventive health care with the aim of improving access for all residents of Archuleta County. Click on the links below to learn more about our work in advancing health equity.
Primary Preventive Health Care Access
Community Health & Wellness
Assessment, Planning & Evaluation
Primary Preventive Health Care Access According to the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps data for Archuleta County, 16% of the residents under the age of 65 years old don't have health insurance as compared to 10% of the residents of Colorado and United States. Accessing and using primary preventive healthcare services is important for reducing the risk of diseases, disability, and death. Healthy People 2030 focuses on increasing preventive care for people of all ages. According to the Office of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, 6.9% of U.S. adults aged 35 years and over received all of the recommended high priority appropriate clinical preventive services in 2018, which was a decrease from 8.5% in 2015, with the Healthy People 2030 goal of 11.1%. Healthy Archuleta is partnering with health care agencies and community organizations in Archuleta County to increase access and utilization of primary preventive health care services for all residents. For more information on accessing primary preventive health care services in Archuleta County, please click HERE.
Community Health & Wellness Healthy Archuleta works closely with community to identify and co-develop learning opportunities that advance health promotion and wellness topics such as growing and preparing local foods, cultural/heritage foods, and healthy and affordable food options focusing on children/youth, parents and primary caregivers, food pantry clients, community groups, and others. Some examples of these activities have included Chef on Wheels: Food Demos, Kids in the Mountain Garden Program, and Heritage Cooking classes. Additionally, Healthy Archuleta recognizes the importance and role of physical activity in nutrition security and health equity, and plans to further learn about access and utilization of physical activity for all residents in Archuleta County. Healthy Archuleta is also working to partner with Community Health Empowerment support groups of youth and adults in Archuleta County to learn together how to form and sustain healthy habits around nutrition, fitness, and sleep. Using science-based materials and through a participatory process, individuals are supported to think and act in terms of community health and wellness, learning together how health and wellness belong to everyone.
Assessment, Planning and Evaluation Healthy Archuleta values the importance of assessment, planning and evaluation. In an effort to advance health equity, Healthy Archuleta worked closely with community and health partners and residents to capture information related to primary preventive health care access and utilization. Findings from this assessment has informed lines of action that are further explored and are being incorporated into the implementation plan. Additionally, Healthy Archuleta is intentional in "being" a learning organization and toward that end includes evaluation and reflection in all aspects of its work with both partners and community members.
Nutrition Security According the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), "Nutrition Security means all Americans have consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, affordable foods essential to optimal health and well-being." According to the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps data for Archuleta County, 11% of the population (nearly 1,500 individuals) in 2020lack adequate access to food in Archuleta County, as compared to 8% in Colorado. Toward addressing food and nutrition insecurity, Healthy Archuleta continues to center equity in its healthy eating efforts by supporting individuals and families to access health promoting foods, nutrition education, food purchasing/preparation skills, and nutrition counseling.Eating nutritious foods takes more than the individual, it takes a community. Healthy Archuleta uses a community-based food system approach to addressing nutrition security. Click on the links below to learn more about our work in advancing nutrition security.
Food Access & Security
Nutrition Education & Counseling
Food Production & Supply
Food System Learning
Assessment, Planning & Evaluation
Food Access & Security Food pantry clients, those experiencing barriers to healthy food options spoke and we listened. Healthy Archuleta continues to work to increase access to both local and non-local foods for the benefit of our neighbors who visit the food pantries in our community. There are currently seven food pantries working within an informal structure of a food pantry network that meets monthly alongside the Food Distribution Center (FDC) Coordinator to share resources and learning related to food access and security. The food pantries receive food through partnership with the regional food bank, local grocery stores (rescue foods), individual donations, and Healthy Archuleta through the FDC (climate-controlled facility secured for the purpose of receiving, storing and distributing food procured by the FSFE - Food Coalition for the food pantries). For more information about the days and times of operation of food pantries and partner food organizations in Archuleta County, please click HERE.
Nutrition Education and Counseling Healthy Archuleta is committed to supporting community through nutrition education activities that are relevant and responsive to the needs of the community. Healthy Archuleta partners with nutritionist/dietitians to offer nutrition education programming at different locations in the community. Research supports "the effectiveness of nutrition interventions and counseling provided by a nutrition professional (registered dietitian nutritionist or equivalent) when part of a health care team." In an effort to support community members with nutrition counseling, a Food/Nutrition Resource Navigator through one of the local clinics facilitated access to a network of dietitians in Colorado that are committed to health equity and increasing access to nutrition counseling services in rural areas such as Archuleta County. This effort proved helpful and will be further explored in the near future. Meanwhile, please refer to this list of dietitians that provide Telehealth counseling services prepared for Healthy Archuleta by a Colorado-based dietitian. Healthy Archuleta is also exploring a partnership with the Food Pantry Network and local clinics to help connect clients/patients experiencing food and nutrition insecurities with free and locally grown fruits and vegetables in cohort with nutrition counseling services to reduce nutrition-related health disparities.
Food Production and Supply Healthy Archuleta collaborates with growers and producers to increase food production and supply through different strategies and lines of action with the aim of supporting the community with access to foods that are locally/regionally and sustainably grown in backyards, community gardens (such as Vista Lake Community Garden) and commercial and institutional settings. Backyard growers are encouraged and supported to plant an extra row of produce to share with our neighbors who visit the food pantries. Click HERE for more information. Additionally, Healthy Archuleta works on supporting community to advance ideas and actions related to increasing capacity to grow more food locally. One such example was the residents that led the design and development of a community garden at the Vista Lake Park. Growing and producing food is at the heart of our food system - To that end, community members are supported to build and sustain capacity as it relates to growing and/or producing food in Archuleta County. For information and resources related to growing food, please click HERE.
Food System Learning Healthy Archuleta uses a food systems approach to advancing food equity. Toward that end, a community-based food system model was developed which informs the focus of the different lines of action and learning. Recognizing the importance of engaging community in learning about the food system, Healthy Archuleta is distributing an artistic rendition of the model in both Spanish and English through different settings and programming. Please connect with us if you would like to receive a copy of this poster for your facility. Additionally, Healthy Archuleta has partnered with local schools to bring this knowledge to high school students and to actively invite them to get involved in their community food system. Healthy Archuleta is also actively working with partners and community growers and producers to advance the other elements of the food system such as food waste prevention, food safety, resource recovery, and food entrepreneurship. For more information on the different elements of the food system and what Healthy Archuleta is doing to advance work on these elements, please click HERE.
Assessment, Planning and Evaluation Healthy Archuleta values the importance of assessment, planning and evaluation. In an effort to advance nutrition security, Healthy Archuleta worked closely with food pantries and community members to capture information related to access to food and local food production. Findings from this assessment has informed lines of action that are further explored and are being incorporated into the implementation plan. Additionally, Healthy Archuleta is intentional in "being" a learning organization and toward that end includes evaluation and reflection in all aspects of its work with both partners and community members.
Community Cohesion Healthy People 2030 describes the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) "as those conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks." and organize them into 5 domains, one of which focuses on social and community context. The goal related to social and community context is "to increase social and community support" with the idea that "Interventions to help people get the social and community support they need are critical for improving health and well-being." Healthy Archuleta values the importance of building connection and relationships and works to bring affinity groups together using the models of Community Learning and Leadership (CLLC) and network-coalition building. To date, Healthy Archuleta has worked and supported four different CLLCs, which include, 1) Vista Lake Community Garden, Community Assessment Group, Spanish-Language Community Group, and Youth Group. Additionally, Healthy Archuleta continues to learn about network-coalition building in advancing community cohesion in service of nutrition security and health equity. Examples of this include the Food Pantry Network, Health Partner Network, and Volunteer Network. The CLLCs and the network-coalition building work aim to advance belonging and bridging among those involved and with others in the community. Click on the links below to learn more about our work in advancing community cohesion.
Community Learning and Leadership Circles (CLLC)s
Spanish-Language Community CLLC Every two-weeks, the Spanish-Language community members come together to create opportunities for community members to connect and build relationships with the aim of promoting belonging and bridging among themselves and with others in Archuleta County. The group also works to bring information and education to each other in Spanish language to help increase access to food, health, and other resources in further supporting everyone's opportunity to thrive irrespective of access to English language. For more information about the group, please click HERE.
Youth CLLC Healthy Archuleta works to empower youth to identify issues and opportunities and to support them in ways that they want to contribute to advancing nutrition security and health equity. YOUTH have been vital to the work of the Coalition and played an important part since the Community Food Assessment in 2019. Today, a group of local youth are meeting regularly to advance learning about the community-based food system through youth-led activities and efforts. For more information about the efforts of the Youth CLLC, please click HERE.
Vista Lake Community Garden CLLC Community members with support from Healthy Archuleta and PLPOA came together to help design and develop a community garden that is currently operational and being led by the Vista Lake Community Garden CLLC. The connections and relationships established among the CLLC members continue to carry the operation of this garden in service of the community.
Community Assessment CLLC Healthy Archuleta brought together community members during the first phase of the Nutrition Security|Health Equity Assessment to inform the questions that would be investigated as part of the information gathering. A group of 7 community members were diverse backgrounds formed the Community Assessment CLLC and met regularly with content area experts to advance their knowledge of nutrition security and health equity while identifying questions that needed to be further explored and asked. This group met through June of 2022 and was invaluable in informing the design and development of the assessment that is currently being implemented. Today, a group of community members and content area experts work in teams to continue the work of the assessment which includes information gathering and sharing of emergent findings and lines of action with different partners and groups.
Food Pantry Network Every month since April of 2020, food pantry coordinators representing the food pantries in Archuleta County meet to network, share resources and build community among themselves and for service of others. Healthy Archuleta has helped provide the backbone structure for this informal network and continues to support them through procuring, storing, and distributing food to them for the benefit of our neighbors who visit the pantries in Archuleta County. Today, there are seven food pantries serving neighbors across Archuleta County (two located in downtown Pagosa, three in uptown Pagosa, one in Aspen Springs, and one in Arboles).
Health Partner Network Since Fall of 2022, Health care organizations in Archuleta County have been meeting to review the results of the community assessment with the aim of advancing primary preventive health care for all residents. The group meets every other month and discusses emergent assessment findings, lines of action, and services that are offered by different agencies and how the community can benefit from the collaboration and networking of the group.
Volunteer Network Healthy Archuleta, as an organization has been able to engage a number of community members as volunteers and build connections and relationships with them in service of the community. The work of Healthy Archuleta is varied and relevant to community members who are seeking to connect with others in service opportunities related to health and food access. Healthy Archuleta offers opportunities to connect with others in the community through volunteer activities such as food drives, community events, and administrative and project tasks. For more information on how you can get involved, please click HERE.