The Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) has been selected by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to receive a $48,000 grant to enhance its capacity to address cognitive health and dementia for the residents of Adams and Arapahoe counties.
To help public health leaders chart a course to prepare all communities for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) jointly developed the Healthy Brain Initiative State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia: The 2018-2023 Road Map. The TCHD grant is one of eight inaugural grants awarded to agencies around the country.
Through the grant, the TCHD will designate a part-time Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map Strategist, an experienced public health official working in support and coordination with public health partners across the community. The new Road Map Strategist will conduct a public health needs assessment, train local health officials and key community partners, and lead implementation of public health action on dementia.
“Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are a growing and urgent public health concern in Colorado and in Adams and Arapahoe counties, with both cases and impact expected to grow as the population continues to age,” said John Douglas, MD, Executive Director of the Tri-County Health Department. “Alzheimer’s disease is in the top six causes of death in Adams and Arapahoe counties, with rates only rising and we need to work on curbing that rise.”
People living with dementia and their family caregivers require support as cognitive, behavioral and physical functioning worsens over time. A strategic public health response is needed to mitigate this impact on all communities, and the addition of the HBI Strategist will help to improve response across the region. Additionally, TCHD has strong relationships with the other local public health departments across the greater Denver metro area, allowing the knowledge they obtain to influence an even larger portion of Colorado’s population.
“The Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has strong partnerships in this region of the state across all pillars of the Association, including our efforts related to diversity, equity and inclusion. This will be a fundamental component of TCHD’s work due to the diversity of the population it serves,” said Kelly Osthoff, senior director of Programs for the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado.
“The potential to build Alzheimer’s and related dementias capacity within the local public health department in this part of our state is a unique and significant opportunity,” said Osthoff. “We are confident that TCHD’s efforts will increase the capacity of the agency and create positive and lasting impacts for our region.”
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Tri-County Health Department serves over 1.5 million people in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. It provides over 60 programs and services including birth certificates, immunizations, WIC, restaurant inspections, family planning, STI/HIV Testing, and infectious disease investigations. For more information, visit www.tchd.org, Twitter @TCHDHealth, or Facebook @cotchd.