Infectious Disease Prevention
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Winnable Battle?
Colorado’s Winnable Battles are key public health and environmental issues where
progress can be made in the next five years.
These 10 Winnable Battles were selected because they provide Colorado’s
greatest opportunities for ensuring the health of our citizens and visitors and
the improvement and protection of our environment. Many of Colorado’s Winnable Battles
align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Winnable
Battles or are consistent with the Seven Priorities for EPA’s Future, while
others reflect Colorado’s own unique priorities. These broad topic areas can be
customized by counties and cities based on local priorities and authorities, or
by agencies and other organizations whose missions overlap. All partners and
stakeholders are needed and welcomed in helping address these Winnable Battles.
With collective efforts, we can make a
Why has Colorado chosen to focus on these particular areas when there are so
many pressing health and environmental issues?
These Winnable Battles were chosen for these reasons:
They are important:
We have an ability to impact these areas:
Evidence-based strategies, best practices or programs
There is community-level readiness and support for
We can have an impact on a large percentage of the
We can improve and protect critical areas of the
There is capacity to improve these areas:
There is political will and there are champions to
support these issues.
There are organizations prepared to take the lead and
to move forward.
There are sufficient resources available, and funding
is available or obtainable.
Colorado’s Winnable Battles were chosen with consideration of national and local
goals (CDC’s Winnable Battles, the Seven Priorities for EPA’s Future and local
public health and environmental priorities). Alignment of national, state and
local efforts allow for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. To make a
difference, we need our schools/universities; workplaces/businesses/industries;
state health care, human services, natural resources and transportation
agencies; conservation/environmental groups; foundations; faith-based
organizations; elected officials; and nonprofit organizations to be active
participants in the Winnable Battles.
What about other important health and environmental issues not reflected in this
list of Winnable Battles?
The mission of public health and environmental quality remains the same – to
protect and improve the health of Colorado’s people and the quality of its
environment. Within all of the Winnable Battles are other critical issues such
as addressing health equity or access to care, or maximizing funding for
critical infrastructure, which will be included as strategies. Public health and
environmental workers will continue their important work across a wide range of
public health and environmental issues and programs beyond Colorado’s Winnable
Battles with a focus on achieving broad health impacts, eliminating health
disparities, and improving and protecting the environment.
What does Colorado propose to do to address these issues?
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), along with its
many system partners, will develop and implement measurable strategies to
address these Winnable Battles to improve public health and to protect and
improve the environment. This will include the following approaches:
Aligning with CDC’s Winnable Battles
Aligning with the Seven Priorities for EPA’s Future
where required or beneficial
Incorporating the Winnable Battles into the
department’s strategic plan and the work plans of its divisions
Coordinating, collaborating and aligning with local
public health agencies and their partners
Providing a framework and structure to offer assistance
at the local level
Focusing on the elements of Colorado’s Public Health
Using health equity and social determinants models as
Developing strong data collection and analysis systems
Engaging other agencies, organizations, foundations and
other stakeholders in the development and promotion of the measurable strategies
Engaging the public through educational opportunities
and participation in the Winnable Battles
How will Colorado know if progress is made?
By measuring the health outcomes, environmental improvement and other strategies
associated with each appropriate Winnable Battle, we will know where progress has been made and where more needs to be
done. Many of Colorado’s Winnable
Battles were first identified through current health data measurements– and the
state will continue to track this data, as well as other important data, as we
move ahead with strategies for improvement.
How will focusing on these Winnable Battles affect budgets for public health and
Funding opportunities for these areas likely will continue to be available, and
in many cases, expanded, given that these are key areas for improving the
public’s health and the environment. Making a difference can be more than
funding – it can result from doing things differently and doings things
Will Colorado identify new Winnable Battles in the future?
As we make progress in the improvement of our identified key public health and
environmental issues, new areas of focus may emerge. By ensuring a consistent and sound
system for collecting health and environmental data, by identifying and
analyzing new program requirements, and by working with our system partners and
stakeholders, we will be able to develop priorities and strategies early on as
new areas of focus emerge.