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News Archive

Family Safety & Emergency Preparedness Expo on Oct. 7 (2017)

Learn how to prepare yourself and your family for emergencies, and join us in reflecting on and commemorating 40+ years of disaster events in Larimer County, by attending the annual Family Safety and Emergency Preparedness Expo.

The event starts at 10 a.m. on Oct. 7 at the Thomas McKee 4-H Building at The Ranch in Loveland. This event is free and open to the public. Families can attend educational classes, stock up on preparedness supplies, learn lifesaving skills, win prizes, tour emergency vehicles, enjoy activities with your kids, and much more. The Expo also presents an opportunity for attendees to meet local emergency services workers.

We hope that this event will inspire county residents to be more prepared, have access to resources, and continue looking to build a brighter future for all. The Expo is presented by Larimer County, Weld County, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, Loveland Office of Emergency Management, Poudre Fire Authority, Fort Collins Office of Emergency Management, Larimer County Sheriff's Office, and the American Red Cross. We look forward to seeing you there.

Visit the Expo Facebook page for more information.
 
Community Behavioral Health Forum on Sept. 18 (2017)

The Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health is hosting this forum, one of many around the state, to hear from community members about behavioral health needs.

The goals of each forum include: 1) hear from clients and their families and from the staff of facilities and service providers about needs, successes, and opportunities; 2) hold a dialogue with community members to get ideas for next steps, potential legislation, and creative solutions; 3) update participants about what services are available in the community and how to access services; and 4) increase efforts to reduce stigma about what mental illness, substance dependency, and other behavioral health issues look like and who is affected.

Who should attend: Individuals and professionals with an interest in regional substance use and mental health systems including providers, administrators, people with lived experience, policymakers, and advocates.

The forum meets Monday, Sept. 18, 1:00-2:30pm, Room 308-310 at the Lory Student Center on the CSU campus, Fort Collins. Please plan to attend. We welcome your input. For more info, please go to the Office of Behavioral Health webpage.
 
Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus in Fort Collins (July 19, 2017)

Mosquitoes in Fort Collins have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). Mosquito traps in the northeast and southeast sections of town revealed Culex mosquitoes infected with the disease.

The vector index, or measure of infected mosquitoes, is 0.203 and 0.004 in the two zones. Before the City will consider adult mosquito spraying, the vector index must be 0.75 in any of the four zones and there must be two confirmed human cases per week or more than one positive human blood donor. The County has a lower threshold for action and may initiate an application earlier on the recommendation of the Director of the Department of Health and Environment.

WNV is a disease that is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The symptoms range from none to very serious. With the presence of the disease, residents are reminded to protect themselves using the Four D's:
  • Drain. Mosquitoes breed in water. Drain any standing water in your yard each week. Bird baths, clogged gutters, and kiddie pools are common breeding sites.
  • Dress. Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors. Spray clothing with insect repellent since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
  • Defend. Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. Use an approved repellent according to its label. To find the repellent that is right for you visit cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/#searchform.
  • Dusk/Dawn. Limit time spent outdoors at dusk through dawn, when mosquitoes are most active and feeding.

  • While there are no guarantees that you will not get WNV, using the Four D's helps minimize the risk. To learn more about WNV and how to protect your family visit the City of Fort Collins website.
     
    Mental Health Speaker Series Aug. - Sept. (2017)

    Join us for eight weeks of mental health education speakers, and dinner, free of charge for community members! Learn about important mental health issues in our community and how you can help yourself and others cope with these issues. Sessions will be led by licensed clinicians.

    Topics include:
  • 8/9 Anxiety -- Learn how anxiety affects people and ways you can help yourself and others cope with it. Topics include generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • 8/16 Depression -- Learn what depression is, how it can affect people, what you can do about it, and how to help others who are suffering from depression.
  • 8/23 Suicide -- Learn about warning signs, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and how to talk with someone who is suicidal.
  • 8/30 Self-Harm -- Self-harm is intentional, direct, and repeated injury without suicidal intentions. Learn why people self-harm and how you can help your loved ones.
  • 9/6 Grief and Loss -- Grief is a natural response to losing someone or something that is important to you. Learn to better understand the emotions, and how to take care of yourself and others who are grieving.
  • 9/13 Health and Well-being: Dealing with Stress -- The world is filled with stressors, and learning positive ways to cope can go a long way for your everyday health.
  • 9/20 Trauma -- Traumatic stress is a normal reaction to traumatic events. Learn about the physical and emotional reactions to trauma and leave with a few helpful coping strategies.
  • 9/27 Substance Use: Alcohol and Opioids -- Different substances act on the brain in different ways. This session will focus on alcohol, opioids, and heroin and how they are affecting individuals, and consequently our community and the nation.

  • Meets Wednesday evenings, 5:30-6:30pm at the Health District, 120 Bristlecone Drive in north Fort Collins. For more information and to reserve a space, email Katherine at kchu@healthdistrict.org. The series is hosted by Mental Health Connections, a partnership of the Health District and SummitStone Health Partners.
     
    Community Health Survey Finds Increase in Access to Health Insurance Under ACA (July 2017)

    Survey results show that residents of Larimer County have seen dramatic gains in health insurance coverage since 2013. The survey from the Health District of Northern Larimer County also finds that many residents have experienced fewer struggles with medical bills and debt collectors, put off fewer visits to mental health providers, and filled prescriptions that previously might have gone unfilled due to cost.

    The findings are part of the Community Health Survey, a large, scientifically designed study the Health District has conducted every three years since 1995. Results help the Health District and other local organizations gauge the community's health and track changes in healthcare access over time. The most recent survey of 2,279 randomly selected adult residents of Larimer County took place in the fall of 2016.

    In 2016, 4 percent of local adults ages 18-64 reported having no health insurance, down markedly from 12 percent three years earlier. The number of people who were uninsured for long periods of time -- seven months or more -- also decreased significantly, from 17 percent in 2013 to 6 percent in 2016. Those with the lowest income (138 percent or less of the federal poverty level) saw the steepest drops with 6 percent uninsured for longer than seven months in 2016, down from 47 percent three years earlier.

    The survey showed improved access to a variety of health services. The number of local residents reporting no insurance for prescriptions dropped from 14 percent to 7 percent. Among those with the lowest incomes, there was a steep decrease in the number of people who were said they were unable to fill a prescription due to cost (27 percent to 12 percent).

    Residents whose incomes were at or just above poverty were less likely to delay getting mental health care. The number of people who put off visiting a mental health provider due to cost declined significantly, from 49 percent to 19 percent.

    Gains in coverage had wide-ranging impacts on people's personal and financial well-being. Those who reported having medical bills they couldn't pay right away and had to pay over time declined from 31 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2016. Residents least able to pay for medical care got a reprieve from debt collectors as the number of people at or just above poverty who had been sent to collections for unpaid medical bills decreased from 22 percent to 15 percent.

    The 2016 Community Health Survey was a random-sample survey of 2,279 adult residents of Larimer County. A more detailed summary of recent survey findings related to coverage gains can be found on the Health District website. For more information on the Community Health Survey, contact Richard Cox at the Health District at 970-224-5209, rcox@healthdistrict.org.

    The Health District is a public agency that provides residents of northern Larimer County with dental, mental health, and preventive health services, in addition to connecting people to more affordable prescription and health insurance options.
     

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