Healthy Archuleta is providing updates on its recent activities.
Health Equity and Nutrition Security Assessment updates
Primary and preventative health care access and utilization: As part of the community health assessment, Healthy Archuleta shared a survey with health care and other partner organizations serving Archuleta County. Additionally, one-on-one interviews were conducted in English or Spanish with community members to capture their experience related to primary preventative health care access and utilization. Through this process, 22 local health care agencies and community organizations, and 31 residents shared their perceptions and experience centering their responses on health care in our community. Additionally, as part of this process, health care partners are meeting regularly to review and discuss the results of the assessment and build collaboration in an effort to advance primary preventative health care access for all community members. This group is also collaborating with Healthy Archuleta on the following emergent “Quick Win Actions”:
• Posting Spanish-language signage at the health care facilities letting community members know to ask for interpretation.
• Adding transportation information on agency websites.
• Learning from dental providers about the barriers to taking insurance.
• Providing information on sliding scales on health care agency websites.
• Understanding currently available specialty services, including telehealth.
• Providing information and educational resources in both English and Spanish.
Food access and security: Between December 2022 and January 2023, Healthy Archuleta conducted a food access survey with the help of Archuleta County’s food pantry network to better understand the over 320 households served by the food pantries each week. As part of the nutrition security assessment, the survey set out to understand the needs of these households, how the pantries are doing overall and what has been affecting these families in terms of their access to food.
Results from the 115 individuals who participated in the survey explain how crucial the food pantry network is to our community, especially as there is a rise in varying costs of living affecting everyone. Last year in the “Final Report for Livable Wages of Southwest Colorado,” the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado stated Pagosa Springs is the most expensive southwestern town in Colorado “due to the high cost of housing.”
Healthy Archuleta’s food access survey asked about factors affecting households, and 62 percent of the respondents reported being affected by not being able to afford the cost of living in this area. This and other factors such as lack of funding to buy food, lack of access to transportation and living in an area with limited access to grocery stores may also have an impact on their ability to get food on a regular basis. Understanding this is important for our community as we seek solutions to increase access to food for all residents in light of the higher cost of living.
Thanks to our volunteers, we now have a donation bin at the Pagosa Springs City Market right at the front entrance. Please consider donating food at our two donation locations, inside Pagosa Springs City Market and at the UPS store. These donations will help food get distributed to our community through the seven Archuleta County food pantries.
Community engagement updates
Youth engagement: Healthy Archuleta hosted the first Youth Community Learning and Leadership Circle (CLLC) meeting Thursday, March 30. The group has the opportunity to learn about Healthy Archuleta’s role in the county as well as join it in promoting a healthy community for everyone. If you’re in high school and interested or know someone in high school who would be interested, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and join us every other week on Wednesday afternoons to engage in discussions about Archuleta County’s healthy future.
Community volunteers: Healthy Archuleta recently hosted a volunteer gathering where more than 15 people joined us for lunch to learn about the work of the organization and how they can get involved as volunteers. If you are interested in supporting our efforts, please send us an email at email@example.com so we can update you on volunteer opportunities.
Spanish language group: Twice a month, Spanish-speaking community members host meetings in which different community guests speak about and discuss what resources are available in our county for everyone and what can be done to assist in the barriers of communication. The inclusion of a Spanish language Seed to Supper class is just one example in which a barrier was lifted and the knowledge could be shared with both English and Spanish speakers of our community.
In addition, the Spanish group, facilitated by Healthy Archuleta, invited immigration attorneys to hold an immigration clinic on April 15. Space is limited; those interested in attending can register for an appointment at https://calendly.com/grupoarchuleta. Anyone in need or anyone who wants the insight is welcome to join the discussion. The Healthy Archuleta Spanish language group also developed a vision statement for its work.
We are looking forward to connecting with you at one of our upcoming events. We are also looking for volunteers to help support these events:
• April 16, 4 p.m.: Plant sale for Vista Lake Community Garden, Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Clubhouse.
• April 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Earth Day Celebration, Centennial Park.
• May 6, 10 a.m. to noon: Preparing Garden Beds for Planting and Basic Irrigation Setup, Vista Lake Community Garden.
For more information about how you can support the work of Healthy Archuleta, please visit www.foodcoalition4archuleta.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (401) 206-4579.