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Steps to a HealthierUS logo Colorado

The Steps to a HealthierUS five-year cooperative agreement program aims to help Americans live longer, better, and healthier lives by reducing the burden of diabetes, overweight, obesity, and asthma and addressing three related risk factors—physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use.

For FY 2003, this U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) program allocated $13.6 million to fund 23 communities, including four counties in Colorado, to implement community action plans to reduce health disparities and promote quality health care and prevention services.

Project Area

  • Mesa County: Grand Junction, Fruita, Palisade (population 120,000).
  • Pueblo County: Pueblo (population 147,000).
  • Teller County: Cripple Creek, Victor, Woodland Park, Florissant, Divide (population 20,000).
  • Weld County: Greeley and 31 unincorporated towns (population 205,000).

Target Populations for Steps Interventions

Mesa: School-aged children, youth in low income areas, government and school district employees, senior citizens, uninsured/underinsured adults, and migrant farm workers. Pueblo: Children and adults at high risk for or diagnosed with chronic diseases, health professionals, low-income people and Latinos. Teller: Low-income people and school-aged children. Weld: Latinos, low-income people, and people without health insurance.

Proposed Interventions


  • Implement community-wide, social norming media campaigns to increase tobacco-use cessation attempts and promote clean indoor air policies.
  • Arrange for television public service announcements to promote clean indoor air polices.
  • Develop public advertising/promotion campaign on diabetes prevention strategies and resources using multiple media outlets, including newspapers, government-access and other cable television channels, and radio stations.
  • Develop a multifaceted promotional campaign on the 5 A Day for Better Health Program and the annual 5 A Day month using seminars, posters, brochures, and educational classes.
  • Conduct media campaigns on free screenings for diabetes and on the need for annual foot and dilated eye examinations for adults with diabetes.
  • Policy

  • Place, maintain, and enhance distance markers on trails and walkways within the community.
  • Work with the state compliance officer to evaluate merchant education and penalties/incentives on tobacco sales to underage youth.
  • Promote an educational campaign and messages supporting improved clean indoor air ordinances and policies on smoking in public places.
  • Implement policies in accordance with the Surgeon General's recommendations for physical education requirements.
  • Develop and implement guidelines for providing healthy snacks and foods in school vending machines, grocery stores, and convenience stores.
  • School-Based

  • Implement Middle Schools On The Move pedometer program.
  • Implement Take 10! Curriculum in classrooms.
  • Recruit, organize, and provide technical assistance for KidsWalk-to-School programs.
  • Develop and implement a Junk Food Free Zone policy in schools.
  • Establish guidelines for foods provided to students for school parties and snacks.
  • Promote compliance with the Tobacco Free Schools Law through an advertising campaign.
  • Develop and implement policies ensuring that all foods and beverages available on school campuses and at school events are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Introduce the 5 A Day model and Breakfast in the Classroom to students.
  • Conduct physical activity awareness campaigns that focus on informing elementary school Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) and middle and high school health teachers (especially those working with students at risk) about Colorado On The MoveÔ , Turn Off the TV Week, and Walk or Bike to School Days.
  • Implement a comprehensive marketing plan for 5 A Day in schools.
  • Community-Based

  • Implement Colorado On The MoveÔ in youth centers, seniors centers, and faith-based organizations in the community.
  • Implement nutrition education including 5 A Day, good nutrition, and healthy eating messages into programs for day care children, parents, and teachers.
  • Administer American Diabetes Association Risk Tests and distribute appropriate diabetes educational materials.
  • Arrange social norming project to promote tobacco-use cessation.
  • Coordinate with the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center to establish a permanent interactive Steps-sponsored exhibit in the nationally recognized Buell Children’s Museum that will promote health and wellness among children and adults through education on diabetes, obesity, asthma, physical activity, healthy nutrition, and tobacco prevention.
  • Use "walkability" checklists in communities to make existing community trail systems more accessible and useable by children and adults.
  • Workplace

  • Implement Colorado On The MoveÔ in workplaces, especially those with large Latino populations.
  • Work with large employers to implement point-of-decision prompts in the workplace to promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Health Care

  • Provide training to health care providers on how to implement the Diabetes Assessment Survey and disseminate diabetes prevention and education materials.
  • Coordinate with the Colorado Prevention Center to implement the Bridge the Gap (train-the-trainer) program, bringing the latest research into practice regarding lipid management, drug therapy, and other diabetes-related issues.
  • Sponsor Continuing Medical Education events targeted to primary care providers in order to establish a standard level of care for all patients with diabetes.
  • Provide dilated eye examinations for low-income people with diabetes who do not have vision insurance.
  • Evaluation
    HHS will provide training and technical assistance to help each Steps community develop measurable program objectives and specific indicators of progress and use relevant data to support ongoing program improvement. HHS also will conduct a national evaluation of the overall program. Existing data sources, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, will be used to identify and measure program outcomes and assess progress toward program goals.

    Community Consortium

    Colorado On the Move, Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition (COPAN) Coalition, Colorado Asthma Coalition, Colorado Cancer Coalition, Colorado Diabetes Coalition,

    Colorado Cardiovascular Health Coalition, Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition (COPAN) Task Force, Colorado Diabetes Task Forces, Mesa County Health Department, Mesa County School District 51, Western Colorado Area Health Education Center, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Marillac Clinic, American Cancer Society, Grand Junction Parks and Recreation, Pueblo School District 60, Southeastern Area Health Education Center, Weld County Diabetes Coalition, Tobacco-Free Weld County Program,

    Weld County Community Consortium, Greeley Recreation Center, Banner Health, Weld County Commissioners, Rocky Mountain HMO, Parkview Medical Center, and Northern Colorado Health Alliance.

    Colorado Steps Contact

    Rachel Oys, MPP
    Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition Program
    Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
    4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, A-5
    Denver, CO 80246
    (303) 692-2606
    (303) 691-7721 fax

    Note: Steps communities have until May 2004 to finalize their community action plans. Proposed interventions may change accordingly.

    Return to Grantee List