Community Health Needs Assessment

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) has partnered with Lutheran Medical Center and St. Anthony Hospital to conduct a joint community health assessment and improvement process resulting in a Jefferson County Community Health Needs Assessment and a Community Health Improvement Plan. This process has been conducted in collaboration with numerous community members, partner organizations and government agencies.

The Community Health Needs Assessment comprehensively reviewed the current state of health in Jefferson County, Colorado and gathered information on gaps and opportunities for improvement. This assessment contains information on a broad range of factors that impact community health as well as existing assets and resources to address these health issues. The CHNA is organized into five sections: a community description, an assessment of the health determinants and factors, an assessment of health outcomes, a list of community assets and a description of the assessment methodology. The information presented on this interactive website is designed to be updated when new data are available, revised as we learn more about specific health issues and expanded as new issues are identified. Primary (original) data were provided to us through interviews and focus groups with community members, partner organizations and key stakeholders. This data was combined with secondary (existing) data to create our finished assessment that represents a comprehensive examination of the health of Jefferson County residents.

2018 Community Health Needs Assessment

The assessment identified numerous strengths where Jefferson County is thriving, often performing better than Colorado and the United States. It is important to note, however, that even with these areas, challenges remain for many of our residents and continued efforts are needed to ensure shared success in health and wellness for everyone who lives, works and plays in Jefferson County.

Areas of strength identified are:

  • Healthy sexual behaviors (teen birth rates, among Jefferson County females ages 15-17, fell from 18 births per 1,000 females in 1990 to 4 births per 1,000 females in 2016)
  • Access to parks and recreation (614 park spaces and 79,771 acres of open or park space in Jefferson County)
  • Safe food (Jefferson County only had one foodborne illness outbreak in 2017)
  • Healthy eating and breastfeeding (81% of mothers in Jefferson County still breastfed their babies at 9 weeks old 2013-2015)
  • Provider availability (331 primary care physicians in 2014, reflecting a very high capacity of 1,803 Jefferson County residents per 1 physician) 

Opportunities for improvement were identified in the following areas:

  • Mental health and substance use treatment (8.3% of Jefferson County residents needed, but did not receive, mental health care in 2017, and about 1.6% of Coloradans overall (~90,000 individuals) needed, but did not receive, treatment for substance misuse in the same year)
  • Food insecurity (1 in 10 Jefferson County residents were food insecure in 2017)
  • Alcohol and substance use (68 ER visits for opioid poisonings, and 80 ER visits for heroin poisonings, and 6,507 visits were reported for alcohol-related poisonings among Jefferson County residents in 2015) 
  • Housing (50.7% increase in rental costs from 2005-2016 in Jefferson County)
  • Vaping and tobacco (In 2015, 46.2% of Colorado high school students reported they had tried e-cigarettes, a 206% increase from 2013) 

Please view the full assessment here: