Our Work

AHA offers an inclusive convening table where health and community leaders can come together to discuss and develop solutions to health access issues in their community: inadequate primary care capacity, limited access to specialty care, inequitable distribution of health resources, and fragmented approaches to solutions. AHA provides a practical, innovative, and open approach to collaboration. AHA not only reacts to, but also tries to anticipate, the needs in the community.

AHA is one of many partners working to improve health in Aurora.

AHA promotes health by:

  • Increasing access!
  • Expanding coverage!
  • Building collaboration!

Why Aurora?

Where you live matters. In Aurora, as in certain other American cities, a “zip code is more important than your genetic code”[2] in determining health outcomes.

Aurora is home to more than 345,000 people.[1] It is the third largest city in Colorado, spanning Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. For many years, engaged citizens, healthcare providers and local agencies have worked hard to build a quality healthcare system in Aurora. Aurora is home to some of the best medical facilities and providers in Colorado. With all of these resources, Aurora should be one of the healthiest communities in the state, yet many Aurora residents face significant barriers when accessing their basic healthcare needs. Compared to other cities in Colorado, Aurora has a higher rate of uninsured people [1], lower median annual household income [1], and higher rates of poverty and unemployment [2]. It is the most diverse city in Colorado. For additional information, please view the Aurora HealthCare Snapshot.

History

Aurora Health Alliance was initiated in January 2010 as Aurora Health Access after a grassroots effort convened a series of community conversations about health to identify challenges and opportunities. AHA is now a growing Alliance of health providers, business leaders, community agencies, and residents committed to transforming the healthcare system in Aurora. AHA is valued as an unprecedented table where key health and community leaders are coming together to talk about solutions. We are a catalyst for change in the community.

Beginnings

AHA grew out of the community organizing work of Together Colorado and St. Therese Catholic Church in Original Aurora. After three years of research and a variety of efforts promoting access to healthcare, in 2009 St. Therese leaders, with the help of the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved (CCMU), convened over 150 community and healthcare leaders and residents in a public meeting on health care access in Aurora. From this group the Aurora Health Access Taskforce was born.

The Taskforce was well-represented in the community by a diverse membership, including medical facilities, like the University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Medical Center of Aurora; payers and HMOs, like Kaiser Permanente and Colorado Access; providers; governmental organizations, like Adams and Arapahoe County Human Services and Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF); school districts, including Aurora and Cherry Creek; Tri-County Health Department; community clinics, like Metro Community Provider Network, Doctors Care, Aurora Mental Health Center, and Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics; Rural Metro Ambulance; Aurora Adams Medical Society; YMCA; Stapleton Foundation; the City Council; and several other non-profits and individuals committed to healthcare. Most of these entities are still closely involved in AHA’s work.