Pikes Peak health group earns JCAHO approval

Filed under: Health Care |

The Pikes Peak Mental Health Group has earned the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Health Organization’s gold seal of approval, marking the 31st year that the group has maintained accreditation.
“We seek accreditation for Pikes Peak Mental Health because we want to provide our community with the best possible care and we view obtaining Joint Commission accreditation as another step toward excellence,” said Morris L. Roth, president and CEO of Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group.
Pikes Peak Mental Health’s emphasis on quality and safety previously earned it a Negley Award for Excellence in Risk Management in 2006 and the Ernest A. Codman Award in Behavioral Health Care in 2005.

Matching grants awarded

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has approved matching grants for 27 bioscience projects at six Colorado universities and research institutions.
The grants were awarded as part of $2 million appropriated by the legislature in 2006 to boost bioscience research within the state.
The University of Colorado system received awards for 13 research projects, including programs on schizophrenia, SARS, HIV cardio and skeletal muscle stem cells, pulmonary hypertension treatments, lung cancer and thyroid cancer.
Colorado State University received five research awards for projects about nonlinear optical microscopy, mitral valve regurgitation, cervical intervertebral disc space distractor, chemotherapy for breast cancer and using plants to detect environmental pollution.
The National Jewish Medical and Research Center earned five awards to study t-cell receptors to reduce inflammatory damage and hyper-responsiveness and inflammation, chronic lung disease, lung allergies and a treatment of pseudomonas biofilm infections.
Belle Bonfils Blood Center received a grant to study transfusion-related acute lung injury identification.
The University of Denver received a grant for a gait monitor for a fall prevention business plan and to encode and screen solution-phase combinatorial libraries for drug candidates.
The University of Northern Colorado was awarded a grant to create new compounds from snake venoms to develop drugs from toxins.
The grants are meant to encourage the creation of companies based on bioscience research.

Springs’ minority health

Two Colorado cities rank among the best metropolitan areas for black children to live in, according to a study about children’s living conditions.
Denver, Colorado Springs and Raleigh, N.C., were rated as the best metropolitan areas for black children based on factors such as poverty rates, health at birth and home ownership, as well as school and residential segregation.
Other top-ranking cities for minority children included Washington, Cincinnati and Austin, Texas. At the bottom of the list were Chicago, New York and Bakersfield, Calif.
The report by the Harvard School of Public Health scored the living conditions of children in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.
The data is available at DiversityData.org, a project that began five years ago with the aim of “providing a snapshot of urban inequality,” said Barbara Krimgold, one of the report’s authors and co-director of the Kellogg Health Scholars Program.
“We expected to see some disparities, but we were stunned,” Krimgold said.
The study showed that black children in all the cities scored the worst of four ethnic groups for neighborhood income and home ownership, school poverty, segregation, health and family income. Hispanic children fared slightly better, Asians were next and whites fared best.
The study showed trends of racial segregation in schools. Although less than half the elementary school students in the largest metro areas are white, the study found that the average white student attends a school where most of his or her fellow students are white. Similarly, black children make up 20 percent of elementary-school students but attend schools with mostly black populations in 40 percent of the cities studied.
In half the studied cities, the childhood poverty rate for blacks was more than 30 percent. The childhood poverty rate for white children was more than 16 percent in only one city.
“The entire range of opportunities is more limited for blacks and Hispanics,” Acevedo-Garcia said, pointing to “vast inequalities” in poverty, health care and home ownership numbers.
In Denver, for example, child poverty rates for black and Hispanic children are more than 20 percent. The poverty rate for Asian children was about 10 percent and for white children, less than 5 percent.
Rankings relied on such indicators as health, population diversity, housing and economic opportunities, education and crime. These factors in measuring a child’s well-being help determine “the degree of vulnerability and resilience that child is going to develop,” Acevedo-Garcia said.
The racial disparity could lead to “devastating consequences” and should serve as “an urgent signal of policy reforms that should be started now,” Krimgold said.
Policymakers must look to resources they already have to improve children’s well-being and close gaps between races, Acevedo-Garcia said.
“Good neighborhoods exist in metro areas, but not all children have access to them,” she said.
Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.