CEO Update: 2019 Snapshot Released!
I love this time of year because it’s a fresh start, the air is crisp outside, and all your hopes and possibilities lie ahead!
At CRHC, we have some great resources coming your way, including the continual expansion of the Snapshot. CRHC has been producing the Snapshot of Rural Health since 2008. Our goal is to expand this document yearly so you have the information you need to apply for grants, talk with stakeholders and promote healthy rural communities.
CRHC added several new data points and maps in addition to updating current information. Some of the new data on Race and Origin of Coloradans is new this year, understanding that Colorado’s demographics are changing. The data shows: 68.3% White, 21.5% Hispanic or Latino, 4.5% Black or African American, 3.4% Asian, 3% Two or more Races, 1.6% American Indian and Alaska Native and .2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander and people of color comprise 26% of the population in rural communities and 31% in urban areas. Additionally, an estimated 394,145 veterans currently live in Colorado, which is 6.74% of the population, with approximately 11.3% of those veterans living in rural.
A large section was added on the critical issue of Opioid Abuse, given that Colorado continues to set records for drug overdose deaths the last 13 of 15 years. Colorado ranks 19th in the nation from opioid related death rate (9.5 per 100,000 in 2016) and is ranked 14th in the nation for opioid prescription related deaths (64.7 per 100,000 in 2015). In 2017, 959 Coloradoans died from drug poisonings, a figure that includes both intentional and unintentional overdoses. The rate of newborns addicted to opiates rose 83% in Colorado from 2010-2015. The leading Colorado cause is from prescription opioids and Heroin is the second leading cause. Between 2001 and 2016 there was an increase of prescription opioid deaths by approximately 154%. Sixteen rural Eastern Plains counties recorded 93 total deaths between 20014 and 2016, up 158% from 36 in a three-year period between 2002-2004. Eight counties in an near the San Luis Valley recorded 29 overdoses deaths between 2014-2016, more than double the 14 deaths between 2002-2004.
Healthcare drives the rural economy and much of the infrastructure for a rural community. Healthcare is one of the top three industries in rural Colorado and the average critical access hospital creates 170 jobs and generates $7.1 million in salaries, wages and benefits annually.
To learn more and engage in the important conversations around rural communities we encourage you to download the 2019 Snapshot of Rural Health.