Over the past three years, the Center for Care Innovations (CCI)  has supported an innovation community to better address the health of underserved Coloradans. 

The Colorado Health Innovation Community (CHIC) is helping health care safety net organizations identify, test, and evaluate innovations with the potential to improve care experiences for low-income Coloradans. We are creating opportunities for Colorado’s broader safety net ecosystem to learn about human-centered, sustainable solutions for patients and staff alike. This initiative aims to create a supportive environment for organizations to take advantage of existing solutions that strengthen the health and health care of historically underinvested communities. 

The work of this initiative is uniquely positioned to inform Colorado’s evolving policy landscape and create new opportunities to explore approaches to strengthen care delivery. 

In partnership with The Colorado Health Foundation, the Center for Care Innovations (CCI) and Prime Health are working together to grow the Colorado Health Innovation Community (CHIC) and are looking to invite up to 10 new Colorado-based community health care organizations to join CHIC. Over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many existing inequities in health care and in health outcomes for underinvested communities. Moving forward, the Colorado Health Innovation Community will focus on making advancements in health equity for Coloradans by identifying and reducing disparities in access, quality, and health outcomes for populations served by Colorado’s health care safety net. 


Participating organizations will receive at least $70,000 in funding to support participation in the Colorado Health Innovation Community. Funding can be used to cover staff time as well as the cost for innovation pilots.  

Teams will have access to the following: 

  • Funding for participation & innovation pilots 
  • Health Equity Learning Sessions
  • Setting a common framework and language for health equity 
  • Strategies and skill-building for safe, effective, and inclusive community engagement 
  • Operationalizing data to identify and eliminate health disparities within an organization 
  • Training in human-centered design through CCI’s 5-month Catalyst curriculum 
  • Coaching and support from Prime Health on sustainable innovation and digital health technology 
  • Coaching for innovation pilots: from peers and subject matter experts 
  • Colorado’s Health Innovation Ecosystem: Speed networking opportunities with funders and policymakers 
  • An online learning community 
  • CHIC monthly virtual convening


If you have been invited to apply by CCI and/or Prime Health, you are eligible. Community health care organizations that serve Colorado’s health care safety net are eligible to apply, this includes organizations focused on behavioral health. Priority may be given to organizations in areas that are most underserved, including rural and frontier areas of Colorado.  Please find our application form here


The Colorado Health Innovation Community (CHIC) is an ongoing program. We see this as a community that we are building together, and we are expanding membership to up to 10 new organizations. This grant cycle of CHIC will run for 19 months, from June 2022 through December 2023, with the opportunity to continue beyond 2023. 

  • Health Equity Learning Sessions in June and through the duration of Human-Centered Design Training 
  • Human-Centered Design Training (Catalyst): Mid-July through November 2022 
  • Speed Networking with Funders and Policymakers: October 2022 and February 2023 
  • Innovation Pilots in 2023 
  • CHIC monthly convenings in 2023 

Program Description 

The goal of the Colorado Health Innovation Community (CHIC) is to strengthen a Colorado Innovation Community to focus on the needs of underinvested communities and to make advancement towards equitable health outcomes in Colorado. The lessons and best practices developed by participants will help reduce health inequities and strengthen Colorado’s health care safety net.   

Over the course of this 19-month learning collaborative (June 2022 – December 2023), participating organizations will: 

  • Dedicate a small, multidisciplinary team (3-5 people). 
  • Receive training, skills building, and actionable resources on operationalizing health equity, sustainable innovation, and leveraging health technology. 
  • Participate in a 5-month training program to build innovation skills in human-centered design. 
  • Work on innovation projects to advance health equity.  
  • Teams will have access to virtual resources, including peers, learning events, coaches and subject matter experts, and engagement with partners in the Colorado health innovation ecosystem. 

Participant Expectations 

Leadership Support: Successful organizations will require leadership that is committed to testing and implementing innovative approaches to reduce health disparities and share experiences and lessons learned with others in the safety net. It will also require leaders to understand the importance of using innovative methods to spread best practices across the organization and willingness to leverage organizational resources to operationalize such changes. We expect strong senior leadership support as demonstrated through a letter of leadership support.

Dedicated Team: Establish a core project team of 3-5 members that commit to exploration, testing, implementation, and learning for the organization and sharing with peers and the broader community.  

There must be a senior leader to serve as a sponsor for the project team. This senior leader can ensure protected time for team members to participate in CHIC activities, as well as lead change and spread successful strategies within their organizations.  

Participation in Program Activities: The program will have several components, including training on human-centered design, health equity, technology and sustainable innovation best practices, coaching, support with development and implementation of innovation pilots, engagement with partners in Colorado’s health innovation ecosystem, and virtual network convenings. 

The approximate time commitment is: 


  • JUNE: 6 hours per team member for CHIC Kickoff Webinar and Equity Learning Sessions. 
  • JULY – NOVEMBER: 9-11 hours total per team member per month for Catalyst (Human Centered Design) Training from Mid-July through November 2022 (5 months), and off-cycle Equity Learning Sessions once per month. 


  • JANUARY – DECEMBER: 2-3 hours per team per month for the monthly convening and coaching for innovation pilots. Approximately 30-40 hours per year.
  • Patient and Community Involvement: With guidance provided during the program, successful organizations will actively involve patients and community members in their plans and efforts to make advancements in achieving health equity.
  • Data Reporting and Evaluation Activities: Building on the skills learned in Catalyst, all teams will develop metrics that can be used to measure the success or failure of any innovation.  Metric data should be the by-product of the work conducted during the project term.  Technical assistance will be provided to teams to help with the development of meaningful metrics. 

How to Apply 

Applications must be submitted online by Wednesday, April 27, 2022 by 5:00 pm MT. The online form is available here. The accepted cohort will be announced by Friday, May 6th, 2022. 

Applications should include the following: 

  • Application Narrative: Includes responses to the five questions below. 
  • Most recent W-9 form.  
  • Letter of Leadership Support: This letter should demonstrate organizational commitment to dedicate time for the core team to fully participate in program activities and implement changes at the clinical and organizational level. 

There is flexibility for how grant funding can be used. Current CHIC members have used funds for innovation pilots that were defined later in the program, and to cover staff time.  



Please limit your response to a maximum of three pages.  

Overall Goals: Why is your organization interested in participating in this innovation community? What are your current goals for addressing disparities in access, quality, and health outcomes among the populations you serve? What do you hope to accomplish through this program? 

Innovation: What opportunities do you see for how innovation can be leveraged to reduce health disparities? 

Experience: Describe one new program, practice, or solution your organization has piloted or rolled out in the past year that you are proud of. Describe the problem, how you approached it, and how you knew it was working. 

Executive Support: Do you have an executive champion that supports your participation in this program? Why does your executive champion want your organization to participate in this innovation community?  

Core Team: Why did you choose them? What are their specific talents or areas of influence that will help your organization achieve cultural change, as well as your project-based innovation goals? 



CCI and Prime Health will review applications. Our intention is to invite an engaged group of up to 10 Colorado-based community health care organizations to join CHIC. Organizations will be informed of the status of their application via email by Friday, May 6th, 2022. 

In the meantime, please hold Wednesday, June 1st, 2022 (12:00-2:00PM MT) for the CHIC Kickoff Webinar 

You should invite your core team and senior leader sponsor to the Kickoff Webinar. Once you have been accepted, we will send registration information. 

Thank you for applying!


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