Colorado launches CO-CARES, a comprehensive health care and public health support initiative Supporting Colorado’s health care and public health workers continues beyond the public health emergency

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STATEWIDE (May 16, 2023) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is proud to launch  CO-CARES, a new initiative to support health care and public health workers’ pandemic recovery. Together with trusted partners, CDPHE recognizes that many in the health care sector are still recovering from the COVID-19 response, and some are just beginning their recovery. CO-CARES connects health care and public health workers of all kinds to a variety of free resources and tools that support recovery, improve well-being, facilitate teamwork, and foster organizational resilience. 

CO-CARES is the Colorado Alliance for Resilient and Equitable Systems serving the health care and public health workforce. The initiative is made possible because of an incredible alliance with the University of Colorado, Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS), University of Colorado Department of Psychiatry; University of Colorado School of Public Health; Colorado Hospital Association; and Switchback Institute. 

“Our health care and public health sectors deserve Colorado’s support in their post-pandemic recovery,” said Scott Bookman, disease control and public health response division director for CDPHE. “People, teams, and organizations alike can use CO-CARES to connect to resources tailored to their needs. Resilience and recovery is a shared responsibility, which is why this initiative built resources aimed at the unique challenges faced at every level of the health care and public health workforces.” 

Resources include training, webinars, and expert consultation that can help health care and public health leaders create a supportive environment in the workplace, reducing burnout and stress among employees. People in the health care and public health fields, from clinical to clerical to custodial positions, can also use CO-CARES to connect with peers and talk about their shared experiences. 

“My experience in behavioral health has taught me that we see the greatest impact when people at all levels of an organization come together and validate each other’s experiences,” said Curt Drennen, disaster behavioral health and community recovery branch chief for CDPHE. “Resilience and recovery are not just individual processes. They are individual, team, and organizational processes. All of us in the health care and public health fields need to hear and acknowledge each other's experiences as we undergo the process of recovery.”

Current program offerings include CU’s Past the Pandemic webinars, UCCS’s Lyda Hill Institute First Priority Peer Support training and program development, and CU Behavioral Health and Wellness leadership and goal setting support. Other resources include organizational assessments and leadership coaching, team coaching, work and well-being webinars, resilience roundtable discussions, Psychological First Aid training, and many others. 

All CO-CARES offerings are free. Find the full catalog of resources for you, your team, and your organization online at To talk with someone who can help you find the right tools, call 303-692-2642 or email The line is free and accommodates multiple languages.

CO-CARES is working to reach all clinical and non-clinical employees within public health agencies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, community health clinics, behavioral health community providers, home health care agencies, emergency medical services, offices of emergency management, coroner offices, funeral homes, and more. 

Any interested health care and public health workers can join CDPHE’s CO-CARES team for a virtual CO-CARES connects meeting on Thursday, May 18 at 2 p.m. or Wednesday, May 31 at 10 a.m. for an introduction to available resources. These meetings are currently virtual and will be offered on Zoom. Sign up to join us at a CO-CARES Connects meeting


Media note: The virtual CO-CARES presentations listed above are reserved for health care and public health care workers. Members of the media can contact for more information on the CO-CARES program.