The Colorado Health Foundation is a private nonprofit philanthropic organization that champions the overall health and well-being of every Coloradan.

We were established in 1995 as the HealthONE Alliance after the nonprofit hospital system HealthONE entered into a joint venture with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). HealthONE Alliance primarily used proceeds from the joint venture to fund graduate medical education for residents in the hospital system, medical research, community-based programs and some charitable grantmaking.

In 2006, we officially rebranded as The Colorado Health Foundation and built the infrastructure to expand our philanthropic reach. With this new infrastructure in place, we supported three focus areas: health care, health coverage and healthy living.

As our grantmaking ramped up, our board decided to sell its stake in the joint venture. In October 2011, with approval from the state attorney general, we completed the sale for $1.45 billion. This sale made The Colorado Health Foundation the largest philanthropic organization in the state, and in 2016, our status moved from a public charity to a private foundation.

Today, we remain committed to our mission of improving the health of Coloradans. We know that good health depends on so much more than health coverage and access to health care. That is why our focus has shifted to include addressing social and economic barriers to health, like racism, housing and economic instability, and others. 

A Present Informed by the Past

The medical system in the U.S. has failed people of color and is replete with accounts of abuse and mistreatment. From unjust laws and policies that made health care inaccessible to nonconsensual medical experiments and the provision of sub-par care, racism in U.S. medicine has resulted in a multi-tiered system that has fostered mistrust among people of color and has created persistent barriers to health and well-being.

Indeed, our roots are in a system of private hospitals established in metro Denver in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that denied care to Coloradans of color. Like many hospitals across the U.S., this hospital system did not meaningfully integrate until the passage of Medicare in 1965. Our history is a stark reminder of the inequities Coloradans of color have faced. 

We aim to break down these persistent barriers. We believe health and well-being can be in reach for everyone. Equity is at the center of what we do, and we prioritize communities in which health is furthest from reach — including communities of color. We collaborate with organizations and communities across the state to support and fund work that addresses health inequities. Because when every Coloradan has the power to be healthy, our entire state is stronger.

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