by Austin Montoya, Social Media and Online Coordinator

Last week, The Colorado Health Foundation, in collaboration with Connect for Health Colorado (C4HCO), the Department of Insurance, and Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), held the first Building Better Health: Enroll 2015 conference. Its goal: to bring health coverage guides, insurance brokers, community-based organizations, advocacy organizations, and many others together to work and learn best practices to get Colorado’s uninsured covered and others re-enrolled. The conference highlighted storytelling, and how sharing stories is not only inspiring, but also necessary to get as many Coloradans covered during the next open enrollment period, starting November 15.

The breakout sessions ranged from workshops for health coverage guides to messaging strategies, and lessons on Medicaid and CHP+. Both Adam Fox and I had the opportunity to speak on social media strategies and CCHI’s Got Insurance campaign and how we strive to share consumer stories.

Health Elevations Editor-in-Chief, Michael Booth, also interviewed Laura Sterner, and truly demonstrated how simple and powerful individuals’ stories can be. Even with pre-existing condition, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Laura was able to get insurance for first time in 7 years.

Perhaps the most inspiring speaker from the conference was Amanda Boxtel, Her talk truly illustrated the power of storytelling. Her story was one of misfortune, innovation, and hope. Boxtel had been paralyzed, unable to walk since 1992 at the age of 24; it was due to a skiing accident. She talked about the struggle to accept such a tragedy and the support and strength it took to get on the slopes again. Now, however, due to remarkable innovation in nanotechnology and 3D printing, an “exoskeleton” has allowed her to walk again. The demonstration was moving in so many ways. Stories are a great way of learning from others, and can help shape cultures. Stories spark emotions and can help us make sense of things.

As an organization that strives to make sure all Coloradans’ voices are heard, as well as being a resource for communities across the state when it comes to health care, the Building Better Health conference was imperative to connecting the outreach and enrollment community to information, resources and one another.

If you weren’t able to attend both days, or would like to download any of the presentations, check out and follow #coverCO on Twitter for other updates!

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