Community Report: Navigating Denver’s Pediatric Health Care System

 by Steve Vogler, MD, Pediatrician, Denver Health Westside Health Clinic, Medical Director, Reach Out & Read

Dr. Steve Vogler

According to estimates, over 90% of children in the U.S. receive at least one well-child visit per year in the first six years of life, while only 23.5% of 0-2 year-olds and 61% of 3-6 year-olds not yet in kindergarten are in formal settings with early childhood professionals.1,2  This unparalleled access to virtually all young children means that pediatric health care providers are well-positioned to help identify problems early on and provide or arrange interventions that can prevent issues later.

Non-medical, early childhood professionals are often called on to provide various types of support for families, including accessing health resources and navigating complex health systems. The Community Report: Navigating Denver’s Pediatric Health System contains a brief overview of the pediatric health system in Denver and was developed with the intention to help EC professionals, from child care providers to home visitors, better understand how to encourage and guide families through this critical support for young children.


This report also provides information on how the medical home approach improves the quality of health care for young children, and the linkages between how developmental screening by primary care providers using the medical home approach can play an important role in referring children to early intervention services.

I would encourage you to look at the key recommendations in the final section of the report. They are based on the work of the Early Childhood Health Action Team, a cross-sector committee of Denver’s Early Childhood Council made up of pediatricians, home visitors, public health experts, and early childhood special educators that met from 2009 – 2014. These recommendations offer practical ways we can create a more coordinated, better connected early childhood system in the City that generates strong linkages between all of us working to help our greatest resource – our children – achieve their greatest potential.

  1. Child Trends Data Bank, Well-Child Visits:
  2. Census Report – Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011. Available at
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