325. Public Health

325.973 Firearm Safety & Research, Reduction in Firearm Violence & Enhancing Access to Mental Health


CMS supports AMA policy H-145.975

  1. CMS supports:
    1. federal and state research on firearm-related injuries and deaths;
    2. increased funding for and the use of state and national firearms injury databases, including the expansion of the National Violent Death Reporting System to all 50 states and U.S. territories, to inform state and federal health policy;
    3. encouraging physicians to access evidence-based data regarding firearm safety to educate and counsel patients about firearm safety;
    4. the rights of physicians to have free and open communication with their patients regarding firearm safety and the use of gun locks in their homes;
    5. encouraging local projects to facilitate the low-cost distribution of gun locks in homes; and
    6. encouraging physicians to become involved in local firearm safety classes as a means of promoting injury prevention and the public health.
  2. CMS supports initiatives to enhance access to mental and cognitive health care, with greater focus on the diagnosis and management of mental illness and concurrent substance abuse disorders, and work with state and specialty medical societies and other interested stakeholders to identify and develop standardized approaches to mental health assessment for potential violent behavior.

(RES 4-P, AM 2014)


325.974 Inquiry of Gun Ownership


The Colorado Medical Society encourages physicians to include inquiry of gun ownership and subsequent discussion of gun safety as an element of their practice, as appropriate, and will work with the specialty society community to support development of specialty-appropriate guidelines to encourage and support this activity.
(RES 3-P, AM 2013; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.975 Firearm Safety Policies


CMS Firearm Safety Policies adopted by the CMS Board of Directors in 2013

The BOD voted unanimously on March 15, 2013 to support:

  • Reinstituting universal background checks for buyers
  • Strengthening mental health checks at purchase

(Motion of the Board, March 2013; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.976 Preventing Violent Crime through Expanding Mental Health Services


The BOD voted to support Gov. Hickenlooper’s proposal to strengthen Colorado’s mental health system in response to firearm violence and, in addition to the elements set forth in his proposal, the Board further suggests more mental health workers and patient beds, more emergency mental health workers, more mental health workers that are available to treat dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental health illness, and more emphasis on pediatric mental health care.”

The five key strategies of the Governor’s plan include:

  1. Provide the right services to the right people at the right time.
    • Align three statutes into one new civil commitment law. This alignment protects the civil liberties of people experiencing mental crises or substance abuse emergencies, and clarifies the process and options for providers of mental health and substance abuse services (requires legislative change).
    • Authorize the Colorado State Judicial System to transfer mental health commitment records electronically and directly to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in real-time so the information is available for firearm purchase background checks conducted by Colorado InstaCheck (requires legislative change).
  2. Enhance Colorado’s crisis response system ($10,272,874 budget request).

    • Establish a single statewide mental health crisis hotline.
    • Establish five, 24/7 walk-in crisis stabilization services for urgent mental health care needs.
  3. Expand hospital capacity ($2,063,438 budget request).

    • Develop a 20-bed jailed-based restoration program in the Denver area.
  4. Enhance community care ($4,793,824 budget request).

    • Develop community residential services for those transitioning from institutional care.
    • Expand case management and wrap-around services for seriously mentally ill people in the community.
    • Develop two 15-bed Residential Facilities for short-term transition from mental health hospitals to the community.
    • Target housing subsidies to add 107 housing vouchers for individuals with serious mental illness.
  5. Build a trauma-informed culture of care ($1,391,865 budget request).

    • Develop peer support specialist positions in the state’s mental health hospitals.
    • Provide de-escalation rooms at each of the state’s mental health hospitals.
    • Develop a consolidated mental health/substance abuse data system.

The Governor’s plan would be:

  • Implemented through the Office of Behavioral Health at the Colorado Department of Human Services.
  • Coordinated and in partnership with the state’s Behavioral Health Organizations, Community Behavioral Health Centers, state and local law enforcement, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the Department of Public Health and Environment, the numerous highly-skilled providers and advocates across the state, and many hospitals and psychiatric emergency medical partners.

Details of the Governor’s budget request include:

  • $13 million to provide services to 809 additional people with developmental disabilities, including an increase of 576 funded waiver slots to eliminate the Children’s Extensive Services Waiver Program waiting list. Currently 2,400 individuals are on the wait list to access Developmental Disability services. The Governor’s budget proposal reduces that wait list by 30%.
  • $1.8 million in continuing funds to provide Early Intervention and Case Management services for children from birth to 2 years of age.
  • $17.7 million for strengthening Colorado’s Behavioral Health system including $10.3 million for expansions of the behavioral health crisis response system; $4.8 million for improving behavioral health community capacity; and $2.1 million for increasing access to civil beds for those defendants determined incompetent to proceed with their trials.
  • $6.8 million for County Administration Food Assistance, including $2 million to cover county administrative costs associated with a projected increase in caseload with implementation of health care reform.
  • $15.5 million for a 1.5% rate increase in provider rates.
  • $1.3 million to compensate for increasing utility costs.
  • $3.8 million to provide services for elderly adults in needs, including a 1.7% Cost of Living increase for Old Age Pension recipients.
  • $860,000 to modernize Departmental data and IT systems.
  • $5 million as a legislative set aside for the estimated costs of the recommendations of the Elder Abuse Task Force to increase protections for vulnerable seniors. These costs will fund a system of mandatory reporting of instances of exploitation or mistreatment of seniors.

(Motion of the Board, January 2013; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.977 Body Art


The Colorado Medical Society requests that the Colorado Board of Health make inspections of body art facilities in accordance with 6CCR 1010-22, basic public health services required of all public health departments, and implement a registration program for body art facilities.
(RES-2, AM 2009; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.978 Disaster Communication/Preparedness


The Colorado Medical Society supports a secure, statewide, noncommercial, disaster preparedness database dedicated to the singular purpose of recording participating physicians’ contact preferences during disasters, with access strictly limited to authorized officials.
(RES-9, AM 2008; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.979 National Immunization Registry


The Colorado Medical Society supports a national immunization registry. Any required physician participation and data entry or maintenance shall be appropriately compensated.
(RES-7, AM 2008; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.980 Childhood Vaccinations


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) supports increased efforts to achieve herd immunity in Colorado for childhood vaccine preventable diseases through improved outreach to parents, encouraging the use of on-site school nurses, and through increased provider usage of the Colorado immunization registry. CMS opposes exemptions from childhood immunizations based on personal beliefs while maintaining exemptions for medical reasons and religious beliefs.
(RES-6, AM 2008; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.981 Opposition to Importation of Radioactive and Toxic Waste Materials


Colorado Medical Society opposes the importation of nuclear and or toxic waste material from any other state or nation to the State of Colorado.
(RES-40, AM 2004; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.982 Firearm Safety


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) recognizes firearm violence as a public health crisis. The CMS supports educational efforts designed to increase awareness, especially among children, about the dangers of firearms and to reduce firearm violence in our society. The CMS encourages physicians to consider this issue each and every time an opportunity to educate patients and parents presents itself. The CMS also encourages awareness among physicians and school faculty about traits that may indicate an individual could be capable of violence. Although these individuals may never display violent behavior, they still may benefit from professional help. Health care professionals should collaborate with school officials in developing programs to achieve zero tolerance toward school violence. The CMS supports the enactment of reasonable laws that seek to regulate the sale and distribution of firearms in order to protect public health and safety. The CMS supports enforcement of existing firearm safety and firearm control laws. The CMS supports legislative efforts that specifically penalize those who commit crimes with firearms.
(Motion of the Board, March 2004; Reaffirmed, RES-6-P, AM 2011; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.983 Impaired drivers


The Colorado Medical Society recommends that:

  1. Physicians increase their awareness of the medical conditions, medications, and functional deficits that might impair an individual’s driving performance, and
  2. Physicians familiarize themselves with community resources such as formal driver assessment programs and driver rehabilitation services, and refer when appropriate, and urge physicians to know and adhere to Colorado’s reporting statutes for medically at-risk drivers, and
  3. Physicians utilize the Physician’s Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers, a valuable tool available through the American Medical Association.

Formerly Policy 110.999
(Late RES-35, AM 2003; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.984 Medical and Dental Care for Persons who are Developmentally Disabled


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) entreats healthcare professionals, parents and others participating in decision-making to be guided by the following principles:

  • All people with developmental disabilities, regardless of the degree of their disability, should have access to appropriate and affordable medical and dental care throughout their lives.
  • An individual’s medical condition and welfare must be the basis of any medical decision.

The CMS American Medical Association (AMA) Delegation will submit a similar resolution to the AMA for consideration.
(RES-3, AM 2003; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.985 Protective Headgear


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) encourages recreational and competitive sports organizations and facilities to mandate the use of protective headgear during participation in sporting activities with the risk of head injury, including, but not limited to, skiing, snowboarding, bicycling, inline skating, skate boarding, roller skates, scooters, go-peds, horseback riding, hang gliding, and parachuting. The CMS supports legislation to mandate the use of protective helmets for children under the age of 14 who are participating in these activities.
(RES-20, AM 2002; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.986 Support for Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved


The Colorado Medical Society supports the goals and work of the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved.
(RES-22, AM 2001; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.987 Elimination of Tuberculosis in the United States


The Colorado Medical Society supports tuberculosis screening for active and latent infection of all individuals seeking to enter the United States and for high-risk groups in Colorado such as prison inmates, homeless persons, intravenous (IV) drug abusers, and people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
(RES-11, AM 2000; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.988 Statewide Immunization Tracking System


The Colorado Medical Society supports the creation of an electronic statewide immunization tracking system or registry for all children, birth through age 18, at the earliest possible date.
(RES-20, AM 2000; Revised, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.989 Immunization of Children, Adolescents and Adults


The Colorado Medical Society supports and encourages the immunization of children, adolescents and adults based on national standards.
(Substitute RES-27, IM 1996; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.990 Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site


(RES-9, AM 1991; Sunset, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.991 Family Planning


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) recognizes the existing problem of the rapidly proliferating population and supports efforts for voluntary limitation of family size and the dissemination of family planning material and information to everyone. The CMS opposes efforts that may potentially interfere with the delivery of needed family planning health services in our communities that have met all requirements of the law.
(RES-20-A, IM 1990; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.992 Health Promotion


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) recognizes the huge socio-economic impacts on the community and individuals of unhealthy lifestyle practices. The CMS supports health promotion and disease prevention by both physicians and patients.
(RES-29, IM 1990; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.993 Routine Screening of Newborn Infants


The Colorado Medical Society supports the screening of all newborn infants of Colorado to include those diseases screened by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that is supported by appropriate funding.
(RES-53, AM 1986; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.994 Asbestos Abatement in Public Buildings and Schools


In the past asbestos was used in the construction of public places, including schools. If the asbestos is already sealed in and no demolition or remodeling is required, the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) recommends that no action be taken. If remodeling or demolition of buildings containing asbestos is to be done for reasons other than the asbestos content, the CMS recommends that the work be done by a firm approved for such work by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
(Motion of the Board, March 1985; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.995 Joint Statement Regarding Smoking


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) adopts the statement below prepared jointly by the CMS, the Colorado Hospital Association and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Because smoking is the single most preventable cause of illness and early death, health care providers have a responsibility to take a leadership role to reduce smoking, to encourage non-smoking, and to protect the rights of the non-smokers. We recognize our role as exemplars in influencing the smoking behavior of the general public, and our responsibility in educating the community at large regarding the health hazards of smoking. We are particularly concerned with the dangers of smoking, and address this subject as a high priority issue. Exposure to cigarette smoke not only adversely affects the health of the smoker but increases the health risk and discomfort of patients who are already at risk for medical complications. Therefore, it is incumbent upon health care professionals to eliminate smoking in all health facilities. Because we, as health care providers, professionals and educators, are in a unique position to support the aims of all smoking-reduction activities, we unite our voices in a joint statement to recommend that smoking ultimately be eliminated from all health facilities in the state of Colorado.
(RES-17, AM 1984; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.996 Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution


In the interest of preserving public health the Colorado Medical Society supports efforts to reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution.
(Motion of the Board, March 1984; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.997 Mandatory Seat Belt Use


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) supports and encourages seat belt usage in automobiles and primary enforcement of the seat belt statutes. Further, CMS supports the increase in fines for a violation of the statute to be commensurate with other traffic violations of a like class.
(RES-3, IM 1984; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.998 Nuclear Power Generation


The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) recognizes and stresses the great differences between nuclear warfare and the generation of nuclear power. The CMS believes that these two issues are essentially unrelated and should be considered independently. The CMS supports the further safe development and use of nuclear energy for electricity generation and energy independence, while pursuing research and development of alternative sources of energy.
(Motion of the Board, December 1982; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)


325.999 Motorcycle Helmet Law


The Colorado Medical Society supports requiring helmets for motorcycle riders.
(RES-25, AM 1980; Reaffirmed, BOD-1, AM 2014)