DENVER – The Colorado Health Institute, in partnership with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), today unveiled a statewide strategic plan to create jobs and economic growth in the health and wellness industry.

“Colorado’s health and wellness industry – already a powerful economic driver for the state – is uniquely positioned to play a more important role in coming years,” said Ken Lund, executive director of OEDIT.

The report titled Healthy Economy, Healthy Colorado: A Strategic Action Plan for Colorado’s Health and Wellness Industry,” reveals that the industry accounts for $40 billion-plus in annual economic activity, makes up 15.3 percent of the gross state product and employs more than 360,000 workers.

“The good news is that this industry has room to grow,” said Michele Lueck, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Institute. “Colorado has the opportunity to become the premier national destination for prevention and wellness, high quality health care services and outdoor recreation.”

As part of the Colorado Blueprint strategy, industry stakeholders developed a series of recommendation that make up a health and wellness action plan to:

  • Position health and wellness as an export business by developing products and services that can be marketed and sold in markets across the nation and internationally.
  • Leverage the business opportunities created by a significant increase in the number of people with health Insurance and a growing demand for wellness services.
  • Establish collaborative workforce strategies and educational programs that reflect the current and future needs of health and wellness employers. 
  • Invest in creating high-paying, high-demand jobs, such as those in health care information technology. 
  • Build infrastructure and support for established companies and start-ups, especially in the wellness sector. 

This new plan – by the health and wellness industry and for the health and wellness industry - is the latest of the key industry strategic reports resulting from the Colorado Blueprint, a major economic development initiative launched by Governor John Hickenlooper in 2011. The Colorado Blueprint identified the health and wellness industry as one of 14 key industries with strong potential for growth.

This expansive industry covers traditional and alternative health care as well as fitness, outdoor recreation, natural food products, health information technology, research initiatives and more.

This report complements “The State of Health: Colorado’s Commitment to Become the Healthiest State,” which was launched in May 2013, and focuses on the policy steps necessary to improve Colorado’s population health.  



 About the Colorado Health Institute

The Colorado Health Institute is a trusted source of independent and objective health information, data and analysis for the state’s health care leaders. Funding is provided by the Caring for Colorado Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, The Colorado Trust and The Colorado Health Foundation.

About the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) works with businesses and statewide partners to encourage dynamic economic development, financial investment and sustainable job growth. Under the leadership of Governor John Hickenlooper, OEDIT and its divisions advance the state's economy through programs, training, financial and technical assistance in support of local and regional economic development activities throughout Colorado.


Deborah Goeken, Colorado Health Institute, (720) 382-7094