At- Large ( 1-year committment)

 

Name: Jennifer Mitkowski 
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
I am currently a practicing Physician Assistant at a private (non hospital owned) family practice. I am not currently engaged in any specific areas of public health but am focused on expanding access and mental health bills. I have testified for some of these bills and contacted legislators to help get them passed.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?

When I ran for office in 2020 I became very interested in how legislation can be used to increase our access to health and mental health. It became increasingly known to me how important organizations like CPHA are to this work. I have a very strong interest in public health in general, especially around access to care.

What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
I believe my knowledge of the health care system makes me a strong candidate. I have very strong organizational skills and am a hard worker that loves to complete tasks in a timely manner. I have experience running for office which really helped with my leadership skills.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA? 
I can bring my healthcare knowledge to help develop policies that will benefit our public health system. I believe that I can be a strong voice to help legislate and develop public health policies.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 0
Community Organizing: 2
Event Planning: 2
Financial Literacy: 1
Grant Writing: 1
Legal: 0
Marketing/PR: 1
Organizational Management: 2
Public Policy: 1
Risk Management: 1
Strategic Planning: 2

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
I have been involved in multiple things in the LGBTQ world but one of the most memorable is when I testified in support of banning gay conversion therapy. It was really powerful to hear stories of people who have been put through conversion therapy. I have also spent a lot of time working to get a DA elected in our JD that would represent these very things. We unfortunately weren't successful in 2020 but will try again.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

Honestly this would be listening. I feel like am forever growing in this realm and I have learned the most by listening and reflecting on what others (the groups are most affected) are saying to me. I feel one of the most important things we can do in life is to not think we know all things but to be willing to learn and grow.

 

Name: Matt Lichlyter
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
I support food safety operations for retailer Whole Foods Market in the Colorado and other states. I lead a team of food safety professionals who advise, crisis manage, and train food safety and other standards to all the stores. I am responsible (with my team) for the Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and other Whole Foods Market stores.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I am interested in joining CPHA to expand my understanding and background in the field of food safety, increase my experience and network, and help influence food safety policy as appropriate for the State of Colorado. I have experience on boards for 501c3 organizations and other non-profits. I hope that my joining can lend a voice of operational focus to discussions.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
Food Safety: CP-FS accreditation, 20+ years in operational and auditing food safety for retail and manufacturing operations.Board Experience: Board member for 4 years for 501c3 Break Bread in Littleton, CO; member of various non-profit groups.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  
My food safety focus is on making sure the "why" is properly explored behind food safety practices and messaging, to encourage and buy in.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 1
Community Organizing: 2
Event Planning: 1
Financial Literacy: 1
Grant Writing: 2
Legal: 2
Marketing/PR: 1
Organizational Management: 2
Public Policy: 1
Risk Management: 2
Strategic Planning: 2

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
I always believe that food safety should be neutral in standards for all, as all people, regardless of color, race, background, are impacted by failures to practice food safety standards. At Whole Foods Market, I have served on the board for inclusion as a member at large. Human Resource operations in my background include challenges with race and background understanding for all members.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

Difficult to answer with the current understanding as I am unaware of past initiatives, but I look forward to seeing the ways to serve and grow to a universal approach of food safety fairness to all.

 

Name: Alexia Eslan
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
JSI Research & Training Institute Inc. works within the entire spectrum of public health topic areas. Through my 15 years at the organization, I have worked in many different areas of public health including tobacco and vaping cessation and prevention, women, family, children and family health; HIV & STD prevention, adolescent health, and many others. Currently a lot of my time has been focused on health care transformation, including quality improvement, behavioral health and oral health integration, partnership building, addressing social determinants of health, and how health policy and payment influence the way care is provided. In addition, I have been very passionate about the intersection of public health and environment and expanding our work in this area.

What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I am extremely interested in continuing to connect with individuals working in public health in the state and see how to have a greater impact in our state. I have been working in public health and healthcare within Colorado for most of my career (25 years) and I would like to continue to deepen my expertise and share my knowledge and experiences more broadly.

What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
The skills and experiences that make a strong candidate for this board position include my: - Broad and deep knowledge of and passion for public health - Connections with organizations and communities throughout the state and throughout the country - Lived experiences as a bilingual Latina immigrant - Commitment to further public health within our state and region - Willingness to grow and learn - Strategic planning and project management expertise.
 

How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA? 
I love strategic thinking and planning and bringing strategy into action - this is definitely a way in which I can contribute to CPHA. Also, as I mentioned in my skills, I have connections throughout the state and can help bring together individuals and organizations, as well as contribute my public health knowledge. My bilingual skills and commitment to language justice bring an important lens to public health within the state and helping to promote it. I am also an extrovert and enjoy speaking engagements, organizing events and bringing diverse people together. In addition, as a consultant I am involved in a lot of grant writing and can bring this expertise to the association.

Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 1
Community Organizing: 2
Event Planning: 3
Financial Literacy: 2
Grant Writing: 3
Legal: 1
Marketing/PR: 2
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 2
Risk Management: 1
Strategic Planning: 3

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.  
In all the work we do directly with communities, I am a strong advocate to have the community guide the solution building and support the planning, and make sure that they have the tools they need to do so. When hiring, I honor lived experience as much as college degrees and sometimes even more. I have participated in JEDI action planning for my organization as well with clients and partners. Once specific example is, JSI was hired to conduct a strategic planning session with the Board of a community health center in Denver that primarily serves Latinx communities. I ensured that we had simultaneous interpretation for the planning even if only one Board member was a monolingual Spanish speaker and I conducted the strategic planning half in English and half in Spanish.

What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?
Humility is number one. Ensuring that I am not speaking for others and that I am creating the space for everyone to participate. Being a good listener and asking questions. Engaging wholly and unassumingly with other Board members and different communities. Speaking up if I observe inequities at play and constantly reminding myself and others as appropriate of the systemic racism and inequities that exist in our public health and other fields in order to try break the patterns and not continue to propagate them.

 

Name: Neeloofar Soleimanpour
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
I recently graduated from the Colorado School of Public Health where I now work as a research assistant in the office of the dean. I assist in projects focusing on COVID-19 modeling, uranium mining, and high concentration THC and its health effects. I continue to volunteer at Project CURE where I assist the needs assessment team in understanding other countries' healthcare systems and how we can help their healthcare facilities.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
During my tenure, I hope to cultivate relationships and continue to help my peers feel like they belong by hearing their opinions and taking the initiative to make changes to their expressed concerns. I enjoy working with others and learning from others, so I want to build relationships with my peers so they know how much I care about them and make a positive impact on their life. That would be the greatest reward of them all, is to know I have made a positive impact on someone else's life.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position?  
In all chapters of my life, I have participated in various leadership positions. I started out on student council back in high school and advanced in college being the chapter secretary for my sorority (Alpha Omicron Pi) and being the chair of the board for the student gym and student center (respectively University Recreation Student Center and Chinook) while at Washington State University. More recently I was the president of the Colorado School of Public Health student council. I find it very important to learn about organizations and how to grow within them by getting involved and hearing from various perspectives within each organization. I also work as a medical scribe and research assistant where many of my job requirements mirror the traits for a team member to be successful; for instance, organization, prompt responses, attention to detail, and a plethora of communication are all required to complete both of these jobs effectively. I have held various leadership positions at jobs and organizations in the past so I am aware of the honor and responsibility that comes with a job like this.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  
I think I can bring a fresh perspective to CPHA and build upon my current knowledge. Although I am rather new in the field of public health I believe my curiosity and willingness to learn more about our field will be an asset and my desire to engage the community and improve our population's health through awareness will be beneficial to our association.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 1
Community Organizing: 1
Event Planning: 1
Financial Literacy: 1
Grant Writing: 2
Legal: 0
Marketing/PR: 1
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 1
Risk Management: 1
Strategic Planning: 1

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
This past year when I was a teaching assistant for undergraduate students, I noticed that there was a lack of students attending office hours despite many students needing assistance on the material. I took it upon myself to email these students and set up times for them to meet that was more convenient for them aside from the assigned time because not one time or one teaching method works for every student. If meeting during the week was not an option we would set up times on the weekend to give every student an opportunity to review material. I think by reaching out to the students and learning that one approach was an insufficient method to teach allowed me to advocate for the students and work with our teaching staff to be more accommodating. In order to advocate for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice, requires the ability to learn from your mistakes and be willing to make changes based on feedback from individuals being impacted by one's negligence.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

I appreciate this question because as a person whose parents are immigrants, I have always noticed the lack of individuals who looked like me or had similar backgrounds being represented. I think the only way we will continue to diversify within the field of public health and public health education is through awareness, cultural humility, and self-education. I do not think this is an issue that will improve overnight, but if we all collectively work together to improve, then we will have a more holistic group representing the field of public health. I think this is important to address otherwise we neglect a population of individuals who are doing great work within our field that are not being highlighted and acknowledged. Within my role, these issues will be addressed with understanding, patience, and compassion; my own experience is not the same as others, but creating that dialogue and willingness to address disparities and inequalities will greatly advance our diversity within public health.

 

Name: Steven C. Trachtman
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
My most recent Public Health-related work experience was as an EMT/NREMT (Fire/Rescue Medic and Company Officer) in a 911-Response Fire & EMS Company within the Nassau County (NY) Volunteer Fire Service between 2013 and 2021.  I provided direct pre-hospital care to patients with conditions associated with many of the current issues in public health such as: COVID-19/infectious disease, drug addiction, intoxication/alcoholism, mental health/suicide, family isolation and dysfunction/abuse, gaps/lapses in outpatient/ambulatory medical care, impaired driving, and various forms of trauma.  In addition, between 2018 and 2021, I served as a Battalion Emergency Operations Coordinator working as a member of the County Fire Service leadership. Most significantly, with the outbreak of COVID-19, the focus of my role was to coordinate efforts with various County and State agencies (including the Health Department) to address police, fire, and EMS responder health impacted by COVID-19 (testing, PPE, vaccination) and on mutual aid call response within the County and with neighboring NYC (FDNY).  I am currently retired from these roles since moving to Denver 16 months ago to be closer to my family.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I have experienced first-hand how smart and effective public health policies, programs, and services directly impact people’s daily lives.  I also appreciate the importance of supporting and enhancing the leadership, decision-making, and resources that make such public health initiatives possible and achieve results.  As described below, my skills and expertise will hopefully allow me to make a meaningful contribution to organizing, supporting, and promoting public health initiatives as a member of the Board.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
Prior to joining the Fire Service, I enjoyed a business career that enabled me to develop and refine my data, analytics, technology, communication, innovation, and management skills. In my career, I worked with others to build relationships across demography and culture and bridge gaps to promote and embrace change as we took actionable steps to achieve the desired results.My most significant work was in international operations and systems within financial services and in global consulting services organizations.  The departments and functions I managed within global financial services firms (Citibank, Chase, Credit Suisse) encompassed operations around the world with a variety of organizational, cultural, geographic, and business challenges.  As a senior manager with IBM, I played a significant role in creating cross-governmental agreements that led to the creation of the European Monetary Union.  At PriceWaterhouseCoopers, I worked with clients in the Emerging Technology practice and the Financial Risk Management practice.My interest in public health is an outgrowth of my first career which was in healthcare.  I earned a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, an MBA in Public Administration from Baruch College (NYC), and studied Accounting and Computer Science at NYU Graduate School of Business.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  
I have always welcomed new situations by attempting to be an excellent listener, learner, thinker, and doer.  I expect to do that now.  My commitment is to apply my skills to achieve the desired results.  I look forward to working with CPHA colleagues to identify challenges and opportunities, defining outcomes, and reaching a consensus on what counts as success.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 3
Community Organizing: 1
Event Planning: 1
Financial Literacy: 3
Grant Writing: 0
Legal: 2
Marketing/PR: 2
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 3
Risk Management: 3
Strategic Planning: 3

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
I view the advocacy of equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice as an extension of my own core values of respecting people and their dignity.  My life’s experiences have reinforced this outlook and I make decisions with these core values ever present.My proudest advocacy experience has been in raising my daughter to optimize her skills, abilities, and character in achieving a meaningful life.  That has meant supporting her in not accepting the baseless constraints or negative expectations that some in society would impose on girls and women.  She is an amazing wife and mother, has earned a Ph.D., and owns and manages her own successful business in Denver as the leader of a consulting firm supporting and mentoring women entrepreneurs.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

I would look to the overall CPHA leadership to identify and clearly delineate goals, objectives, actions, and assessments focused on the organization’s view of successfully ‘reducing bias’ and ‘championing equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice’.  As a Board Member, and a part of the CPHA leadership, I would support the creation of such organizational structures, priorities, and resource allocations in alignment with the overall Mission of CPHA.In addition, I would advocate for the CPHA to encourage CPHA Members - both as individuals and as professionals within public health entities serving the public - to examine their decision-making, priorities, policies, and practices in an effort to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. I would advocate for a ‘CPHA Value Statement’ that could set the tone, if not establish a ‘Standard’, for the Membership as they provide health and health-related social services addressing the needs of the diverse population of Colorado. 

 

PHN Section (2-year commitment)

Name: Marcie Clendenen
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
Our Public Health Department is very small and is very new. I am involved in all areas from immunizations to environmental health. With our Public Health Department being so new, we are in the building stages and, therefore, I am involved in all aspects of which services our Public Health Department is able to provide.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
Since beginning my career in Public Health in November 2020, my goal was to provide needed healthcare services in our small county. Rural healthcare is a passion of mine and giving a voice to those in Rural and Frontier areas is a top priority for me. I would like to join the board to give a bigger voice to the rural and frontier communities that are served by Public Health and to bring light the barriers and challenges to Public Health in Colorado’s rural areas.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 

While my experience is Public Health is modest, I have been a Nurse for 14 years with a range of experience. My nursing experience has been in medical/surgical, neurology, intensive care, long term care, quality, and infection control. In my experience in different areas, I have always been involved and active in making change to improve workflows and the practice of nursing. I enjoy being a leader as well as a team member and work hard in both roles to ensure the success of the team. Currently I am on the Colorado Action Coalition. In the past, I was sitting chairperson for 5 years on our hospitals Nurse Council and a member of our system-wide council. I strive to improve communications in all areas of my career by ensuring that everyone knows and understands expectations and timely follow up to ensure that projects and tasks are on track.

How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  

Being passionate about my community and giving rural and frontier areas a bigger voice. I have leadership experience and willing to work on promoting and improving access to healthcare.

Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 2
Community Organizing: 2
Event Planning: 2
Financial Literacy: 1
Grant Writing: 1
Legal: 1
Marketing/PR: 2
Organizational Management: 2
Public Policy: 2
Risk Management: 3
Strategic Planning: 2

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.  
Being new to Public Health, I continue to learn about equity, diversity and inclusion. In being a leader in my community and in Public Health, I strive to further educate myself and ensure that the policies and practices within my county’s Public Health are inclusive. During COVID, I ensured that AFN populations including seniors and Spanish only speakers were specifically included in multiple testing and vaccination clinics.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

I have been working to further educate myself on equity, diversity, inclusion and justice. I also work to ensure that I recognize any personal biases I may have and to work through my values and beliefs to ensure that I am turning those potential biases around and improving the policies, practices, and access to care for my community.

  

Name: Ann Scarpita
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment -work as the Tuberculosis (TB) Nurse Consultant. -Actively engaged in the CPHN section. Led one large project that is set to be released this fall and participated in others. -CDPHE Communicable Disease -National TB Controllers Association-active member, previous board member; served as president of the Nurse Section. Led workgroups that led to the creation of national resources specific to TB testing, care, and prevention.-Serve as Warmline Consultant for Curry International TB Center as a TB subject matter expert. -Create tools, policies, and education specific to public health nursing, standards of care, scopes of practice, and communicable disease.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I believe I can continue to build on what those before me have done in the PHN section. I would love to engage/network with the other board members, and I am highly interested in learning more about the other positions, especially public health policy. I would like the chance to champion our members by creating and providing resources, information, and opportunities they might not have had otherwise. Additionally, it would help me sharpen my existing skills and hopefully build others. Finally, to play a key role in strategizing to improve public health initiatives, including improving workplace environments by promoting professional standards.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 

I am a double-mastered educated public health professional with extensive experience providing the leadership and direction needed to drive the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. I am skilled at developing and implementing strategies to deliver high-quality, regulatory-compliant patient care while fighting for social justice and health equity. In addition, I bring proven strength in building strong, long-term relationships with strategic healthcare partners and stakeholders based on open lines of communication and leadership. I am passionate about the ability to deliver impactful results within the community while leading in fast-paced, dynamic healthcare environments. I have worked in public health for the majority of my nursing career.

How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  

I hope to contribute time, energy, and passion to CPHA by serving the PHN section as their president-elect. I am driven and aim to contribute to the organization and its mission. I would hope to expand PHN membership, encourage more engagement in CPHA, and produce quality tools and products to help PHNs protect their license and secure their role in public health. I am driven and organized and have much experience in leading groups and products. I would hope to contribute as much as I have to this organization as I have to others.

Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 2
Community Organizing: 3
Event Planning: 3
Financial Literacy: 3
Grant Writing: 2
Legal: 3
Marketing/PR: 2
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 2
Risk Management: 3
Strategic Planning: 3

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.  
I am fighting injustice almost daily in my role as a TB Nurse Consultant. TB disproportionately affects our most vulnerable and underserved population groups, historically creating even greater obstacles to obtaining healthcare. To add to this issue, TB has been and continues to be grossly underfunded. I am consistently advocating for better and appropriate care for our underserved because it appears few others are doing the same. Even in our state, resources are typically sent to wealthier counties, including vacation and resort mountain towns, while other counties are left with little to no support. Anyone who has worked with me can surely attest to my passion for this area.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

Two of my top core values, if not the highest values, are justice and equity. The inequity in our state is evident and needs to be addressed. I have been and will continue to be an advocate for those who do not have a voice. I will use my leadership position to advocate for change to increase healthcare access for those underserved. I will participate in (or lead) any workgroup addressing this. 

 

Culture of Data Associate Director (2-year commitment)

Name: Julie Webb
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
I am currently engaged in global public health and community health. My research looks at refugee health in camp settings. I am exploring how to implement vocational skills training and language lessons in refugee camps to improve refugee mental health and social connections. Locally, I volunteer for Mango House and have been involved in helping refugees get Covid-19 vaccinations. I am involved in community outreach with the refugee community, helping them get access to resources and healthcare. I also work for the CDPHE and support the Communicable Disease Branch as a Program Assistant. I am passionate about data, information sharing, and equitable public health for all.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I am currently in my 3rd year of a Doctorate program and would like to take on a leadership role as I move toward the completion of my program. I would like to get more involved with public health at the organizational level and in a leadership position. I am looking forward to using the skills I have gained as a student and public health professional in a real-world setting!
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
I have management and leadership skills that I developed in my role as a District Loss Prevention Manager for Gap Inc. Prior to my career in public health I was a corporate manager and helped to facilitate large meetings and conferences. I would like to continue to develop my organizational and leadership skills in the field of public health. I have strong time management and communication skills that also make me a strong candidate for this position.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  
My academic background combined with my experience working in public health would make a great contribution to CPHA. I also have a corporate management background, which has allowed me to develop excellent problem-solving and management skills. I can bring an academic perspective to the board and utilize my relationships at the University of Colorado while looking for emerging leaders and individuals who can contribute to the conference.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 0
Community Organizing: 3
Event Planning: 3
Financial Literacy: 1
Grant Writing: 2
Legal: 1
Marketing/PR: 2
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 2
Risk Management: 3
Strategic Planning: 2

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
As a student of Public Health at the University of Colorado, I along with many of my peers became concerned when the University did not put out a statement or offer support during the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020. Many of us, myself included, were impacted by these events and it is significant to public health. We wrote the University a letter as a call to action, asking for more diversity in the facility, a class on Health Equity, and a statement on the current events, amongst other things. My cohort has been working with the University since to help create a more supportive and inclusive environment both on campus and virtually.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

I would start by making sure that the conference is reaching out to more diverse communities and including them in the planning process. Inclusion in the board and higher levels of the organization from diverse community members who might not be participating or engaged is important to reduce bias and facilitate justice in public health!

 

Health Equity Coalition (2-year Commitment)

Name: Julissa Soto
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
Office of Health equity Commission. Office of Suicide prevention commissioner. Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council ( CBHC) working as an Independent Health Equity Consultant to their 2022 Annual Behavioral Healthcare Conference Committee.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
We need to bring communities of color to the table. Be the voice of “The Voiceless” this is a great platform for those communities that have not had a voice for decades.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 

I am a woman of color, an immigrant, bilingual, and bi-cultural. I have served the underserved communities for more than two decades, and have represented the most vulnerable of populations.

How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA? 

By getting Public Health Care Systems on the table.  We’re all dedicated to improving health service delivery in Colorado. You, through leadership at CPHA and me contracted with The RAE’s. You know our state faces a huge challenge in fixing the health disparities in Colorado. The Pandemic revealed the seriousness of the problem in health delivery to Latinos, New Americans, Immigrants Monolingual Spanish Speakers It’s a challenge that certainly calls for a Game Change in the status quo. This was brought out at the CHF Health Symposium last month. It’s something I know everyone at CPHA and the RAE’s know they need to address. But how to address this Game Changer? It’s hard to engineer change and bring state health leaders together for change . But it’s something we all should be working collaboratively on in Colorado. Analyzing and testing innovative approaches to close the gaps in care between minorities and the majority in our state

Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 1
Community Organizing: 3
Event Planning: 3
Financial Literacy: 1
Grant Writing: 1
Legal: 1
Marketing/PR: 3
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 3
Risk Management: 3
Strategic Planning: 3

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.  
In the middle of the pandemic I noticed that my community was left behind. Whites being vaccinated at a rapid phase, I notice that I was dealing with a big giant if wanted to offer vaccines to my community. I organized, mobilized communities and since September of 2021 I have vaccinated more than 18, 000 Latinos, and distribute door to door more than 90,000 Home COVID-19 test and 40,000 masks!!
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

First would love to analyzed who have been at the table. Second, will see who is missing, third invite whomever is missing and make sure that EVERYONE feels welcome!!

Experience with the CPHA Health Equity Coalition:
Have presented in the past. 
A challenging time in leading equity work and response to overcoming the challenge:
I am challenged by systems in a daily basis. I have asked and continue to challenged Health Departments to come to us. Communities don’t trust us, we must build trust before we ask the community to trust us!! ”The status quo, need to go!!”
 
Name: Stephanie Salazar-Rodriguez, MPH, MNM & Sedona Allen Moreno-Castelan (running as a pair)
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
Watch Video Interview: https://youtu.be/J7YsnSUc-48
Currently, Stephanie is working in several areas of public health, primarily providing training and technical assistance in the areas of social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, COVID testing and education, executive leadership coaching, strategic planning, capacity building, overdose prevention, health insurance literacy, domestic violence education and prevention, community engagement, and social health information exchange. Sedona is currently a health program specialist at the Public Health Institute at Denver Health. She is passionate about authentic youth engagement and holistic healing to address active collective trauma. Sedona facilitates the EYE for Prevention Youth Leadership Team who focuses on youth mental health advocacy and substance misuse prevention through a holistic, trauma informed lens, while uplifting racial equity and environmental justice. Sedona is also involved in various groups who focus on youth leadership, birth justice, restorative justice, police reform, overdose prevention, violence prevention, and healing.

What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
A poem by Sedona:When opportunities arise and you feel an alignment in your soul.That is how you know it is time to take collective action.We need the strength of the whole, not just the fraction.We are teaming up to bring forth radical action. It is time for change.So within the systems we must rearrange.Angela Davis says, “we have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.”So I ask you, to open your minds, be open to new possibilities, envision a future, where the revolutionary movement of public health invests and gives back,Authentically engages with community to keep us on track.Intergenerational connections, changing these elections, Indigenous protective factors for prevention!Creativity is key. And so is community.I've heard a wise man say, “we need to know when to be the guitar and when to be the amp.” For it is our duty to not only create the music, but to ensure the music lives on. The dance of liberation continues. This movement requires solidarity across struggles.Together, Stephanie and I will get into good trouble! as Cesar Chavez says, “Si, Se Puede”. Yes, we can!
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position?  

Sedona is a strong leader. Some of her strengths include being strategic, communication, and connectedness. Sedona is creative and an activator! She believes that the more we tap into creativity, the more it grows. Sedona believes both her and Stephanie have the ability to uplift other people's strengths and invest in people's talents and their passions. She knows it's going to take all of us to bring forward this change.Sedona has lived experience facing and overcoming adversity and challenges. She has over 7 years of experience in Public Health, community organization, social justice, and youth engagement. Stephanie possesses a Masters in Public Health, with a concentration in leadership. Her formal credentials are augmented by over 25 years of experience in public health, human services, authentic community engagement and early childhood education. This experience has provided opportunities to personally witness health inequities and social economic barriers facing communities of color, which ultimately can impact their overall health outcomes.While a student at CU Anschutz, school of public health, Stephanie became a member of CPHA and attended several years of Public Health in the Rockies Conference. This further impacted her commitment to health equity and influenced her commitment and the trajectory of her work. This resulted in starting a consulting business, specializing in public health concerns and emerging public health issues.

How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  

Sedona is leading the future of public health and she knows the work ahead will require all of us to unlock our inner warrior and readiness to heal. She received her bachelor's degree from Naropa University in Environmental Science and brings a holistic approach to public health that is oftentimes missing and required to help us to decolonize public health. Because of Stephanie’s extensive training and experience in leadership, she believes she can best contribute by offering her education, knowledge and wisdom in leadership, in the area of DEI and social justice. Because of her broad-based community engagement work, she has the capability of reaching trusted community leaders across the state, with a goal of further promoting CPHA. Additionally, since she is bilingual, she has the opportunity to speak to Spanish speakers who may be interested in membership as a path to include language justice.

Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 2
Community Organizing: 3
Event Planning: 3
Financial Literacy: 3
Grant Writing: 3
Legal: 3
Marketing/PR: 3
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 2
Risk Management: 2
Strategic Planning: 3

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
This question is very challenging for Stephanie because as a person from a mixed familial background of Latino and Native American, she has experienced the need to advocate nearly daily. Advocating for equity is a priority for both Stephanie and Sedona, they execute all projects from a DEI lens. In Stephanie’s work, she consistently recruits consultants who are people of color and/or people with lived and living experience. From being on the front lines of protests and demonstrations, to teaching youth in classrooms, to doing authentic community engagement work, Sedona is continuously advocating for equity, diversion, inclusion, and justice in all facets of her life. Being a multicultural Chicana who is white passing, Sedona has experienced a spectrum of both privilege and oppression. After being expelled from 8th grade, Sedona began mobilizing with young people who were in truancy and in alternative schools. They addressed issues regarding the school to prison pipeline, educational bias, institutional racism, a lack of support at home, and so much more. At 16 years old she was hired as Denver Public Health’s first Youth Advisor. Sedona continues to be committed to bringing forth justice, liberation, and healing within public health and the world!
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

Stephanie and Sedona are committed to working closely with each other as co-associate directors to ensure they collectively promote the importance of championing DEI and social justice. They acknowledge that at times, this can be challenging, since it can result in uncomfortable and difficult situations. However, the conversations and actions steps are imperative to ensure the work is kept at the forefront, in order for it to be an ongoing priority. They will bring an intergenerational and intersectional lens to this work which will uplift DEI. Sedona and Stephanie both value relationship building and cultivating connections, so they will bring this to the role and help coordinate efforts across the state. Also they plan to work intentionally with the Public in the Rockies committee to ensure the event is more equitable, inclusive and engaging of the local community in meaningful and authentic ways.

Please describe your experience with the CPHA Health Equity Coalition.
Both Stephanie & Sedona have been involved in HEC nearly from the inception. Stephanie works collectively with some of the officers, regularly attend the meetings, recently attended the retreat and promote the work in my circles of influence. Sedona has been a strong leader in the HEC since the beginning. She has led youth efforts of HEAT, she was the Community Engagement workgroup lead for over a year, and she is currently the Professional Development workgroup lead going on two years. Sedona has a passion, vision, and drive for how to support the growth of the Health Equity Coalition.
Please tell us about a time you were challenged in leading equity work and what you did to overcome the challenge.
Recently, Stephanie worked with an organization in a neighboring state. In the planning process the organization shared some of the challenges with this work, but were not completely transparent. While onsite, it became that abundantly clear that the organization was simply checking boxes to meet a grant requirement. Although it was difficult, during one of the debriefings Stephanie shared her concerns about simply checking boxes and it created an uncomfortable situation, but ultimately resulted in severing the relationship. One of Sedona’s recent challenges in leading equity work related to institutional barriers. She was told last minute that the grant that is funding her youth and community-led equity work would not approve paying contractors that were chosen by the youth for their upcoming event. Sedona was able to brainstorm a solution in partnering with the Health Equity Coalition and utilize a different source of funding to ensure that the event could continue as planned! This took strategic thinking, authentic partnerships, and building trust and community. Sedona has learned from her experiences working at CDPHE that it is important to do systems change work, but Sedona thrives best when working hands-on with the community. She believes true change will come from a holistic approach. 

Membership (2-year commitment) 

Name: Lisa Peters
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
During the past year, I have had the privilege of serving our greater Colorado community by sitting on the CPHA board as the Emerging Leaders Director. Through this experience, I learned from experienced public health professionals and was able to contribute to other board member's initiatives while growing the mission of my respective committee. It was a truly humbling and inspiring experience, and I hope to continue with CPHA in a similar capacity.  I am currently a financial professional at Centura specializing in reimbursement, and I try to maintain a multi-faceted approach to public health through community engagement. For example, over the past four years, I have raised over $300,000 for Colorado high school students overcoming the cycle of poverty through Boys Hope Girls Hope. Community engagement is my passion, and I hope to highlight and add accessibility to the incredible resources Colorado already offers its residents. Additionally, I am pursuing a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, specializing in Health Systems and Policy with an expected graduation of 2024.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I am interested in Membership at CPHA because I would like to invest in membership strategies, goals, resources, and build on the communicated opportunities for our members. Here are a few of the goals I would like to explore as Associate Director of Membership: 1) CPHA members are excellent at building valuable communities with priceless connections. These are the types of membership benefits that should be communicated through our website and onboarding process. I would like to invest in building out consistent messaging while upgrading our technological approach throughout members experience with CPHA. 2) I would also like to prioritize diversifying CPHA's financial portfolio through adding intentional, sustainable programming that is attainable year after year. For Fall 2023, I would like to gauge interest and propose a plan for a CPHA 5K that equally engages its members and our community. A community event will raise financial capacities for CPHA's mission, and further CPHA's credibility as a public health leader with the purpose of creating the healthiest Colorado for everyone.  CPHA has created priceless learning, development, and networking opportunities for me personally. This year, I would like to invest in membership strategies so that others can take advantage of the same experiences.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
My most valuable skills that I will bring to the CPHA board are creative planning with a drive for action. Within the smallest acts, we can approach large plans and goals, taking intentional steps to prioritize Colorado health, our members, and overall equity in our community. Organizations are successful with both broad, innovative aspirations, and the purposeful progress to move projects forward.  Over the past year, I have put this into practice and gained more passion for creating and communicating valuable opportunities within CPHA. For example, in May 2022, CPHA launched our first magazine, RISE. The goal was to feature students and early careerists by 1) highlighting academic and artistic pieces and 2) creating leadership opportunities for editors to develop new skills. This allowed seasoned professionals to act as mentors and engage with younger public health creators, while students were able to participate in a capacity previously not available to them. If chosen as the Associate Director of Membership, I hope to add more value for CPHA members and our greater Colorado community, while prioritizing strategy and intentionality.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  
My passion is building systems, clear communication, and thoroughness to opportunities that exist within CPHA and our community. I hope to leverage and highlight the brilliant ideas that our board and members have currently to collaboratively create an even more valuable state association. With increased sustainability and communication, more health initiatives across Colorado can become accessible and equitable. I look forward to bringing my systems and communication mindset to Membership within CPHA.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 2
Community Organizing: 2
Event Planning: 2
Financial Literacy: 2
Grant Writing: 0
Legal: 1
Marketing/PR: 3
Organizational Management: 2
Public Policy: 1
Risk Management: 1
Strategic Planning: 2

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
Within healthcare administration, management, and finance, there is little diversity overall. General medical hospitals consist of 72.3% white demographics across the nation, and the discrepancy is even higher for financial and management services. To help break this cycle, I have partnered with a Colorado not-for-profit who mentors BIPOC students academically, professionally, and personally, as they overcome disadvantaged backgrounds. We are in the process of designing a program to expose these students to healthcare opportunities in hopes of a pursuit to bridge the diversity gap. As a healthcare financial professional, it is my responsibility to acknowledge the habitual lack of diversity in the field and utilize my privilege to support the dismantling of unjust, supremacist systems.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

To truly build a healthy Colorado for all, every decision, goal, and action must be oriented around equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. These are foundational bricks and should not just be considered an afterthought. Transformation begins within, so I will first continuously reevaluate and gauge the conscious and subconscious biases I have. Additionally, I vow to prioritize creating an equitable space for all by offering anonymity when appropriate, listening first, intentionally responding, assuming the good intentions of all, and holding myself and others accountable for our authority and power in championing equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.

 

Emerging Leaders (2-year commitment)

 

Name: Jeni Mitchell
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
I am a current Master of Public Health student at the Colorado School of Public Health concentrating my studies in Community and Behavioral Health. While in graduate school, I also work with the Colorado School of Public Health’s Marketing and Communications Team where I serve as our Social and Digital Media Student Assistant. In school I am interested in learning more about program planning and implementation, community engagement, and public health communications. This summer I had the opportunity to complete my practicum through the ColoradoSPH with the Jefferson County Public Health Department's Healthy Jeffco Alliance where I helped with a storytelling initiative that focused on sharing stories of finding connection and belonging within Jefferson County communities. In all, I am excited to be venturing further into my career in public health!
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I first joined the Colorado Public Health Association last year when I served as the Communications Delegate for the Emerging Leaders Committee. In this role I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and working with the ELC and board members during monthly committee meetings. In applying for the Associate Director role with the ELC I hope to continue to work with the wonderful board members I’ve gotten to know so far and help grow the association as we build on our local partnerships.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
I believe that my background contains a variety of experiences and skill sets that make me a strong candidate for this position. My unique background in dietetics and nutrition management along with digital marketing has given me a strong insight into both the public service realm as well as the business world. In this position I hope to collaborate with the ELC Director on how we can grow this committee in a way that is beneficial for emerging leaders within public health and also sustainable for CPHA overall.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  
I bring the perspective of a young person newly entering the field of public health. I understand the incoming generation of the public health workforce because I am a part of it, and I want to help this generation thrive in this field. I would also bring strong skills rooted in organization, communication, and creativity.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 1
Community Organizing: 2
Event Planning: 3
Financial Literacy: 1
Grant Writing: 1
Legal: 0
Marketing/PR: 3
Organizational Management: 2
Public Policy: 1
Risk Management: 0
Strategic Planning: 2

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
When I worked for a local digital marketing agency as the company’s Marketing Coordinator, one of my responsibilities was to organize, plan, and lead our weekly sales and marketing meetings. After running these meetings for a while, I started to notice that not everyone in the meetings was getting a chance to speak and contribute their ideas. Once I realized this, I restructured the meeting agenda to allow time and space for every individual to speak—regardless of what their role was at the company. I believe this restructuring helped create a more inclusive environment in our meetings and also helped to show each employee that their opinions and thoughts were valuable and important.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

One step that I would take in helping the board to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice would be to continue to make the ELC an inclusive and equitable space for emerging leaders within public health. I would like to bring in a diverse group of ELC delegates this year that have different experiences, have varying expertise within public health, and who aim to serve the public in their own unique way. Another step that I would like to take this year in making the ELC more equitable would be to open our monthly meetings to the public so that more emerging leaders are able to participate in those discussions.

 
Communications (2-year commitment)
Name: Montelle Tamez
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
Primary and secondary prevention, health equity, translational research (translating discovery into practice), community engagement and community based participatory research (CBPR).
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I’ve been a public health professional in Colorado for more than 20 years and have engaged with CPHA in various ways. I have presented at the Culture of Data and at a public Health in the Rockies and also was hired to develop a new CPHA logo several years ago. I would like to contribute to CPHA in service of other public health professionals in Colorado.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
I began my career in health promotion and education at a non-profit, where communicating complex health info to community members was my job. I then worked for CDPHE where I managed the CCPD grants program, which required communication at multiple levels, including state govt. In my current role, I work to engage communities in research, which requires specific messaging and approaches. Finally, I’ve designed and edited CHA’s and other reports for multiple LPHAs.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA? 
I have a multi-level understanding of public health, which allows me to craft clear communication and messaging to reach a wide range of audiences.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 2
Community Organizing: 2
Event Planning: 3
Financial Literacy: 2
Grant Writing: 3
Legal: 1
Marketing/PR: 3
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 3
Risk Management: 3
Strategic Planning: 3

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.  
I currently chair the DEI committee for the CU Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute, where I advocate for process and policy changes in support of DEI. Additionally, I sit on the board of 2040 partners for health, where we work with under-resourced communities. I am on the steering board for the CU Office of DEI and also serve on the CU advisory board for Hispanic Serving Institutions. Currently, I am working across the state to address vaccine hesitancy in communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. My entire career has been dedicated to advancing equity and social justice.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

Public health is inextricably linked to social justice. It’s imperative that we engage in difficult, honest conversations around racism and oppression, which often requires us to push people beyond their comfort zones. When we do this, we are often met with defensiveness, micro-aggressions and fragility - even from allies. We have to push them beyond this in order to create anti-racist and anti-oppressive organizations and systems that truly address the needs of marginalized and oppressed communities. I would advocate for approaching decisions, investments, programs, and everything else through an anti-oppressive framework. For me, that is a guiding principle.

Secretary (3-year commitment)
Name: Gillian Grant
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
Health equity, health systems change, community healthCurrently I work at Trailhead Institute (Trailhead), a nonprofit public health institute providing support to public health programs and organizations statewide. The mission of Trailhead is to advance innovation and collaboration in public and environmental health. The work of Trailhead's programs and projects aim to improve health equity through public health practice and policy. We recognize the places where we live, work, learn and play are where health begins, we work to address the root causes and historic inequities in communities so that all people have the opportunity to thrive. I am the Senior Program Manager for the Regional Health Connector program and provide ad hoc support for the Community Research Liaisons. In my role, I provide training, coaching and other supportive administration to implement these workforces, as well as evaluation and sustainability support. I work in partnership and collaboration with state agencies, university systems, local public health agencies, health systems, healthcare, community organizations, individuals, and health alliances. This role keeps me engaged at a regional/local level as well as a state level in public health.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
Primarily, I want to join the CPHA board because of their commitment to equity and justice and becoming an antiracist organization. This explicit commitment and action is in line with my personal values, work ambition, and Trailhead’s organizational values and mission. As Secretary, I can take what I am already doing and involved in to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice more explicit in public health across the state. A secondary thing that interests me about joining the board is to continue the work I have done with CPHA as a mentee, mentor, Policy Committee member, and Health Equity Coalition member at a higher level. I want to be involved in higher level strategies within Colorado public health and continue to sharpen my professional skills, grow my professional and personal network, expand my anti-oppression knowledge and practice, and reinvigorate my public health career at a state network level.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
I have experience and knowledge of CPHA and its function in the Colorado public health landscape. I have been a member of CPHA for almost 10 years, and have grown with the association. I have participated in the CPHA mentorship program as both a mentee and mentor. For the last three years, I have been on the CPHA Policy Committee and the Health Equity Coalition. Being a part of CPHA has given me friendship, community, engagement and advocacy with the public health community in Colorado. I have met so many people who have become friends and colleagues over the years and learned a lot about public health practice.In my work at Trailhead, I maintain program fidelity and organization by tracking all program activities for monthly reporting. This includes tracking monthly meetings, taking notes, coordinating training topics,and communicating and organizing follow-up items. Because this is integral to the performance of my role, I am naturally organized, thoughtful, and attentive. These skills and experience that I have and love translate well to the role of Secretary on the CPHA board.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA? 
I thrive in situations that ask me to use my strengths, make connections, and keep others organized and on track. Being in a program manager role has been a natural fit because of this, and as Secretary on CPHA board, I can contribute this natural energy to CPHA. Also, I am connected to local communities through the RHC program and take the responsibility of centering the needs and solutions identified by and with community seriously. I center community information and insight into statewide discussions, which would ensure that CPHA is considering the experiences of people not on the board whose lives are impacted by their work. Specifically, I will support decision making, organization, and implementation of the association’s key activities: networking events, the annual Public Health in the Rockies conference, professional development series, mentorship for emerging leaders and other public health workers, and the health equity coalition.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 2
Community Organizing: 2
Event Planning: 2
Financial Literacy: 1
Grant Writing: 2
Legal: 1
Marketing/PR: 2
Organizational Management: 3
Public Policy: 2
Risk Management: 2
Strategic Planning: 3

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
Earlier this year, I posted a position for an unpaid intern to support work in the programs I manage. Following this, I was called in by a colleague to take down the posting and consider the inequities and harm of unpaid labor, particularly on BIPOC folks. She also shared resources with me to learn from. I took the posting down, and brought this to our programs team and human resources for consideration. This ultimately led to considering the inequities with hiring unpaid interns, developing policies to support paid interns, and devoting budget for paid interns across our programs.I used what I had learned in this experience, when a few months later, I was in a planning group for an advisory board. The advisory board was proposed to be a diverse group of people across income levels and race identities. I asked about what compensation there would be for these members, which had not been identified. Using my knowledge from my experience, I shared why unpaid labor is harmful and advocated for the payment of advisory board members. In the group, we brainstormed compensation strategies and emphasized that the board members would choose their preferred compensation method.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

I first recognize my own individual biases and the privileged identities I hold (white, cisgender, able bodied, young) that impact what I bring and how I show up in the environment around me. To address this, I am working as an individual in community with a group of friends biweekly, and as an alumni with In.Visible Paradigms; at work, I opt in to a monthly accountability group of white/white passing folks. I am an active member of the CPHA Health Equity Coalition and am the lead for the Infrastructure workgroup. I am learning new meeting practices and building a community of anti-oppressive practice.Further, on an organization level, Trailhead is integrating principles to revitalize the operating structures, processes, and resource allocation to be in line with our work to be regenerative and reverse historic inequities.Using this individual and organizational knowledge and experience, I can contribute to the board with my own learning in championing equity and justice. Additionally, I will recognize that we are all on our own learning journeys and will be open to learning from others as we collaborate on the board to champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice.

President- Elect (3-year commitment)
Name: Wivine Ngongo
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
I currently serve public health as the Population Health Program Manager for Colorado Access (COA) – the state’s largest Medicaid and CHP+ provider servicing Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, and Elbert counties. This position lives in the public health arm of the organization and entails learning about and understanding our membership and their surrounding communities – most of whom are experiencing some level of inequity, disparity, and/or injustice within the social determinants of health. I help manage and evaluate health programs designed to appropriately deliver education and promote healthy behaviors for diabetes management, maternal and child health, asthma control, COVID vaccine uptake, dental health, and well-visit upkeep. My focus also centers around healthcare access through targeted, deliberate efforts informed by community and data. But I am quite proud to be involved in COA’s community engagement efforts around Black Birthing health and justice. I am the point person between institution and community for a large state-supported project – Mama Bird Doula Alliance. This is a three-quarter million-dollar pilot that funds a local Black doula agency to provide Medicaid-covered Black families with full spectrum doula services. I help evaluate outcomes and will contribute to the case for a state-wide policy on Medicaid-covered Doula care in Colorado.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
I have been involved with CPHA starting in 2017 through what was then becoming the Health Equity Coalition. I have gained profound insights around how the various arms of CPHA conspire to pave the way towards success in inclusive, engaging, and persistent public health and justice efforts for entities, communities, and residents of the broader state. I also understand the weight behind CPHA’s current determinations borne by a global pandemic, endemic racism, rampant disinformation, political polarization, and a backlash against our profession – as the current president so comprehensively states in his letter for the 2021 Annual Report. I understand this because since returning from South Chicago to Colorado in the last two years, I have been forced to navigate these challenges to save my own life. I am a personable, experienced, well-versed leader in my Metro Denver communities, and I share the same impetus as the CPHA board and organization.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position? 
Over the last decade, I have held several positions of leadership through which I have demonstrated competency in collaborative decision-making, team supervising, program management, budget administration, reporting and consulting, and effective communications. I have also served as an active committee member in the past for CPHA, CDPHE, and the Colorado Black Health Collaborative. My academic and research experiences through the Colorado School of Public Health have always placed health equity and racial justice at the center, offering valuable insight into what that could look like for Colorado. My tenure as the former Health Program Manager for Denver’s Center for African American Health offered leverage to learn in-depth about the Black and Brown communities in Metro Denver, what makes us resilient, and the historical and current injustices we face as a people. And I currently implement a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework to my daily professional operations. Lastly, I believe my strong skills in public speaking, communications, and in writing would help make me particularly successful in this relatively public position. I have recently presented as Keynote for the National Perinatal Association conference in partnership with COA’s CEO, as well as in countless presentations for several health conferences.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA? 
My best contributions to CPHA are my lived experiences and innate ability to combine intuition and intellect for effective strategy. There is an art to marrying personal grievance and reflection with academia, public health, and civic engagement, and I believe I can be quite the artist. I am a second generation, non-native English speaker, Black woman. I am also a survivor of childhood physical and sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, homelessness, law enforcement and jail, and the familial traumas around threats of deportation and high morbidity. But as a social, personable, emotionally intelligent, and well-versed individual, I am quite often successful in making connections among diverse backgrounds and galvanizing towards an end. Empathy is one of my core strengths, discernment and enablement are my working geniuses, and I have sheer tenacity when the matter at hand is achieving higher levels of equity and justice.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 1
Community Organizing: 3
Event Planning: 3
Financial Literacy: 2
Grant Writing: 2
Legal: 0
Marketing/PR: 1
Organizational Management: 2
Public Policy: 2
Risk Management: 2
Strategic Planning: 3

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
As previously mentioned, I am the point person between institution and community for the Mama Bird Doula Alliance (MBDA) pilot. For some time, the MBDA leadership, comprised of Black women community leaders, struggled navigating the system while the system was failing to show equitable, inclusive partnership. Through what eventually became a single-person effort under contentious circumstances between COA and MBDA leaders, I took it upon myself to consult members of our Community Engagement (CM) Department on culturally responsive and equitable approaches to this incredibly important partnership with community. I personally had to facilitate our success in securing this partnership through a persistent show of humility, authentic listening and communication, transparency, and advocacy on MBDA leaders’ behalf. Ultimately, they were very appreciative of my support, noting that it significantly helped the partnership to continue. These efforts were also recognized by the executive team in COA and the CM Department, which is now restructuring their community engagement strategies through a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive lens. And in a restored show of trust and commitment, COA delivered the funds in full, including overhead expenses, reduced its check-in and reporting cadence, and relinquished most, if not all, of its oversight.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

First, I will step in with the understanding and trust that everyone on the board is a leader and/or expert of some form within the public health sector. Operating under that context, I would want to gage what extent board members have and continue to champion DEIJ in their personal and professional lives. At baseline, I believe this will naturally show up by what is mentioned and prioritized during our board meetings and offline discussions. However, I would eventually establish some time designated for discussion around our own personal biases, after which the board would decide together if any formal assessments may be warranted. I believe part of what will make the board successful is a high level of collective insight and emotional intelligence – this includes the ability and willingness to navigate difficult spaces for our respective betterment. The way I would measure success from this approach is acknowledging and documenting if and how often there are mentions of considerable bias at play during any decision-making conversation. Ultimately, I would like to see every logistical and operational discussion occur through a DEIJ lens, and I trust myself to be vigilant on reminding the board – much like a broken record.

  

Public Health in the Rockies (2-year commitment)

Name: Theo Abbey
What areas of public health are you currently engaged?
I am currently a disease intervention specialist who conducts interviews with individuals diagnosed with reportable conditions to ensure adequate treatment and explore testing/treatment for identified contacts. In my current role in public, I also assist with response to any reported disease outbreaks within the Denver County. I am actively involved in community involvement efforts aimed at continuously engaging with community to enhance communication and improving overall trust in government.As a community member, I am member and involved with the Colorado Black Health Collaborative and Clinical trust solutions in educating our communities about burning Public Health issues. In these capacities, I have been involved in boots on the ground activities in the Montebello/Green Valley Ranch areas around increased gonorrhea infections among youth. With clinical trust solutions the target has mainly been the African diaspora community in Colorado.I am also an active member of the executive committee of the Aurora Chamber of commerce and continue to promote equity, diversity and issues including presentations and contributing ideas and experience to forge the health equity journey forward.With my lived experience, education in Public Health and work experience, my journey has continued with passion and enthusiasm.
What interests you about joining the CPHA board?
My journey started with PHIR started back in 2014 when I represented the State DIS team at the conference. I was very impressed with the leadership, passion and dedication of the board and did not hesitated to join the wellness committee when I was invited by first by Cerise Hunt and later Nathifa. My experiences serving on committees so far have been remarkable and I believe I will be a great candidate to leverage existing relationships and experience to continue to bridge gaps in health equity specifically in Public Health practices in the state of Colorado.My experience, passion and enthusiasm will be evident as I seek to use this platform to contribute to already great work happening in the CPHA Board.
What skills and experiences make you a strong candidate for this board position?  
At this point, I will humbly say that I am an experienced public health professional with several professional accomplishments. In my last position, I wrote a grant proposal and received funding to increase numbers of students of color in medical professions in Colorado. I was also a HIV Care Manger to existing and newly diagnosed HIV patients at Kaiser and directly addressed concerns, fears and available resources while communicating patients’ needs to the hospital leadership. Since I started my career, I have volunteered at numerous events to help those in need and assess how the field of Public Health can improve proactive measures. My respectful, passionate, and great relationship building and communicating skills will be an asset to the board if chosen.I feel confident that these experiences and accomplishments will be valuable to the CPHA board as we seek move the Public Health agenda in Colorado to a more inclusive, unified, and transparent approach.Finally, my unique perspective been a Black male and African Born with international perspectives will be an added benefit to the board.
How do you think you can best contribute to CPHA?  
I will bring my unique visioning ability and passion to the board. My experience as a direct care provider with patients as an advocate and at the systems level with the state in areas of policy changes will be valuable. I will also leverage existing relationships with community-based partners, local and State level partners including Denver Health to continue to ensure health equity for all Coloradans. My grassroots, respectful, non-judgmental and boots on the grounds approach will be evident in promoting the sharing of community stories that will act as catalyst for policy changes.If chosen, I also promise to bring fun, humor, and open communication to the role.
Level of Experience: 

0 No Knowledge or experience
1 Some Knowledge around the skillset but no experience putting it into action
2 Moderate knowledge and experience applying the skillset
3 Extensive knowledge and experience applying the skillset

Accounting: 2
Community Organizing: 3
Event Planning: 2
Financial Literacy: 2
Grant Writing: 2
Legal: 1
Marketing/PR: 2
Organizational Management: 2
Public Policy: 2
Risk Management: 2
Strategic Planning: 2

Please briefly describe an instance where you personally advocated for equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice. 
As a co-lead for the State Health Department’s strategic efforts at improving community engagement aimed at improving health equity for underserved communities, I lead the team of dedicate co-workers in selecting the three most important principles budgets, hiring and language justice.With this work, I advocated for contractors to get funding ahead of time to begin their projects versus later to avoid delays in undertaking community projects due to lack of CBO funds.I also helped to ensure that community members are compensated for their time during meetings or focus groups and was successful in implementing an hourly rate for any time community spends on a state project. Advocated for increased contracted language vendors to ensure language justice for all.
What steps would you take in this board role to reduce bias and champion equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice?

A systemic problem requires a systemic solution. I believe the way forward will require being aware of my own biases first, promote and sustain public-private partnerships, where both corporations and our government work together to eliminate inequality and bias in the workplace and our communities.I believe leadership is by example hence I will seek to be respectful, emphatic, non-judgement and passionate in my approach to addressing any pertinent public health issues in a timely, efficient, and inclusive manner to promote trust and develop sustainable relationships over time. Using existing and exploring newer networks for the best and most promising training programs to help us all create change within our organizations and sharing with CPHA partners. I plan to continue take this journey in a purposeful way to ensure all our communities are treated equally.

VOTE NOW