CPHA Board

The CPHA Board is an all-volunteer organization. The Board comprises of CPHA's Officers, Directors and other Members who serve as the governing body of the Association and is supported by other organizations and individuals who provide administrative or lobbying services. The Board transacts the business of the Association at monthly meetings between Annual Association Meetings held at the Public Health in the Rockies conference and through its committees.

The CPHA Board Year runs from September through August.

Terms vary for each position as provided in the Bylaws.

Bylaws descriptions of each Board position

 


2021-2022 Board

Officers

President: Jason Vitello (2020 - 2023)

Jason Vitello is the Behavioral Health Coordinator at Denver Public Health, an adjunct professor at the University Of Denver Graduate School Of Social Work, and a community activist. He is also a national speaker on social justice, critical race theory, criminal justice reform, father engagement, male mental health, and collective liberation. In 2017, Jason founded the Colorado Public Health Association’s Health Equity Coalition and was elected as the first Health Equity Director. He presently serves as the Health Equity Officer. Prior to his career in public health, Jason was a social worker and therapist who provided advocacy, mentorship, case management and clinical services. It should be noted that before he was ever a provider of human services or family assistance - he was a recipient of them. His ultimate interest is in the betterment of the human condition through fierce compassion, difficult conversations, collaboration across struggles, the peaceful obliteration of structural inequalities and comprehensive paradigm transformation.

 

Past-President: Kim Boyd (2019 - 2022) 

Kim is currently the President of Lolina, Inc., a consultancy with clients in the healthcare, human services and the public health arena. Kim has been involved in healthcare and public health for over 22 years as a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner. Kim works with clients to provide variety of services including, but not limited to, strategic planning, leadership development, employee engagement, community partnerships, grant management, program development and evaluation, and professional coaching. Kim has a particular passion for health policy and supporting systems that aim to improve that health of our Colorado communities.

Kim volunteers as a peer coach for the Regional Institute of Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL) and is also active in the Colorado Public Health Mentoring Program. Kim earned her Master’s of Science/Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing degree from the University of Colorado in 2004. Kim is certified as a Gallup Strengths Coach, certified in EQ-i Emotional Intelligence and as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

President Elect: Swarnima Chaudhary (2021-2024)

Swarnima Chaudhary, MPH, (she/her/hers) is a Technology Program Manager at the National Mental Health Innovation Center (NMHIC), based out of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. NMHIC focuses on improving mental healthcare by destigmatizing mental wellness and illness through cross-industrial, open conversations and by helping industries integrate innovative, evidence-based technologies that can be effectively scaled for mental health well-being. In other roles, Swarnima volunteers as a case investigator for COVID-19 public health efforts, and serves as a board member for the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice, formerly the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, with active roles in the LGBTQ+, Early Student, and Global Mental Health taskforces.  

Ms. Chaudhary is a public health professional with training and expertise in global health systems, management, and policy analysis. She has relevant healthcare research knowledge from the University of Iowa and extensive mixed-methods research experience with program evaluation for trauma-informed programs and clinical technology implementation. Swarnima is committed to bringing her public health-centered, health equity-oriented voice to the CPHA board and advancing CPHA as an organization that not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Swarnima's other long-time interests include openly speaking about her experiences as an LGBTQA person of color. Swarnima loves Bollywood fusion dancing, yoga, being out in nature with her wife, and traveling to help her stay grounded in the story of humanity.

Health Equity Officer: Robert Franklin (2020 - 2023)

Robert Franklin, II, serves as the Diversity, Health Equity and Inclusion Programs Manager for Children’s Human Resources and within the Child Health Advocacy Institute.  The work of his position involves engaging the entire health system in considering difference and its impact on work and care in our community.  Guided by a coordinated strategy, Robert’s programs and initiatives engage care givers to learn and talk about, celebrate and take action in response to difference.

For nearly two decades, Robert has worked with youth serving organizations through throughout the nations in training, advocacy, program development, change leadership and management activities. Most recently, with Colorado State University, Robert co-chaired the Diversity Catalyst Team, and served as leader trainer and coach with Denver Public Schools and Parks and Recreation.

A youth developer by trade, education and passion, Robert has worked to positively impact the lives of young people, their families and communities through advocacy, ally-ship and educational programming. Focused on creating new and inclusive opportunities for learning and engaging, Robert and his wife, Melissa, built MNMR, LLC to further their passions, merging entertaining performances and opportunities to learn – the EduTainment Experience.  Each experience is designed to engage its audience, and in doing so, provide lasting, memorable, and tangible “ah-ha!” moments.

Secretary: Sarah Lampe (2019 - 2022)

I have worked in the public health field for over 15 years, including conducting research and evaluation in community development; leading processes for coalition development; developing and implementing education assessment and evaluation; and managing, directing, and carrying out research on school health, the built environment, and public health systems. Most notably over the last few years, I was instrumental in the creation and direction of the Regional Health Connector Program, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute's Pipeline to Proposal Program and have expertise in planning, evaluating, and constantly improving a public health programs centered on the strengths of communities. I have a persistent passion for eliminating health inequities and building community collaborations to achieve positive public health outcomes. I have worked for Trailhead for the last five years in varying roles and currently holds the position as CEO of Trailhead. Prior to working at Trailhead I was a Program Manager for CALPHO where I ran research projects for the Colorado Public Health Practice Based Research Network and evaluation projects for the Public Health Alliance of Colorado. In the role with CALPHO I worked closely with the 10 public health associations in Colorado, including CPHA on the administration of their organization's including membership, events and cross organization collaboration. 

Treasurer: Sara Miller (2021-2024)



Through my work with Otowi Group (www.otowigroup.com), I am engaged in partnership with local, state and federal organizations to enhance and build their work and achieve their priorities. I am passionate about supporting communities, efforts and public health organizations to imagine and create new evidence-based programs. In my work, I have built organizations, created new programs, initiated community engagement initiatives, and advised local leaders to increase their effectiveness. Prior to my work in Otowi Group, I was CEO for Trailhead Institute, a Colorado public health institute.  I have held multiple positions in state government, with particular focus on leading chronic disease programs. I have worked in the private sector, managing retail stores.  I have extensive experience working in the field of developmental disabilities, where I served as program director for a community based housing effort. I spend my free time with my family, dabbling in art, hiking, volunteering for my local community and loving my dog. 

Affiliate Representative to the Governing Council (ARGC): Tara Thomas-Gale (2020 - 2023)

 

 

 

 

 


Tara has more than 15 years’ experience building collaborative relationships with health professionals, government, and community partners to implement initiatives in the areas of maternal child health, home visitation and health care delivery. She currently leads family planning and health education efforts for Denver Health, the region’s safety-net health system.

Tara serves on the State & Local Strategies Advisory Group for Power to Decide, formerly the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, City Match’s Reproductive Justice Action Group, and volunteers with the CPHA Mentoring Program.  She holds an MPH in Global Health from George Washington University and completed a post-graduate fellowship in International Healthcare Management with Yale University in Ethiopia.


Directors

Health Equity Coalition Senior Director: Lorena Dawson (2021-2022)

Lorena Dawson is the Executive Director of High Desert DEVO, Inc, an equity-focused, mentorship-based mountain bike program that empowers youth on the trails in Montezuma and Dolores Counties. She has experience in building compassionate spaces that are focused on creating collaborative relationships. Lorena received her Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and as she invested in her learning in water rights and health equity she transitioned out of private consulting into Public Health and Service. She stood as the Health Equity Coordinator for San Juan Basin Public Health. In this role, she supported equitable access to emergency management training and resources for underrepresented community members.  

Health Equity Coalition Associate Director: Kory Thomas (2021-2023)

Kory Thomas is a Co-Founder of Core Capacities, LLC, a coaching and consulting company supporting healthcare and public health professionals in leadership development, burnout prevention and virtual learning and connection. She is experienced in relationship development and management of a multitude of stakeholders including community members, leaders, organizations, subject matter experts, university faculty, board members and team members. She is invested in listening with authentic curiosity and amplifying those experiences in ways that encourage shared visions of growth, harmony, and equity. She received her Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan, is a graduating fellow of the Advanced Leadership Training Program for the Regional Institute of Health and Environmental Leadership and recently received her Associate Certified Coach credential through the International Coaching Federation. 

Communications Senior Director: Jessica Murison (2021-2022)

 

As a humanitarian, Jessica has traveled all over the world working in the global health sector evaluating hospitals and clinics to outfit them with medical equipment and conduct trainings, program management in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and promotes health for children in equitable access to nutritious foods here in Colorado. Her interest in the Colorado Public Health Association has grown over the last few years as her work has transitioned to more domestic public health. Jessica is passionate about public health issues, especially issues pertaining to women and children. She earned her Master’s degree from the prestigious Josef Korbel School of International Studies in International and Intercultural Communications, with a Graduate Certificate in Global Health Affairs. She is excited to be part of the CPHA team to communicate helpful information to the CPHA members and general community as Associate Director of Communications. Aside from her work, Jessica is the President of the Board of Directors for the United Nations Association of Denver, on the Board of Directors for Project Education South Sudan, is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children in Denver, Rotary International member, and can be found enthusiastically enjoying the Colorado outdoors with her dog Sahara.

Communications Associate Director: Juan Roberto Madrid (2021-2023)

Juan Roberto Madrid is a Retired U.S. Navy Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman (SARC), who had 22 years of Naval Service. During his time in service he deployed to the Invasion of Panama Operation Just Cause 1989; Deseret Shield and Desert Storm Invasion of Iraq 1990-1991; deployed to Somali for Operation Restore Hope 1992-1993 as a part of the Multi Nation Peace Keeping Force; multiple deployments to South America for Drug Interdiction operations; as well as seven deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002-2010. During his time in service many of Juan Roberto’s deployments were public health related as well as global health related as he often worked to strengthen or augment Host Nation Public Health Systems. After his Retirement in 2010 Juan Roberto worked for some of Colorado’s largest healthcare provider systems such as Centura Health and HealthOne. While working for these health systems in a Paramedic role and Paramedic Education role he learned how these systems operated at multiple levels. Juan Roberto has displayed a passion for Rural Health, Health Education and Promotion which lead him to complete his Bachelor Science Degree in Health Professions focusing on Health Education and Promotion. After completing his Bachelor Degree from Excelsior College, he went on to apply to The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health where he was accepted to the Master of Public Health Program. Juan Roberto will graduate in November with concentrations in Health Communication & Marketing as well as Environmental Health Science & Policy.

In his spare time Juan Roberto enjoys being outdoors running, swimming, cycling and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) with his two teen daughters as well as bonsai tree gardening.

Membership Senior Director: Molly Gutilla (2021-2022)

  

Molly J Gutilla is currently an Assistant Professor at the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University where she teaches epidemiology, GIS, and research methods courses. She works to have her feet, head, and heart on the academic campus and immersed in public health practice. Molly has spent time as a researcher on campuses including The Ohio State University, Williams College and the University of Colorado. She also is engaged in public health practice, working as a practitioner in both urban and rural local public health, with the state and local health departments, and alongside the non-profit community in Colorado. Molly’s interests include teaching, learning, health equity, spatial and social epidemiology, and ethics.

Membership Associate Director: Kelsey Robinson (2021-2023)

 

Kelsey Robinson is the Public Health Planner with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's (CDPHE) Office of Public Health Practice Planning and Local Partnerships. In this role, she provides support to local public health agencies for their community health improvement processes, including conducting community health assessments, capacity assessments, and writing improvement plans. She graduated from the University of Colorado Anschutz in December of 2019, with a Master’s degree in Public Health. During her time as a graduate student, she served as the Communications Chair for the Student Health Promotion Committee and as the Speaker Engagement Chair for the Annual Emerging Leaders Conference. As a graduate student, she also worked at CDPHE as a Research and Evaluation Coordinator with the Marijuana Health Monitoring and Research Program. Her involvement with CPHA began as a graduate student mentee with the Colorado Public Health Mentoring Program. She is excited to continue her work with CPHA as a current member of the Board.

Public Health Policy Senior Director: Allison Howe (2019-2022)

Allison graduated from The Colorado School of Public Health in 2009 with an emphasis in Community Health Education. She has also maintained her credential as a Certified Health Education Specialist for ten years because the professional development allows her to better assess health promotion and services from an administrative perspective.
 
Her public health experience spans multiple sectors, including maternal and child health, reproductive health, vaccine education and compliance, food insecurity, childhood obesity, health services navigation, and increasing access to recreation. She is engaged with community organizing and serves as an elected councilwoman for the City of Fort Morgan. Allison understands that policy is critical in changing systems and she loves the challenge.
Her current professional role is Director of Client Health Services for the Northeast Colorado Health Department. She oversees the agency's largest division which includes Reproductive Health, Immunizations, School Wellness, Tobacco Prevention, WIC, Oral Health, among others. She joins the CPHA Board as the Associate Policy Director and looks forward to helping set legislative priorities that impact the communities we serve.

Public Health Policy Associate Director: Ellen Stern (2021-2023)

Ellen Stern serves as a Policy & Advocacy Specialist for Children’s Hospital Colorado. She has experience leading tobacco control and chronic disease initiatives for Jefferson County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and she previously worked for four years as a congressional aide leading community outreach efforts across the state. Ellen has a bachelor's degree in social work from Colorado State University and a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Colorado-Denver. 

Emerging Leaders Senior Director: Lisa Peters (2021-2022)

 

Lisa has played a role on BKD CPA’s and Advisors’ Healthcare team for several years. She is a Senior Healthcare Consultant providing a variety of services, including Medicare and Medicaid cost report preparation and reimbursement consulting. She assists clients with Medicare bad debt and reimbursement analyses, wage index reviews, volume decline and geographic reclassification, and various low volume and disproportionate share hospital applications. Lisa is passionate to support her clients tackle their healthcare and reimbursement needs.

This year, Lisa will be serving as the Emerging Leaders Senior Director at CPHA. She is very excited to empower and lift up the voices of students and early career professionals in the Colorado public health community.  Lisa is also the Co-Chair of the Aspiring Leaders Committee through the Healthcare Financial Management Association Colorado Chapter. 

In her free time, Lisa loves serving the community. She is a second-year Chair of the Foundation Committee, BKD’s charitable arm. She has served three years on the Young Professionals Board of Boys Hope Girls Hope, raising over $200,000 for Colorado high school students who overcame a challenging or disadvantaged background.

Lisa is a 2019 graduate of Colorado Christian University, Denver, with bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health through Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and expects to graduate in 2023.

Emerging Leaders Interim Associate Director: Samantha Bertomen (2021-2023)

 

Samantha (she/her/hers) is the Community-Based Organizations Coordinator at Tri-County Health Department. Through this position, she builds community partnerships, manages funding, and provides resources to support long-term recovery from COVID-19. As a Master of Public Health student and Student Senator at the Colorado School of Public Health, Samantha represents her peers and assists in coordinating the university’s annual Emerging Leaders Conference. She serves on several Colorado Public Health Association committees, including the Public Health in the Rockies Conference Committee, the Communications and Membership Committee, and the Public Health Policy Committee. 

Samantha previously worked at a non-profit health insurance company, Blue Shield of California, where she organized biometric screenings and flu shot events, implemented virtual wellness programs for clients and their employees, and served as a panelist at large nutrition and fitness events. Applying her undergraduate degree in nutrition, Samantha represented Blue Shield of California as a nutrition expert at events such as Wellvolution, ¡Unidos!, and California Schools Employee Benefits Association.

Samantha aspires to one day apply her skills and experience to supporting foreign health systems and work abroad - she plans to carry out her Master of Public Health student practicum overseas.

PHiR Senior Director: Heather Weir (2021-2022)

 

Heather Weir, MPH, RD, is the Director of Strategy, Performance and Administration at the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology, a role she started in April 2021. Prior to that, she was with the Office of Strategy and Performance at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), where she began work in February 2015 and previously worked with Denver Public Health as the Performance Improvement Manager. She has over fifteen years of experience in healthcare and public health, and has been working with multidisciplinary teams in organizational improvement efforts since 2008. Prior to moving to Colorado, Weir worked with Providence Health & Services in Portland, Oregon as a registered dietitian (RD) and diabetes educator and later worked in Eugene, Oregon with Lane County Public Health and was the Quality Improvement Coordinator for the Community Health Centers of Lane County. She received her bachelor’s degree in health and human development from Montana State University; her dietetic internship from Oregon Health & Science University; and master’s degree in public health from Portland State University.

PHiR Associate Director: Carol Schmitt (2021-2023)

Carol Schmitt is a chief scientist in RTI International’s Community Health Research Division and moved from the Washington, DC metro area to Fort Collins in 2018 to live near her sister and bike to work. She has spent over 2 decades leading public health research and evaluation projects at the community, state, federal, and international levels. One of her most life-changing projects was developing evaluation plans for the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi, where her experiences with the talented, passionate, and well-educated Emirati women implementing these programs were completely counter to the negative media stereotypes of Muslim women in this region. She is currently examining the impact of climate change and severe weather events on public health infrastructure and population health in the coastal Gulf of Mexico region.  

On her path to public health, Carol loaded chairlifts in Breckenridge, served in the Air Force, was a hospice volunteer, married a USAF fighter pilot, had 2 boys, and practiced the piano. She was on the leadership committee of APHA’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs section for more than 20 years.

CoD Senior Director: Julia Simhai (2021-2022) 

 

Julia Simhai is a Senior Researcher at OMNI Institute, a nonprofit social science agency with a mission to accelerate positive social change toward a more equitable society through integrated research, evaluation, and capacity building services. Julia leads evaluation projects in OMNI’s Public and Behavioral Health division, with the majority of her work focused on substance use prevention. Julia is passionate about helping organizations and communities effectively use evaluation data to drive action, and has applied evaluation and data utilization techniques across a variety of community settings. Prior to joining OMNI in 2016, she worked in the public health and prevention fields providing technical assistance for tobacco prevention initiatives and implementing employee wellness programs. Julia received a Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health from the University of Maryland. She serves on the Colorado Prevention Certification Board.

CoD Associate Director: Allison Rosenthal (2021-2023)

 

Allison Rosenthal is a proud public servant with a passion for substance use prevention and epidemiology. She currently serves as an analyst at the Colorado Department of Public Safety, specializing in traffic safety and impaired driving monitoring. In her prior position, Allison worked at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as an epidemiologist and evaluator for the Opioid Overdose Prevention Program. Allison received her MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in Community Health Sciences and a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists' Applied Epidemiology Fellowship in behavioral health epidemiology. 

PHN Section Director: Angela Fellers LeMire (2021-2022)

Angela Fellers LeMire began her Public Health career in 1998 at Denver Health Medical Center. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner degree in 2002 from the University of Colorado. From 2002 to 2013, Angela practiced at Tri-County Health Department and at the Denver Metro Health (STD) Clinic (DMHC) specializing in sexual and reproductive health. Angela is a Nurse Consultant for the Colorado Family Planning Program and recently completed the Denver Community Leadership Forum (DCLF) Fellowship at the University Of Colorado- Denver School Of Public Affairs. She has also served as a mentor for the Colorado Public Health Mentorship Program and serves on the Denver Metro STI Coalition Steering Committee. During her five years as Nurse Consultant for the Colorado FPP, the program has successfully increased contraceptive access using multiple strategies, thereby reducing unintended pregnancies and abortion rates significantly in Colorado. Her goals in serving on the CPHA Board are to explore and expand leadership opportunities in public health nursing.

PHN Section Associate Director: Dawn James (2021-2023)

At-Large: Kayla Gilbert (2021-2022) 

Kayla Gilbert has a passion for community building, active living, collaborative partnerships, and sustainability. In her current role, Kayla is the Senior Program Manager of Health Equity & Community Partnerships with the City & County of Denver’s Department of Transportation & Infrastructure. Kayla leads several grant initiatives that focus on catalyzing policy, infrastructure, and educational programs in active transportation and sustainability to improve health outcomes for Denver residents. 

 

Kayla is also an artist and event planner, and incorporates her creativity in various local projects from intersection murals to community block parties. A life-long Denver area resident, Kayla has walked and biked all over Denver’s beautiful and diverse neighborhoods. Her previous work includes community organizing, civic engagement, tactical urbanism, grassroots & non-profit management, and leadership development.

 


 

Government Relations Consultant

Diana Protopapa, Frontline Public Affairs

 

Bylaws