Public Health in the Rockies Committee
The purpose of the Public Health in the Rockies (PHiR) conference is to provide an opportunity for education, networking and skill development of professionals in Colorado and neighboring regions. PHiR is designed to build a more competent public health workforce who will continue to build health equity across the state.
Public Health in the Rockies
Keystone Resort & Conference Center | Colorado
2023: Public Health: Community, Connection & Action
2022: “Forging Forward Together.”
2021: “Public Health H.E.R.O.E.S.: Health. Equity. Resiliency. Outcomes. Engagement. Safety."
2020: “Health at All Altitudes: Health for all. Action for all”
2019: “Equity and Social Justice: Innovation at Elevation”
The goals of the conference are to:
Provide a forum for public health professionals to develop new skills, demonstrate best practices, exchange lessons learned, share current research and discover valuable resources.
Offer a multi-disciplinary conference program that encompasses the broad aspects of public health.
Stimulate innovation in public health practice.
Promote awareness around Colorado’s adoption of the Public Health 3.0 and Foundational Public Health Services models.
Provide a meeting, discussion and networking opportunity for CPHA members, other public health interest groups, special interest groups, and new and non-traditional public health partners.
What does an average committee meeting look like?
The meetings have an agenda that is sent ahead of time and normally consist of updates from sub-committees and making decisions about various aspects of the conference (e.g. determining the keynote speaker, discussing the theme, etc.)
Join the PHiR Committee
Interested in bringing your skills to the PHiR planning committee? Join the team today!
Meet the Directors
Theo Abbey graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from the University of Cape-Coast in Ghana and then a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Behavior Health from the Colorado School of Public Health.
Theo has over fifteen years’ experience working in Public Health in areas of disease intervention and Infection prevention currently serving as an Infection Prevention Manager with Advent Health, a mission-based hospital system focused on whole person-centered care.
He is very passionate about HealthEquity related issues that impact underserved communities and was lead for a project through the Colorado Department of Public Health that was aimed at ensuring diverse hiring practices, creating grants that were inclusive of all community-based organizations and leading the charge to increase the participation of students and clinicians of color in the Colorado Health Service Corps.
Theo loves meeting new people and following his passion of bringing Public Health Awareness within targeted underserved communities by volunteering with Community based organizations. Theo has three handsome sons and spends his spring and fall seasons coaching youth soccer with the city of Aurora. Theo strongly believes and lives by the principle of treating others, the way we would like to be treated.
Jillian Jaskunas received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Washington State University, as well as a Master of Public Health concentrating in Epidemiology from the Colorado School of Public Health. She has nine years of experience working as a communicable disease epidemiologist and currently serves the Denver community through employment in the Data Science and Epidemiology program at Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. Previous positions include work at Tri-County Health Department and Broward County Health Department. During graduate school Jillian participated in disease surveillance projects monitoring methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and influenza-associated hospitalizations at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Prior to her career in public health, she worked in academic research studying a variety of health-related topics ranging from the neurobiology of substance use in animal models to maternal electronic cigarette use during pregnancy.
Jillian lives in Denver, Colorado with her boyfriend, two children, and two dogs. Like many of her fellow Coloradans, when she isn’t spending time with family and friends you can find her trail running, skiing, or simply enjoying the sunshine.
Kjestine Woods, MHA CHES
Kjestine Woods is the program officer – health initiatives with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Kjestine focuses on managing grants, partnerships, and program implementation. Kjestine started her work at LISC with the Rural LISC team, which focused on supporting programming focused on housing, workforce, lending, disaster resilience, and health in rural communities. She has experience in program management, grant-making, healthcare, community health, and grassroots advocacy in non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Before LISC, Kjestine was the director of social responsibility with the UnitedHealth Group Office of Social Responsibility and External Affairs in Washington, DC. She focused on philanthropic visibility, supporting the United Health Foundation’s mission to help build healthier communities through grant-making, partner cultivating, and stakeholder convenings. Kjestine also worked for over a decade with the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in various capacities focused on cancer research funding, public health education, grassroots advocacy, and patient services.
Kjestine is a certified health education specialist and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and received her BA in health promotions and fine arts from Purdue University and a Master of Science in healthcare administration and strategic leadership focusing on policy and regulatory leadership from the University of Denver. She resides in Colorado with her family.