The arm of public health in Colorado now is able to improve its reach in our state thanks to a generous grant from Kaiser Permanente Colorado. The state’s largest nonprofit health plan has given $600,000 to the Colorado School of Public Health to support the development of The Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP). The CPHP will work with public health agencies and Colorado School of Public Health faculty and students to improve the capacity of the public health workforce and develop new programs and policies to improve the health of Colorado.
Tim Byers, MD, MPH, the associate dean for public health practice of the Colorado School of Public Health, will be the first director of the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP). The grant from Kaiser Permanente Colorado allowed the CPHP to get off to a strong start by hiring an experienced staff who will serve Colorado in educational outreach and community project development. The CPHP will be guided by an advisory board that will include public health and community leaders from across Colorado. The long-term vision for the CPHP is that it will develop institutes for training and program development, linking resources and people in the Colorado School of Public Health to needs and opportunities across Colorado to improve prevention programs. The CPHP stands ready to assist at any level of training needs and project development.
“Kaiser Permanente is proud to support the expansion and growth of our state’s first school of public health,” said Jandel T. Allen-Davis, MD, vice president for government and external relations, Kaiser Permanente Colorado. “By partnering with the Colorado School of Public Health, we can make more meaningful, long-term impacts in the health and well-being of all Coloradans.”
Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer, Ned Calonge, MD, says the benefits of having a center like the CPHP will help individuals as well as communities.
“The health of a community is an essential key to its success. The Center for Public Health Practice is dedicated to improving community health throughout the state, and has the potential to affect all Coloradans,” said Ned Calonge, MD, chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “ With professionals committed to this mission, I am certain the impact of the CPHP will not only raise awareness of what we need to do to improve the health of our communities, but what we as individuals can do to stay healthy as well.”
Education outreach coordinators will assist community public health practitioners with continuing education and workforce development training. Community project development coordinators will assist community programs in project development by connecting communities to the faculty, staff, and students of the Colorado School of Public Health.
The CPHP welcomes the following new staff members:
Olivia Jolly, education outreach coordinator
Previously Jolly worked for The BACCHUS Network, a national nonprofit focusing on collegiate health and safety issues. Most recently, she was the director of a collegiate tobacco control program in the state of Montana. Her office will be located at the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.
Janna West Kowalski, education outreach coordinator
Previously West Kowalski worked in Tobacco Control and Chronic Disease Prevention with Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. Prior to her move into public health Kowalski was an instructor at Colorado State University. Her office will be located in Fort Collins with the Colorado State University Campus.
J. Elaine Borton, community project development coordinator
Borton has more than 25 years of experience in community health promotion, chronic disease prevention including program and policy development and implementation at local state, national and international levels. Her office will be located at the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus.
Cerise Hunt, community project development coordinator
Hunt is the Health Disparities Specialist for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Office of Health Disparities, a position she will maintain part time while working at the Center for Public Health Practice. She will maintain an office at the state health department in addition to an office at the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus.
Mariana Ledezma, community project development coordinator
Prior to joining CPHP, Ledezma served as the Director of the Neighborhood Connections program at the Stapleton Foundation and the Community Development Coordinator for Adams County Community Development. She will be working from the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.
Tom Irwin, administrator
Irwin brings eleven years of experience in higher education administration at the University of Colorado Denver, holding positions in medical oncology at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and most recently integrated nutrition education in the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine’s Division of Pediatrics. Irwin’s office will be located at the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus.
The grant was facilitated by the University of Colorado Foundation.
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Denver, Boulder, and Southern Colorado area residents for 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to 480,000 members through 17 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was recently named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.DA. Power and Associates. It is also the top-ranked commercial and Medicare health plan in Colorado, according to U.S. News & World Report/National Committee for Quality Assurance. In 2008, Kaiser Permanente directed more than $50 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter.
About Colorado School of Public Health
The Colorado School of Public Health is the first and only school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed by the University of Colorado Denver, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado School of Public Health provides training, innovative research and community service to actively address public health issues, including chronic disease, access to health care, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries.