Author Archive

In Memory of Jerry Montoya

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Jerry Montoya (ALTP Class of 2003) passed away on August 18, 2020. Jerry was the NW Region Health Promotion Manager for the New Mexico Department of Health, and was well known throughout the state as a public health leader and a strong advocate for health equity and social justice. And yet Jerry is so much more than that – he is a New Mexico public health legend who embodied every aspect of genuine leadership. In the Memories pages that have been set up to celebrate his life every other sentence reveals how he led. He cared about “who is not at the table?” He was courageous. He had clear vision. He gave people confidence. He was generous, dependable, supportive, passionate, he lead with his heart. His heroes were John Snow and John Lewis. And Jerry is our hero.

There will be a virtual Memorial Celebration of Life on September 18, 2020. Details are provided in the link above. Please share your personal memories of Jerry there as well and learn more about his lasting impact.

Interview with Stacey Sanders, Founder and Executive Director of Elevating Connections and a RIHEL Alumna

Stacey Sanders attended the Advanced Leadership Training Program in the 2016 class, at the suggestion of an Advanced Physician Leadership Program graduate and former RIHEL board member. The two were collaborating on bringing Camp To Belong, a camp experience for siblings separated in foster care, to Colorado. Recognizing the need for more than a once-a-year connection, Stacey established Elevating Connections in February 2015 to offer additional connecting events throughout the year, and received their 501(c)3 designation in October of that year.

“The timing was incredible,” says Stacey. Recognizing the challenges of building a program like Elevating Connections from the ground up, Stacey knew she had to build her leadership skills. “One of the things that stood out from the very first session in Florissant and has stuck with me since, is the very big difference between a manager and a leader. I went into ALTP thinking I had pretty strong leadership skills. No, no, no. I had management skills.”

people stepping across stones in a river

The Gift of Uncertainty-Oh No! Not another learning experience.

by Judy Baxter, MA, Associate Clinical Professor, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, School of Medicine, Barbara Davis Center
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How are you with uncertainty? In the last 2 months we, I think to a person, are staring deep into the well of uncertainty. It is filled with questions, unknowns and change not only for ourselves but for everyone close to us and in our community, our state, our country, our world. PANUNCERTAINTY

Though in focus now, the nature of living has this essential aspect of constant change and therefore uncertainty. To quote Pema Chodron:

“As human beings we share a tendency to scramble for certainty whenever we realize that everything around us is in flux. In difficult times the stress of trying to find solid ground—something predictable and safe to stand on—seems to intensify. But in truth, the very nature of our existence is forever in flux. Everything keeps changing whether we’re aware of it or not.” From Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, 2012.

Change and the accompanying uncertainty, often occurs at a micro level, where it is with hindsight we come to terms with what has changed. Yet we work really hard to ignore this fundamental element of life, to as Pema says, find solid ground. In times like this, when change and uncertainty are in our face and hard to ignore, the discomfort shows up in all kinds of ways–including but not limited to neurotic behaviors, anxiety, and habits from over drinking to over exercising. These reactions are a way of escaping, ignoring or denying the reality of an uncertain future. These auto responses, can frequently cause more problems than the uncertainty they were designed to keep at bay. There are other, more constructive responses to uncertainty though often we are less practiced with these.

stacked wood blocks with words imprinted on the side

Where are you putting your Focus and Attention?

by Franco Marini, MA, CNL, Adjunct Professor, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver

It’s a beautiful day outdoors and I’m enjoying the peacefulness that I feel around me even through the crazy environment that’s out there all around us. What are you focusing on today? Right now?

I am noticing today that it appears to me that the volume is turned up on everything in my life. It’s as if the speakers of life, that everything comes through, are ramped up. When I think about the pain and suffering that’s going on in the world, I feel it more intensely. When I focus on family and friends, my love for them seems a bit deeper than usual. Last night, Kay, my wife, and I watched a Russell Peters comedy show from Toronto, and even though I have always thought Russell was funny, last night he was funnier than I ever remember him.

Joseph Badalpour

Accounting Supervisor, Jefferson County Public Health
Term ends: 12-31-23

Joe Badalpour is the Accounting Supervisor at Jefferson County Public Health and has been in this role since 2013. He finds that he best serves others from an administrative role while crafting a message and a strategy buried in the numbers. His passion and dedication extend through the programs he supports by ensuring that resources are supported, contracts are not overly burdensome, and regulatory compliance remain in sight.

Mr. Badalpour earned his Masters in Business Administration and his Masters of Science in Accounting from the University of Colorado at Denver. His studies included abroad courses in China, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. He graduated from the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program in 2019. He is a proud father of four very energetic young boys and husband to a very patient wife. He enjoys running marathons, fishing and catching any Chicago Cubs game.

Jim Beaudry

Principal, Focal Point Consulting LLC

Term ends: 12-31-23

Jim Beaudry has nearly 30 years of experience in health care and health services and policy research as a researcher, administrator, and business leader. Prior to establishing his consulting practice, he held multiple leadership roles in Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) from 2009-2018, where he served as Director of Community Benefit & Relations and Senior Director of Business Operations and Strategy for KPCO Government, External Relations & Research. He also was Director of Research Administration at KPCO’s Institute for Health Research.

Before joining Kaiser Permanente, he held a variety of research, programmatic, and administrative positions at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus over a period of 17 years. His work focused on improving the quality of care provided to individuals in long-term care settings, including contributing to the development of the Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS), which, since 1999 has been used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to monitor and improve the quality of care delivered to home health care patients throughout the United States. Jim also served as the program manager for the CCTSI Community Engagement core and PACT Council as well as finance administrator for the overall CCTSI program. He has been a PACT Council member since 2013 and served as Chair from 2017-19.

Jim and his wife, Amber, grew up in San Diego and have lived in the Denver area since 1992. They have two children (one recent CU Boulder grad and another studying there). Jim loves hiking and bike riding and enjoys listening to his collection of music on vinyl, CDs, and cassettes on vintage stereo equipment that he restores.

Lucille Johnson

MA, PhD(h)
CEO, Affinity Consulting Services, LLC
Term ends: 12-31-23

Lucille Johnson is an accomplished public health consultant dedicated to mission-driven results supporting well-being and healthy lifestyle behaviors by building social capital through community outreach, engagement, education, training, research and advocacy.

She served as an executive with the Center for African American Health for fifteen years before founding Affinity Consulting Services, LLC, of which she is CEO.

Lucille holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Service from the Denver Institute of Urban Studies and Master of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees from Regis University, and is an alumna Fellow of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation’s Livingston Fellowship Program.

For the past 10 years, Lucille served as a PACT Community Research Liaison establishing working partnerships between academic researchers and individuals within community. Additionally, as an advisory board member, trainer and curriculum developer for the Center for Public Health Practice’s Patient Navigator Training Collaborative, she collaborates with colleagues on the development, education, standardization and sustainability of the growing patient navigation workforce.

Lucille is a 2002 graduate of the Advanced Leadership Training Program. As a fellow in that program she advanced a significant community health project that resulted in markedly increased physical activity among persons in African American communities in the Denver Metro area and Colorado Springs.

Umit Kaya

Co-founder & CEO
Kaia Corp
Term ends: 12-31-21

Umit has been delivering technology innovations for over 17 years. He holds BS in Engineering, MS in Computer Science; certified in PMP, CPHIMS, ITIL, Agile-Scrum Master; and completed Leadership Strategies for Information Technology in Health Care Program at Harvard University School of Public Health. After working for the University of Colorado Health Science Center as technology solution manager and Kaiser Permanente as a project manager he co-started his own technology consulting company, Kaia Corp. He has also co-founded the family business Happy Ladybug Early Learning Center and leading the employee ownership transition. Umit is a 2009 graduate of the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership’s Advanced Leadership Training Program and served as a coach in the following year.

Micah L. Jones

Medicaid Health IT Project Coordinator
Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
Term ends: 12-31-21

Micah serves Coloradans through his role as the Medicaid Health IT Coordinator with the Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (Colorado Medicaid). In this role, Micah has oversight of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and Medicaid’s health IT projects. He also serves as Colorado Medicaid’s SME on electronic health records and electronic health information exchange. Micah also works on Colorado Medicaid’s programs for the criminal justice-involved and homeless populations. Prior to moving to Colorado, Micah worked in Washington, DC as a Family Literacy Specialist with CentroNia. In that role, Micah coordinated tutoring programs for children in the Washington, DC metro area.


University of Colorado Law School, Boulder CO

Juris Doctorate, 2013

Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA

Bachelor of Science, Sociology, 2006

Sarah E. Roberts

Clarity Matters Consulting LLC
Term ends: 12-31-20

Sarah Roberts is Principal of Clarity Matters Consulting LLC where she works as a process facilitator, coach, and trainer primarily for the public health workforce. She is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation and certified administrator of emotional intelligence, conversational intelligence and DiSC assessments. For twelve years she served in the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, most recently as Deputy Director of Long Term Services and Supports. Sarah is a 2014 ALTP graduate and holds a Bachelors in Communication Arts and Sciences and a Masters of Health Administration.

Kathryn Roberts

Director of Regulatory Assurance
Longnecker and Associates, Inc.
Term ends: 12-31-20

Katie Roberts is the Director of Regulatory Assurance at Longenecker & Associates (L&A) – a small-woman owned consulting company based in Las Vegas, NV. She currently manages the company’s environmental compliance and strategy work across the Department of Energy (DOE) complex. Prior to working at L&A, she was appointed by Governor Martinez as the Resource Protection Division Director for the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). In this role, she served as Chair of the Petroleum Storage Tank Committee for the State of NM and was the New Mexico representative to the Rocky Mountain Low Level Waste Board.

Katie is an environmental scientist with 19 years of experience in environmental permitting, regulation, remediation and public outreach. She earned her BA in Environmental Geography from Colgate University in 2001 and a MS in Environmental Management from Duke University in 2011. In addition to the positions mentioned above, her experience includes nearly seven years working as an environmental scientist and supervisor at the NMED’s Hazardous Waste Bureau (HWB) and almost five years as a project manager and group leader at LANL.

Katie and her husband, Tal-ee, have lived in Santa Fe, NM for the past 15 years. They enjoy skiing, traveling, hiking and eating out in Santa Fe! Additionally, Katie was a former Division 1 soccer player, and still attempts to play on a few teams near her home.

Carlee Rosen

Senior Manager of Special Projects
DaVita Kidney Care
Term ends: 12-31-21

Carlee Rosen is an accomplished leader in community health with a proven talent in leading successful multi-sector collective impact initiatives. She is the Senior Manager of Special Projects at DaVita Kidney Care. In her penultimate position as Program Manager at HealthTeamWorks, she led multiple teams on healthcare transformation projects throughout the state. Carlee previously served as the Director of Community Health Development at the North Colorado Health Alliance, where she provided strategic leadership for regional and statewide community health programs. Over the course of her career, Carlee has launched innovative data dashboard programs, lead the development and implementation of community health improvement plans, and established and managed a collaborative network of over 70 partner organizations. Carlee received the Master of Public Health degree from the Colorado School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Clemson University.