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
[image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SteppingStoneBoltonAbbey.jpg]

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

MBA, MSA
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

MBA
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.

Spotlight: Rick Coffin

What drew you to RIHEL originally?

I was originally drawn to RIHEL for several reasons. I heard stories from colleagues about how rewarding their RIHEL experiences were and I wanted to experience it for myself. I have a strong interest in personal and professional development and the Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP) seemed like a great learning opportunity as I would be exposed to a wealth of resources from the RIHEL faculty. I am also an environmental advocate and I looked forward to meeting my RIHEL cohorts from regional environmental and public health institutions. I am grateful that my employer, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, also sees the value in this opportunity and they are very supportive of sending staff to the ALTP.

What have you gained from your experience (as a fellow, volunteer, or coach) with RIHEL?

As a fellow I gained a deep understanding of myself, including how I react to certain situations and interactions and techniques that I can use to change any behavior that I was unhappy with. This was a powerful insight that had positive impacts in both my professional and personal life. I also gained a greater understanding of many other things, including emotional intelligence, mindfulness, professional communication (e.g., media training), and how to be effective in difficult situations. As a first-year coach I am enhancing my strategic thinking, communication, and development skills.

Spotlight: Stephanie Denning

Discover why Stephanie Denning, a graduate of the 2010 Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP) and a RIHEL Coach continues to choose RIHEL.

What drew you to RIHEL originally?
I was interested in participating in a program with a group of people who also wanted to learn and build their leadership skills. I had heard others talk about RIHEL and how much they enjoyed it, so I thought it would be fun and a great way to get to meet new people, while learning how to be a better “leader.”
Why is RIHEL important to you and the community?
We need leaders in the public and private sectors who are able to think critically about the complex and often divisive issues facing virtually all of our communities. These leaders need to be armed with the right technical, professional, and social/emotional skills to work across and within political, economic, social, cultural and geographic arenas to build policies and programs that create communities where everyone can thrive. RIHEL helps participants to develop these kinds of skills, pushes them to think bigger and go deeper, to challenge their cherished assumptions and be something more. RIHEL helps create the kind of leaders our communities need.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about sponsoring or donating to RIHEL?
Just Do It! I believe I gained tremendous personal and professional value and made amazing, lasting friendships through my experience through the ALTP. That value has grown exponentially as I have stayed connected with RIHEL through the Peer Coaching program. I’ve seen that same value manifested in others who have participated in the program and have supported fellows who I know also benefitted personally and professionally from their RIHEL experiences.

Physicians Encouraged to Shape Their Futures

In his letter published in the January edition of EyeNet, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Alan Kimura encourages physicians to shape their futures by shifting their “perception of health care reform and value-based care from externally imposed burdens to internally driven improvements.” He describes autonomy, mastery and meaning as the pillars of engagement with one’s work – all practical applications he derived from his experience in the Physician Leadership Skills Series presented by RIHEL to members of the Colorado Medical Society with funding from the Physicians’ Foundation. Kudos to Dr. Kimura for deriving strong practical and principled applications from the leadership lessons of the workshop, and for inspiring others with this letter!

Click here to read his letter.

RIHEL Gave Me Confidence to Run My First Marathon

Written by Rachel Jervis, Advanced Leadership Training Program Class of 2017

On May 5, 2017, I graduated from RIHEL’s Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP).

On October 15, 2017 I completed my first marathon.

The latter is a direct result of the first.

I’ve been a runner since moving to Colorado in 2007. Over the years I’ve completed numerous short and mid-distance races, including six half marathons. I never planned to run a marathon. I’d joke “I’m such a slow runner that I’d have to stop mid-race for a meal.” I feared injuring myself, abhorred the time commitment, and was dubious that I could physically complete a marathon even if I wanted to. In short, marathons held no appeal to me.

Fast-forward to April 2017, when I was in the homestretch of the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program (ALTP). Since attending college in Boston, I find myself glued to Boston Marathon results and human-interest stories each Patriot’s Day. Unlike previous years, some part of my brain wondered if I could conquer 26.2 miles. In a row. I confessed this thought to a friend on a long run the following weekend. Having completed multiple marathons and a full ironman, she assured me that with proper training I could finish a marathon. That evening I thought, Maybe I should run a marathon.

RIHEL Alumna Provides Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico

Last September, Aimee Voth Siebert (Advanced Leadership Training Program 2014), was deployed to Puerto Rico to lead a team of 11 behavioral health responders who were providing much needed aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Aimee urges others to “please find ways to remind yourself of Puerto Rico now, in six months, in a year, and in five to 10 years

Vision for Superfund Site Comes Alive in Libby, MT

A RIHEL alumna’s vision for stakeholder engagement in the redevelopment of a recently completed Superfund Site comes to life in Libby, Montana.

For 18 years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been conducting asbestos cleanups in Libby, Montana as part of the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site. In September of 2016, the EPA determined that the 400-acre industrial park owned by the Lincoln County Port Authority was complete. As an EPA Remedial Project Manager assigned to the Libby Site, Dania Zinner chose to focus her RIHEL leadership project on the community planning efforts for this property. Dania’s vision, and the vision shared by her project partners, was to engage all stakeholders in a collaborative event to discuss the economic redevelopment of the Port Authority property, with the intention that these discussions would result in a long-term vision and action plan for the site.

Alumni Receive Awards at 2017 Public Health Conference

Please help us congratulate several members of the RIHEL family on their hard work and recent awards from the 2017 Public Health in the Rockies Conference. The purpose of this conference is to provide an opportunity for education, networking and skill development of the professionals in Colorado, Wyoming and neighboring regions, and to build a more competent public health workforce. The 2017 conference theme highlighted the ongoing importance of promoting health equity.

Spotlight: Carmen Martin

This month meet our Governing Board member Carmen Martin.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Communities and countries and ultimately the world are only as strong as the health of their women.” -Michelle Obama

Why is RIHEL important to you and the community?

RIHEL is important to me as a woman, as a woman of color, and as someone who lacked connections early in my public health career.

2013 Donors

rihel100small

Thank you to the 2013 RIHEL 100 Donors!

Thank you for your generous support and for your confidence in RIHEL.

The following individuals contributed $100 or greater to RIHEL:

  • Dave Akers
  • Carl Anderson
  • Cindy Allen
  • Judy Baxter
  • Jeff Berschling
  • Kim Boyd
  • Joanna Burns
  • Tom Butts
  • Nicole Byrnes
  • Jay Christopher
  • Bryan Clode
  • Bryan Cooke
  • Art Davidson
  • Stephanie Denning
  • Frank Dumont
  • Christine Ebert-Santos
  • Joan Eden
  • Luke Esch
  • Albert Esparsen
  • Kathy Friesen
  • Susan Gelbart
  • Norm Hartman
  • Melanie Holt
  • Jill Hunsaker
  • Leanne Jeffers
  • Kathy Kennedy
  • Carla King
  • Lisa Lewis
  • Rick May
  • Greg McAliffe
  • Mark McMillan
  • Shannon McMillan
  • Suman Morarka
  • Michael Morris
  • Rendi Murphree
  • Jeanne Nicholson
  • Ted Norman
  • Mauricio Palacio
  • Jo Ann Peques
  • Karen Polsky
  • Lila Rosenthal
  • Steve Ryan
  • Mark Safty
  • Linda Sobeck
  • Deb Thomas
  • Gene Tullis
  • Patricia Vandevander
  • Angela Van Houten
  • Ben Vernon
  • Tom Vernon
  • Larry Volmert
  • Kent & Kelly Voorhees
  • Tance Walker
  • Allan Wallis
  • Deb Watts
  • Margie Wienbar
  • Nanette Wong
  • Harold Young

The following organizations contributed $100 or greater to RIHEL:

  • Commerce City Community Enterprise
  • Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation
  • Encana Cares (USA) Foundation
  • Holland and Hart

Additional 2013 donors to RIHEL:

  • Leslie Burkholder
  • Pam Laufenberg
  • Susan Perrigo
  • Sandy Stavnes
  • Mary Uhl

Thank you to all of our Past Donors!

2014 Donors

rihel100small

Thank you to the 2014 RIHEL 100 Donors!

Thank you for your generous support and for your confidence in RIHEL.

The following individuals contributed $100 or greater to RIHEL:

  • Dave Akers
  • Bernadette Albanese
  • Carl Anderson
  • Gretchen Armijo
  • Steven Arnold
  • Erick Aune
  • Gerritt Bakker
  • Jennifer Barrow
  • Rita Beam
  • Cristina Bejarano
  • Kim Boyd
  • Chuck Breaux
  • Hillary Browne
  • Jo Burns
  • Tom Butts
  • Nicole Byrnes
  • Jackie Carden
  • Jay Christopher
  • Bryan Clode
  • Mark Conklin
  • Art Davidson
  • Stephanie Denning
  • Dawn DeVries
  • Lane Drager
  • Frank Dumont
  • Tom Dunlop
  • Vic Dukay
  • Michelle Eason-Delhougne
  • Chris Ebert-Santos
  • Joan Eden
  • Luke Esch
  • Albert Esparsen
  • Erin Fosdick
  • Charlie Giarrantana
  • JD Gilliliand
  • Susan Gelbart
  • Namino Glantz
  • Heath Harmon
  • Norm Hartman
  • Liane Heggy
  • Tom Herrod
  • Susan Hills
  • Melanie Holt
  • John James
  • Leanne Jeffers
  • Liane Jollon
  • Vatsala Kapur Pathy
  • Shannon Keel
  • Jason Kelly
  • Kathy Kennedy
  • Will Kerns
  • Jan Kief
  • Carla King
  • Carl Larson
  • Chris Lehnertz
  • Charlie Lippolis
  • Helen Majzler
  • Joe Malinowski
  • Mark Matthews
  • Coug McCarthy
  • Arthur McFarlane II
  • Mark & Shannon McMillan
  • Phillip Mendoza
  • Rick Miklich
  • Sara Miller
  • Jerry Montoya
  • Michael Moore
  • Suman Morarka
  • Mike & Linda Morris
  • Rendi Murphree
  • John Muth
  • Ann Nederveld
  • Megin Nichols
  • Ted Norman
  • Abigail Ogbe
  • Jody Ostendorf
  • Mauricio Palacio
  • Jo Ann Pegues
  • Susan Perrigo
  • Matt Pflieger
  • Rosalyn Reese
  • Sarah Roberts
  • Floyd Russak
  • Bobby Sanchez
  • Chuck Smedly
  • Sandy Stavnes
  • Phil Strobel
  • Debra Thomas and Brenda Handy
  • Lisa VanRaemdonck
  • Ben Vernon
  • Tom Vernon
  • Lawrence & Cheryl Volmert
  • Kent & Kelly Voorhees
  • Tance Walker
  • Bruce Waring
  • Ken Weaver
  • Margy Wienbar
  • Janna West Kowalski
  • Shandra Wilson
  • Nanette Wong
  • Hap Young

The following organizations contributed $100 or greater to RIHEL:

  • Cigna
  • Colorado Medical Society
  • Donor Alliance
  • Encana Cares Foundation
  • Encana Corporation
  • Executive Forum
  • Fortis Law Partners, LLC
  • Hanson & Co., CPAs
  • Holland and Hart

Additional 2014 donors to RIHEL:

  • Leslie Burkholder
  • Stephen Holloway
  • Stephanie Parnell
  • Martha Tenney
  • Mary Uhl
  • Jennifer Wieczorek
  • Jeff Zayach

Thank you to all of our Past Donors!

2015 Donors

rihel100small

Thank you to the 2015 RIHEL 100 Donors!

Thank you for your generous support and for your confidence in RIHEL.

The following individuals contributed $100 or greater to RIHEL:

  • Melanie Adams
  • David Akers
  • Bernadette Albanese
  • Carl Anderson
  • Gretchen Armijo
  • Steven Arnold
  • Erick Aune
  • Alexis Avery
  • Gerrit Bakker
  • Judy Baxter
  • Whitney Bell Haggard
  • Adam Berig
  • Christine Billings
  • Trina Bogart
  • Kim Boyd
  • Chuck Breaux
  • Effley Brooks
  • Hillary Browne
  • Melvin Bush
  • Tom Butts
  • Tim Byers
  • Nicole Byrnes
  • Jackie Carden
  • Jay Christopher
  • Bryan Clode
  • David Cox
  • Art Davidson
  • Stephanie Denning
  • Dawn Devries
  • Lane Drager
  • Vic Dukay
  • Tom & Lynn Dunlop
  • Michelle Eason-Delhougne
  • Christine Ebert-Santos
  • Joan Eden
  • Mia Elizardi
  • Luke Esch
  • Albert Esparsen
  • Andy Fine
  • Susan Gelbart
  • Charlie Giarratana
  • Jan Gillespie-Wagner
  • Molly Gutilla
  • Pat Hamilton
  • Norm Hartman
  • Liane Heggy
  • Tom Herrod
  • Susan Hills
  • John James
  • Leanne Jeffers
  • Kathy Kennedy
  • Will Kerns
  • Carla King
  • Carl Larson
  • Charlie Lippolis
  • Lucy Loomis
  • Laura Mai
  • Helen Majzler
  • Mark Matthews
  • Doug McCarthy
  • Arthur McFarlane II
  • Mark McMillan
  • Shannon McMillan
  • Steve Merritt
  • Suman Morarka
  • Mike Morris
  • Rendi Murphree
  • John Muth
  • Anne Nederveld
  • Jeanne Nicholson
  • Ted Norman
  • Mauricio Palacio
  • Jo Ann Pegues
  • Susan Perrigo
  • Sarah Roberts
  • Sheryl Roub
  • Jill Ryan
  • Steve Ryan
  • Victoria Seligman
  • Chuck Smedly
  • Sandy Stavnes
  • Jeff Stoll
  • Debra Thomas
  • Mary Uhl
  • Kristin Valdez
  • Tom Vernon
  • Ben Vernon
  • Larry Volmert
  • Michael Volz
  • Kent & Kelly Voorhees
  • Tance Walker
  • Mark Wallace
  • Bruce Waring
  • Deb Watts
  • Margy Weinbar
  • Kathi Wells
  • Jana West Kowalski
  • Susan Westhof
  • Nanette Wong
  • Hap Young

The following organizations contributed $100 or greater to RIHEL:

  • Colorado HealthOP
  • Colorado Medical Society
  • Donor Alliance
  • Encana Cares Foundation
  • Encana Corporation
  • Executive Forum
  • Fortis Law Partners, LLC
  • FruitRevival
  • Hanson & Co., CPAs
  • Holland and Hart
  • The Colorado Trust

Additional 2015 donors to RIHEL:

  • Leslie Burkholder
  • Stephen Holloway
  • Shannon Keel
  • Stephanie Parnell
  • Martha Tenney
  • Feliciana Turner
  • Allan Wallis

Thank you to all of our Past Donors!

Cate Townley, MURP, MUD

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment – Built Environment Specialist –

Cate Townley is a Built Environment Specialist for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Her primary role at CDPHE is to work with community organizations and local governments on policy and environmental change efforts to promote active living, reduce ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure, and prevent chronic disease. Cate is a member of Colorado’s Built Environment Strategic Collaborative as well as the Colorado Parks and Public Health Collaborative, bringing together diverse stakeholders from communities across the state working to improve the health of Coloradans through the built environment. As part of her role at CDPHE, Cate is a member of the Colorado Safe Routes to School Advisory Board, the Governor’s 16 Trails in 2016 Inter-Agency council, the Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Working Group, and a member of the Colorado Urban Land Institute Building Healthy Places Committee. Prior to CDPHE, Cate worked for the University of Colorado Denver where her primary role was to help communities design, redevelop and program schoolyards to promote healthy eating and active living. Cate has a Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning and Masters of Urban Design from the University of Colorado Denver and serves on the City of Englewood, Colorado Planning and Zoning Commission.

RIHEL FACULTY FOR:

Rachel Cleaves Dahlke

CONSULTANT-

Rachel Cleaves Dahlke has twelve years’ experience in community development community engagement, and organizational leadership in the US, Africa, and Latin America. As the Executive Director of Westwood Unidos from 2012 – 2017, Dahlke founded and helped lead a resident-centered movement striving for health equity in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. Westwood Unidos’ approach focused on listening for what to do. Westwood Unidos facilitated resident-led action that resulted in new parks, new bus service, a youth-led bicycle library, transformation of blighted areas and abandoned buildings into community gathering spaces, a neighborhood plan, and a new community center.

Dahlke is experienced at creating participatory budgets, fundraising, securing community support, and communicating through media and stakeholder relations. She is an engaging speaker in English and Spanish, with years of experience training and coaching through experiential workshops for diverse audience. She is currently a consultant, speaker, trainer, and coach with clients including the Denver Housing Authority, The Denver Foundation, and YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region. Dahlke is a Fellow of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

RIHEL FACULTY FOR:

Molly Hanson

PUBLIC HEALTH CONSULTANT-

Molly Hanson has over seventeen years of experience developing, promoting and evaluating population health initiatives to reduce health disparities. Molly was a Community Health Specialist at Boulder County Public Health, promoting tobacco-free workplace policies, youth empowerment approaches to reduce tobacco use, and clinical guideline integration in healthcare settings. She served as a Peer Mentor for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), supporting rural and urban communities as they implemented coalition-driven approaches to address tobacco-free workplace policies. Molly was also a program manager in the network of Federally Qualified Community Health Centers in the state of Colorado.

For several years, Molly served as the LiveWell Wheat Ridge Coordinator and Health Promotion Supervisor at Jefferson County Public Health, promoting policies and built environment changes to reduce food insecurity and create vibrant safe places for people to be active. She also served on the Denver Regional Council of Government (DRCOG) Sustainable Community Initiatives Gold Corridor Working Group, the Colorado Food Policy Network, the Colorado Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Network, and was actively involved in the LiveWell Colorado HEAL Cities and Towns initiative.

Molly is passionate about Health in All Policies (HiAP), health equity, and coalition-driven approaches, and now serves as a public health consultant for Safe and Healthy Communities, Center For Research Strategies and Health Team Works. She is a graduate of the Colorado Transit Alliance, the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program, and the University of South Florida School of Public Health Social Marketing Field School. When Molly is not working, she is hiking, camping, backpacking or canoeing with her new dog, Tucker.

RIHEL FACULTY FOR: