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.

Make a Donation and Support Team RIHEL at the Denver Colfax Marathon

Make a Donation and Support Team RIHEL at the Denver Colfax Marathon
Support Team RIHEL at the 2018 Colfax Marathon May 19-20, 2018.

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!

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.

Spotlight: Ruby Peel

Photo of Ruby and London

Ruby is a Program Coordinator, and will be celebrating her one-year anniversary with RIHEL in January 2018.

What are the things that you do to improve your health?

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how important it is to me, and more importantly, my loved ones that I take care of myself. I am busy, have a lot of responsibility, and people depend on me; I am on the RIHEL staff, co-owner of a demanding local business, mom to the most amazing toddler, a wife, and I volunteer my time to the veteran community. For a long time, I neglected my health because I thought I was too busy and honestly had little motivation to be on a “health conscious kick.” I realized however, that when I make bad health choices I am sluggish, moody, less confident and it shows in my production levels. In addition, I am a combat veteran with PTSD, and regular exercise helps with decreasing my symptoms.

Breaking News! NEW Leadership Program

Primary Care Movers and Changers (PCMAC)

In 2018 RIHEL will launch PCMAC with a long list of primary health care partners. Check back with us in December for details.

This comprehensive leadership development program is for licensed health care providers who want to improve the delivery of primary care in their communities. It is designed for safety net providers in urban and suburban areas of Colorado, and the costs of training and travel are fully subsidized. Participants in the Colorado Health Service Corp can earn additional loan repayment funds for successfully completing the program.

RIHEL Open House

This event has already occurred. Thank you to all who were able to join us!


Have you heard? RIHEL has a new home, only a few blocks from our previous office. We occupy a cozy converted 1954 bungalow, now office space, and it already feels like home.

Please join us at our Open House Celebration

Wednesday November 29th

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:

Barbara V. O’Kane

Director for Environmental Health & Safety
Colorado School of Mines
Term ends: 12-31-18

Barb O’Kane has been an advocate for worker safety and health for more than 20 years. She is currently the Environmental Health and Safety Director for Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. She earned her Environmental Health, Masters of Science degree from Colorado State University. Throughout her career she has focused on educating workers about hazards in the workplace and helping employers effectively mitigate risk. Barb is a graduate of the RIHEL Advanced Leadership Training Program as a 2011 Fellow and has been a Leadership Coach for the 2012, 2013, and 2016 ALTP classes. Barb is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, Certified Safety Professional and Certified Laser Safety Officer. She is currently an executive board member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, Rocky Mountain Section. Barb is married and has two teenage sons. Her cooking avocation is her contribution to the church. She takes every opportunity to get into the Colorado outdoors to enjoy biking, hiking, cross country skiing, and learning to golf.

Kelly McCracken

Public Health Consultant
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
Term ends: 12-31-18

Kelly McCracken has worked as a dietitian, diabetes educator, and a public health practitioner for over 10 years. She started her career in the clinical setting working with families and children with type 1 diabetes at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Aurora, Colorado. From this experience, she gained an interest in prevention which took her to Boulder County Public Health where she managed the Longmont WIC clinic for seven years. This remarkable experience opened her world to systems change which led to her work as the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Unit Supervisor in the Prevention Services Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. In that role, Kelly worked with statewide partners to increase reimbursement for and access to evidence-based chronic disease prevention and management programs.

Kelly is a 2014 graduate of the Advanced Leadership Training Program, and she credits her RIHEL project with furthering her work to better coordinate communication between public health and Medicaid. This led to her current position as a Public Health Consultant with the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors where she manages a project to establish Medicaid reimbursement for the National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Carmen Rosa Martin

Senior Community Health Specialist
Arts Integrated Resources
Term ends: 12-31-18

Carmen Martin received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Colorado State University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude in 1995. In 2000, she completed her Master’s degree in public health with an emphasis in public policy and health care law from the University of Denver. Carmen worked in a variety of public health settings, including the Tri-County Health Department before embarking her career at Kaiser Permanente. You likely know about Carmen’s work in public health as a champion for healthy food access for vulnerable populations.

Carmen recently transitioned to the Arts Integrated Resources department as a Senior Community Health Specialist. This position is the first of its kind among all the Kaiser Permanente regions. Her hope is to establish a foundation in integrating the arts with public health and generate further interest in exploring that intersection. As a Senior Community Health Specialist, Carmen is involved in grounding the Arts Integrated Resources programs with strong evidence-based content and methodologies. Carmen continues to play a role in Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit philanthropic investments team.

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