FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 17, 2015
Maureen Maxwell, CCHN
(303) 913-9078 (mobile)
Denver, Colo. – The Colorado Community Health Network kicked off its 2016 Policy and Issues Forum today by announcing annual awards for Community Health Champions, people who support the work of Colorado Community Health Centers and the people they care for,
The awards made today are:
• Legislator Community Health Champion Award: Senator Cheri Jahn, State Senate District 20
• Volunteer Clinician Community Health Champion Award: Michael Burns, D.P.M., Sunrise Community Health
• Media Community Health Champion Award: Glenwood Springs Post Independent
• Community Health Advocate Award: John Reid, MCPN
• Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award: John McFarland, D.D.S., Salud Family Health Centers
The Honorable Senator Cheri Jahn
Senate District 20
Legislator Community Health Champion Award
Senator Jahn has served as a member of the Colorado State Senate since 2010. Throughout her tenure in the Colorado State Legislature, Senator Jahn has been a champion of issues important to CHCs. In 2015, Senator Jahn worked tirelessly to help pass Senate Bill (SB) 15-197; reducing the amount of time it takes for most Advanced Practice Nurses to achieve full prescriptive authority. She assured a compromise was reached among all stakeholders through her hard work and advocacy. When the Governor’s Office was planning the signing ceremony for the bill, they asked Senator Jahn where she would want to hold the ceremony and she insisted that the CHC in her district, Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) Jeffco Family Health Services Center in Wheat Ridge, be the ceremony site. As a result, MCPN received a visit from the Governor, Senator Jahn, and other dignitaries, providing even greater opportunity to highlight the work of MCPN and CHCs generally. Senator Jahn has voted in favor or multiple CCHN and CHC priorities over the years, including the Medicaid expansion and the addition of dental benefits for adults on Medicaid.
For her work supporting CHCs through her advocacy and commitment to issues important to CHCs and their communities, CCHN honors Senator Jahn with a Community Health Champion Award.
Michael Burns, D.P.M.
Sunrise Community Health
Volunteer Clinician Community Health Champion Award
Dr. Michael Burns has donated his time and expertise to Sunrise Community Health (Sunrise) for the past five years, lending his expertise and years of experience as a doctor of podiatry medicine to the Sunrise Monfort Family Clinic in Greeley, Colo. He has consistently advocated on behalf of Sunrise’s patients by understanding their needs. He also advocates on behalf of medical residents at Sunrise’s Monfort Clinic by overseeing the podiatry residents, teaching proper gait analysis, and donating podiatry tools. Residents have expressed their appreciation for his teaching style describing him as caring and patient. Dr. Burn’s generosity extends beyond his time spent at the clinic, even offering a sliding fee discount to Sunrise patients who are in need of orthotics and have them made at his lab.
In honoring Dr. Burns with a Community Health Champion Award, CCHN recognizes his commitment to provide podiatry services to patients who might not be able to access care otherwise.
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Media Community Health Champion Award
Over the past year, the Post Independent (PI) has published several stories, editorials and series, focused on the local economy and how local economic issues affect the community at large. Mountain Family Health Center’s (MFHC) clinics are located in some of the highest price resort areas in the nation, ranging from Vail to Aspen, Colorado and points west. The PI has often been a voice for the low-to-middle income bracket in the community addressing barriers in housing, employment and health care.
The PI ran a five-part series last summer entitled, “The Price of Paradise” in which the paper evaluated the mismatch between the region’s resort prices (some of the highest in the country) and rural wages. The series put a face to the working poor, including those who are employed by the affluent vacationing community in the upper valley. An article printed in September of this year entitled “Isolation, Depression Add to Immigrant Challenges,” the PI discussed the lack of integrated primary and behavioral health care in the area, focusing on the obstacles to treatment, cultural differences including fear of deportation and finances, and a growing array of mental health resources available in the area, including MFHC.
The PI includes coverage of Statewide and National importance in regard to health care, including guest opinion pieces contributed by MFHC CEO Ross Brooks and other CHC community partners, highlighting and informing the community regarding upcoming issues.
CCHN and Colorado’s CHCs honor the Post Independent with a Community Health Champion Award for their valuable reporting on health care issues in Colorado, especially as they affect low-income and medically underserved individuals and families.
Community Health Advocate Award
Mr. Reid has been with MCPN for over 12 years. He has advocated tirelessly with local, state and federal elected officials on behalf of MCPN and their patients, as well as for the CHC movement as a whole. Prior to joining MCPN, he worked with a youth organization to bring underprivileged and low-income teens to the mountains of Colorado. He also served as the executive director and founder of A Grassroots Aspen Experience, a national non-profit organization dedicated to at-risk teenagers.
Mr. Reid is always willing to make a personal call on behalf of MCPN and CHCs. He makes sure MCPN, Colorado CHCs, and their patients are at the forefront of conversations with elected officials. He understands the importance of civic engagement, particularly for the state’s most vulnerable populations, and is always the first to jump at an opportunity to participate in voter registration drives. In fact, during the 2012 election cycle, John took the time to think outside of the box and enlisted his good friend and former Broncos player, Ebeneezer Ekuban, to create a Public Service Announcement about the importance of registering to vote, a PSA that played in MCPN waiting rooms throughout the election season. This is just one of the many examples of John’s creativity and innovative efforts to ensure CHC patients have a voice and are comfortable using it. He also works to instill this creativity and innovation in MCPN’s staff.
For his energy, initiative, expertise, and community engagement, CCHN selected John Reid for CCHN’s 2016 Community Health Advocacy Award.
John McFarland, D.D.S.
Salud Family Health Centers
Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award
The Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award was named in honor of Jerry Brasher, former CEO of Salud Family Health Centers and one of CCHN’s founders. This award goes to a CHC executive who has been working at a CHC for ten or more years, has maintained excellent relationships with his or her state and national legislators, and has done something extraordinary as it relates to CCHN’s priorities during their career.
Dr. McFarland retired from his role as executive vice president of Dental Services at Salud Family Health Centers earlier this year, after working tirelessly on behalf of Salud and their patients for 44 years. Throughout his time with Salud, Dr. McFarland was instrumental in advocating at the state and national level for Salud’s patients and the importance of oral health services. He has been a leader nationally in educating people that dental and medical health is integrated; one cannot exist without the other. He founded the National Network for Oral Health Access, the national organization of Community, Migrant, and Homeless Health Center dental providers, to help others understand this integration.
In his meetings with legislators over the years, Dr. McFarland has spoken with conviction and poise about the importance of oral health services for the populations served by CHCs. As a founder of the Colorado Dental Health Network, the organization of Colorado CHC dental directors, Dr. McFarland served on the CCHN Board of Directors, helping to guide CCHN’s work, goals, and mission as they relate to integrated oral and medical health. In 2013, CCHN worked with community stakeholders and legislators to add a dental benefit for adults on Medicaid, a benefit that has greatly improved the lives of thousands of CHC patients since its inception. Much of Dr. McFarland’s work throughout the years led to the passage of this benefit.
Although often working hard advocating on behalf of CHCs and patients, Dr. McFarland never lost focus on direct patient care, spending most of his time over the last 44 years seeing patients.
For his dedication, enthusiasm, sense of humor, leadership, and countless contributions to Salud, CCHN, and the Health Center program in Colorado and nationwide, CCHN selected Dr. McFarland with the 2016 Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award.
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For additional information, please contact Maureen Maxwell at (303) 867-9530 or Maureen@cchn.org.
The Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN) is the unified voice for Colorado’s 20 Community Health Centers (CHCs) and their patients. CHCs provide a health care home to almost 650,000 of their community members – more than one in eight people in Colorado – from 61 of the state’s 64 counties. Without CHCs, hundreds of thousands of Colorado’s low-income families and individuals would have no regular source of health care. CCHN’s mission is to increase access to high quality health care for people in need in Colorado. For more information about CCHN, please visit www.cchn.org.