Colorado 2017 Community Health Champions and Advocates Named

Denver, Colo. – The Colorado Community Health Network kicked off its 2017 Policy and Issues Forum by announcing annual awards for Community Health Champions and Advocates, people who support the work of Colorado Community Health Centers (CHCs) and the people they serve.

  • The awards made March 8, 2017, are:

    Legislator Community Health Champion Award: Representative Bob Rankin, House District 57, northwest Colorado

    Volunteer Clinician Community Health Champion Award: Malcolm Tarkanian, M.D., Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Denver Metr

    Community Health Advocate Award: David Pump, Vice President of Business Development, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Colorado Springs

    Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award: Dianne Smith, Executive Director, Dolores County Health Association’s Dove Creek Community Health Clinic, Dove Creek

    The Honorable Bob Rankin
    House District 57
    Legislator Community Health Champion Award

Rep. Bob Rankin has served as a member of the Colorado State House since 2013. Throughout his tenure in the House, Rep. Rankin has been a champion of issues important to CHCs. Rep. Rankin was instrumental in the launch of House Bill 1281, authorizing the first Medicaid payment reform pilot in the state of Colorado, called PRIME for Payment Reform in Medicaid. The PRIME program sets the groundwork for a deepened delivery of improved health care quality, improved patient experience, and controlled health care spending in Western Colorado, showing real results in the first two years of operation. He strongly supported HB1281’s reauthorization and worked to educate Joint Budget Committee members in both parties on the importance of permanently authorizing the pilot as an ongoing program.

Rep. Rankin works tirelessly with the Division of Insurance, Lieutenant Governor, the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Western Slope county commissioners, Western Slope state legislators, and health care leaders to find pragmatic solutions to the exorbitantly high health insurance costs in Colorado’s mountain communities.

For his work supporting CHCs through his advocacy and commitment to issues important to CHCs and their communities, CCHN honors Rep. Rankin with a Community Health Champion Award.

Dr. Malcolm Tarkanian
Volunteer Clinician Community Health Champion Award
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Dr. Tarkanian co-founded the Stout Street Eye Clinic 17 years ago, and remains committed to the mission of leading the program in providing vision services to the homeless and underserved in the Denver community. He serves as the medical director for a staff of 18 volunteer ophthalmologists and optometrists and approximately 35 support volunteers, many of whom he personally recruited. In 2015, the Stout Street Eye Clinic staff performed more than 1600 eye exams and dispensed 1200 pairs of glasses to patients.

Dr. Tarkanian passionately advocates for patients. He helped secure funding from the O’Rourke Foundation for two patient navigators to assist with advocacy, transportation, and education for patients. He is a member of the board at the Community First Foundation, which provided a significant donation in his name for the Coalition’s new Community Health Center, allowing for a second lane of equipment with a projector to be added to treat children. In 2004, he received a 9 Who Care Award from 9News, and in 2009, he received the Harold E. Williamson Award for Volunteerism from the COPIC Medical Foundation.

Thousands of underserved citizens in the Denver community have received eye care, medication, glasses, testing, and necessary surgery over the past 17 years because of the care provided at the Stout Street Eye Clinic. With this award, CCHN recognizes his commitment to provide optometry services to patients who might not be able to access care otherwise.

David Pump
Vice President of Business Development, Peak Vista Community Health Centers
Community Health Advocate Award

Since 2008, CCHN staff has recognized an advocate of the year during CCHN’s Policy and Issues Forum.  This year CCHN is recognizing David Pump, Vice President of Business Development at Peak Vista Community Health Centers.

Mr. Pump has been with Peak Vista since 2003. Throughout this time he has served in a variety of leadership positions, working tirelessly on behalf of Peak Vista patients and the CHC movement as a whole. His accomplishments at Peak Vista include launching the Collaborative Care Clinic, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, the Medicaid Application Site, and the Developmental Disabilities Health Center, which has been recognized internationally for its unique, innovative approach to health care for developmentally disabled adults.

Prior to joining Peak Vista, Mr. Pump oversaw several departments at the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia, Calif., where he played an instrumental role in reorganization efforts by centralizing six outpatient clinics.

Mr. Pump is always ready and willing to jump in on behalf of mission of Peak Vista and Colorado’s CHCs. He goes above and beyond to ensure patients and employees know they are supported. He is the type of person who will get up early on a Saturday morning and brave the winter elements to attend a domino cascade – that is exactly what it sounds like – that a Peak Vista patient was putting on at the local mall, all to show patients that they are supported beyond the walls of the clinic.

His support and commitment extends beyond the individual patient as well. He understands the importance of civic engagement, particularly for the state’s most vulnerable populations, and is always willing to participate in voter registration activities and campaigns that are focused on improving care to Peak Vista patients. In 2016, Mr. Pump led Peak Vista’s work on the Tobacco Tax Increase campaign, serving on the steering committee, collecting hundreds of petition signatures, and volunteering for events and speaking engagements. When asked to host an event for “Smoking Teddy,” the campaign mascot, he jumped in to help, and organized Peak Vista staff to make a video to share on social media featuring Smoking Teddy at Peak Vista.

In addition, Mr. Pump and the team at Peak Vista started an innovative program to sponsor staff member attendance at the CCHN Policy & Issues Forum at the State Capitol. Staff selection is based on an application in which staff share their personal stories and experience with the Community Health Center movement. It is these types of creative ideas and programs that instill a sense of advocacy at all levels of Peak Vista, crucial to supporting CHCs and the health care advances they’ve made.

Pam McManus, CEO of Peak Vista said of Mr. Pump: “David is known for ‘working to the YES!’ Prior to making a decision, David is active in exploring the strengths and threats around decisions, and once the decision is made, he is all in, and holds nothing back. His loyalty to the mission, the patients, and the staff is first-rate.”

For David’s energy, initiative, creativity, and commitment to the cause, CCHN selected Mr. Pump for the 2017 Community Health Advocacy Award.

Dianne Smith
Executive Director, Dolores County Health Association’s Dove Creek Community Health Clinic
Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award

This award is named in honor of Jerry Brasher, former CEO of Salud Family Health Centers and one of CCHN’s founders. The award is given 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.

Dianne Smith is the 2017 Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award honoree. She is the executive director of the Dolores County Health Association’s Dove Creek Community Health Clinic (Dove Creek CHC). Ms. Smith was born in Dove Creek and has worked for the clinic for the past 28 years, leading it through many changes and fostering growth to meet the community needs.

While Ms. Smit6h’s job description lists the normal duties for an executive director, her actual role has gone well beyond that during these past 28 years.  Her duties have included coder, biller, financial director, operations director, human resources director, janitor, maintenance person, and front desk receptionist.  In addition to that, she has served as job site supervisor for multiple construction projects she spearheaded over the years as the clinic expanded. In the beginning, she managed a four-person staff, which today has grown to thirty-two.

Dove Creek CHC started out in a small building of approximately fourteen hundred square feet, donated by Union Carbide Corporation.  As needs arose in the community, Dianne worked to secure grant funds for expansion after expansion, increasing the clinic to nearly five times its original size. In keeping with her commitment and spirit, Ms. Smith worked tirelessly to secure funding for these needed expansions. It is this spirit that has led Dove Creek CHC to become a truly integrated facility, providing primary, behavioral, and oral health care under the same roof.

Ms. Smith thinks outside of the box when it comes to meeting community needs. In 2000, she led clinic staff and community members to host a telethon on the local Dove Creek television station. In three hours, with donated time and talent from many community members and staff, more than $30,000 was raised, which helped secure a matching grant for the clinic, all with the help and support of a community of only twelve hundred residents.

According to Bill Waschke, operations director of Dove Creek CHC, Ms. Smith considers the reward for her years of service to be “helping patients to receive the care that they needed and would not have otherwise been able to afford.”  One of her prized moments was when a patient who was unable to afford dental care got a set of dentures and came out into the lobby smiling and showing off new teeth to family and everyone else in the clinic.

As a trusted member of her community, state legislators and their aides are comfortable calling Dianne with a question or stopping by the clinic, often unannounced. Legislators have always been impressed with the clinic and its growth over the years, and have been willing to offer support in any way that they were able.

Ms. Smith’s vision, passion, and dedication have transformed the health care provided to the residents of Dolores County and surrounding communities in western Colorado. She is well-deserving of the 2017 Stanley J. Brasher Community Health Gratitude Award.

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To contact any of the awardees, please contact Maureen Maxwell at (303) 861-5165, Ext. 259, cell (303)913-9078, or

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 more than 700,000 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

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