Three Coloradans Honored with the Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader Award

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                       Contact: Jessica Smith
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        (303) 861-6165, ext. 242
April 10, 2017                                                                                         

DENVER―Kristen Pieper, Colorado Community Health Network (CCHN); Matt Percy, Mountain Family Health Centers; and Miranda Cvitkovich, Denver Health’s Community Health Services, were presented with the Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader Award on April 1, 2017, at the 2017 Policy and Issues Forum of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). Each year, the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, honors young professionals currently working in Community Health Centers or Primary Care Associations, and who exemplify the mission and vision of Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, pioneers for community health and human rights.

Emerging leaders are nominated by Community Health Centers (CHCs) and Primary Care Associations, and one or more are selected annually by the Geiger Gibson Program staff, with the assistance of an advisory group of CHC leaders. Pieper, Percy, and Cvitkovich were among 15 individuals selected to receive the 2017 Geiger Gibson Emerging Leader Award

Kristin Pieper worked for CCHN for seven years.  In her most recent role, she led CCHN’s Covering Kids and Families (CKF) project for three years. CKF is a statewide, coalition-based project focused on increasing access to affordable health coverage. Under her leadership, CKF has ensured eligible Coloradans are enrolled in Medicaid, Children’s Health Plan Plus, and subsidized private insurance through Colorado’s marketplace by coordinating and improving outreach efforts; identifying successes and challenges faced in enrolling and retaining coverage; and proposing solutions to simplify, streamline and coordinate coverage programs. Ms. Pieper has just left CCHN to move with her family to another state, and will be continuing to work in partnership with Community Health Centers in her new location.

CCHN CEO Annette Kowal wrote in her nomination statement, “Kristen is smart, driven, and committed, and is well-liked and respected by colleagues. CCHN, CKF, the Colorado health and consumer advocacy community, and many Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid, CHP+ or state Marketplace coverage have benefited greatly from Kristen’s dedication and leadership in increasing access to high quality health care for people in need. Kristen is very deserving of this special honor.”

Matt Percy, MD, is a provider at Mountain Family Health Centers. He is the site medical director at the Rifle Clinic, and is a well-respected, efficient, effective leader. Under his leadership, the clinic is fully-staffed, highly collaborative, and is providing high-quality, comprehensive, integrated patient-centered medical, dental and behavioral health care to more than 3,000 patients each year. Dr. Percy leads by example and with enthusiasm; his knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge make him a highly important asset to the team and organization as a whole. Born and raised in Colorado, Dr. Percy’s medical training included a rotation at Mountain Family, introducing him to the Community Health Center model.

His co-lead of the Site Advisory Team, Chief Operating Officer Art Fernandez, said of Dr. Percy, “Matt is fair, honest and respectful of everyone. He adds objectivity and perspective when chaos arises. Matt’s kindness and consideration for every member of the team means the world to all of us.”

Miranda Cvitkovich, CNM, is a midwife at Denver Health’s Community Health Services. She developed and implemented a policy enabling midwives, nurse-practitioners and family practice providers to perform limited obstetrical ultrasounds in the Denver Health Community Health Centers. Previous to this change, women had no option but to go to the hospital for first trimester ultrasounds to ensure fetal wellbeing, often leaving them waiting for days or weeks for the service. She has spearheaded other initiatives, including integration of Pregnancy and Parenting Partners group prenatal care into the Westside clinic. This change has brought communities of women together to support each other in working toward health pregnancy outcomes. Groups are offered in English and Spanish and health care topics are directed by the needs of the participants. In addition, while working with pregnant and postpartum women, Ms. Cvitkovich began to realize a scarcity of resources for women with pelvic pain. To solve the problem, she recently wrote a business plan to bring a pelvic pain physical therapist to one of the Denver Health community health centers. This change will increase access to care for women in need, and will allow them to stay in their community for care instead of going to the hospital.

“In her short time as a midwife and as a member of the Denver Health community, Miranda’s accomplishments have far exceeded what one would expect of a young clinician.  Her passion, initiative and boundless energy have been the force behind incredible innovation at the Westside Family Health Center and the other women’s care clinics throughout the Denver Health system,” wrote Denver Health Lead Midwife Brenda Quatrochi in her nomination of Ms. Cvitkovich.

“We are very proud, although not surprised, to have such diverse and talented emerging health care leadership in Colorado,” added Kowal. “We are very happy they are in community health.”

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To interview one of the Colorado Emerging Leaders, please contact Jessica Smith at (303) 861-5165, Ext. 242, or

To learn more about the Geiger-Gibson Program in Community Health Policy, please visit

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 – 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

To learn more about careers at Community Health Centers, please visit