Earlier this year, in our interviews to hire some exceptional new staff members at CCMU, we asked the question: What leaders do you admire? I was struck by the variety in the answers we heard. From parents to local mentors to iconic movement builders, each candidate was clearly influenced by leaders from all walks of life. Of course, this question forced me to reflect on the leaders that have impacted me, and the character attributes and leadership styles that these leaders share.
I’m inspired by leaders who stand on transparent values, based on mutual respect, equity, trust, and inclusiveness. I’m also drawn to “distributed leadership,” with a focus on assets, building collaboration, and promoting open communication. If you’ve attended any of CCMU’s past 20 luncheons, you know that these type of transformative leaders are abundant in Colorado. We call them our Community Champions, and we’ve been recognizing them for years.
Last month, CCMU hosted our annual fundraising luncheon, HEALTHtalks. It was a packed house at the Denver Art Museum with nearly 250 health leaders from around the state coming together to be inspired, support CCMU, and express our collective gratitude to our 2016 Community Champion Award recipients. This year’s awardees embody inspirational leadership:
This year’s Physician of the Year Award went to Dr. Roberta Capp, an emergency medicine physician at the University of Colorado Hospital. Dr. Capp has worked tirelessly to teach medical students, lead innovative community health access to care programs, and provide the highest standard of medical care to underserved patients in Aurora.
Ciani Sosa, a nurse at Clinica Family Health Services, received our Non-Physician Provider of the Year Award for her community leadership in reaching beyond the clinic walls to ensure her patients have food and to provide free health care to those in need in Peru.
Sharon O’Hara, a leader with the National MS Society’s Colorado-Wyoming chapter, was awarded our Advocate of the Year Award. Sharon has dedicated years to advocating with and on behalf of people with living with chronic disease. During this time she established the Chronic Care Collaborative, which remains the only organization in the US uniting chronic disease organizations to speak with one voice in order to increase the efficacy of their advocacy.
Our Dr. Gary VanderArk Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Dr. Harriet Hall, long-time CEO of the Jefferson Center for Mental Health. Harriet’s leadership on increasing access to mental health and substance abuse services has been recognized for years. She has been working at the Capitol and in community to reduce stigma and bring urgent attention to behavioral health issues for over three decades.
We’ve been handing out our Community Champion Awards since CCMU’s early days, and have barely scratched the surface of the many deserving leaders around the state. We’d like to thank this year’s winners, and all the nominees, for inspiring us to be better leaders ourselves as we work toward a health care system that meets the needs of all Coloradans.