Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where you’re from, where you live, family info (kids, pets, etc.).
Originally from Iowa, I did not grow up on a farm but I did spend a terrible summer detasseling corn (worst job ever for someone that was only 5’). I moved to Colorado after college and never left. I’m a proud Englewood resident, have three dogs, and no humans. I have the privilege to be Aunt Gina to three nephews and a niece and many other wonderful kids.
If you could plan a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
My travel wish list currently looks like this, in no particular order:
US: Napa Valley; Kalispell, MT; Bar Harbor, ME
Internationally: Croatia, Greek Islands, Germany, Iceland, Chile, and Argentina
What is one item you cannot live without?
Although I don’t put a lot of value in material things, I find incredible joy from a puffy vest. It’s really the most universal piece of clothing that I have…….it can be worn in nearly all types of weather, doesn’t restrict movement, travels well, can be used as a pillow, and can be used to wrap up a wet dog. I’d highly suggest getting one…or two.
What is your favorite hobby?
Depends on the time of year really. In the spring, summer, and fall, I really enjoy road and mountain biking as well as golf and running. In the winter, I’ve transitioned from snowboarding to cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Can you tell us about where you work, how long you’ve been working there, what your position is, and a little bit about what you do?
I am the Assistant Director for the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention (Consortium). We coordinate the state’s response to the opioid, heroin, and now fentanyl crisis. We are located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus at the School of Pharmacy and have collaborative efforts with many University units, as well as state agency partners, treatment providers, nonprofit organizations, law enforcement, and many more. For over five years, I have managed our funding, grants, operations, and staff.
Why did you join the THEARI BOD?
In 2017, the Consortium partnered with THEARI and Rise Above Colorado to develop a program to respond to the opioid crisis, titled the Community Opioid Response Program. The program brought AmeriCorps State and National members to Colorado to provide direct service to community partners. We expanded the program to include AmeriCorps Vista members to build capacity and address poverty. It was during this collaborative effort that I joined the board and continued to support the program as they transitioned to Behavioral Health Equity Corps.
How long have you been a member of THEARI’s BOD?
I joined the Board of Directors in 2019.
What is one of your favorite THEARI stories you like to tell?
I get excited to tell people about the Nurse Refresher programs. Nurses are one of the foundational aspects of our health care system, so supporting this workforce truly benefits us all!
What is your proudest accomplishment as part of THEARI’s BOD?
THEARI hosted an educational event and award ceremony at a partner organization, Anatomy in Clay. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about a partner organization, have a hands-on educational experience, and recognize a student for her achievements in her blossoming health care career. I was proud to support health education in these ways.
What are your top three goals for THEARI in the coming year?
Strategic fundraising, Board development, partner engagement