CPHA Board

The CPHA Board is an all-volunteer organization. The Board comprises of CPHA's Officers, Directors and other Members who serve as the governing body of the Association and is supported by other organizations and individuals who provide administrative or lobbying services. The Board transacts the business of the Association at monthly meetings between Annual Association Meetings held at the Public Health in the Rockies conference and through its committees.

The CPHA Board Year runs from September through August.

Terms vary for each position as provided in the Bylaws.

Bylaws descriptions of each Board position


2020-2021 Board


President: Jason Vitello (2020 - 2023)

Jason Vitello is the Behavioral Health Coordinator at Denver Public Health, an adjunct professor at the University Of Denver Graduate School Of Social Work, and a community activist. He is also a national speaker on social justice, critical race theory, criminal justice reform, father engagement, male mental health, and collective liberation. In 2017, Jason founded the Colorado Public Health Association’s Health Equity Coalition and was elected as the first Health Equity Director. He presently serves as the Health Equity Officer. Prior to his career in public health, Jason was a social worker and therapist who provided advocacy, mentorship, case management and clinical services. It should be noted that before he was ever a provider of human services or family assistance - he was a recipient of them. His ultimate interest is in the betterment of the human condition through fierce compassion, difficult conversations, collaboration across struggles, the peaceful obliteration of structural inequalities and comprehensive paradigm transformation.


Past-President: Kim Boyd (2019 - 2021) 

Kim is currently the President of Lolina, Inc., a consultancy with clients in the healthcare, human services and the public health arena. Kim has been involved in healthcare and public health for over 22 years as a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner. Kim works with clients to provide variety of services including, but not limited to, strategic planning, leadership development, employee engagement, community partnerships, grant management, program development and evaluation, and professional coaching. Kim has a particular passion for health policy and supporting systems that aim to improve that health of our Colorado communities.

Kim volunteers as a peer coach for the Regional Institute of Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL) and is also active in the Colorado Public Health Mentoring Program. Kim earned her Master’s of Science/Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing degree from the University of Colorado in 2004. Kim is certified as a Gallup Strengths Coach, certified in EQ-i Emotional Intelligence and as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.

President Elect: Vacant


Health Equity Officer: Robert Franklin (2020 - 2023)

Robert Franklin, II, serves as the Diversity, Health Equity and Inclusion Programs Manager for Children’s Human Resources and within the Child Health Advocacy Institute.  The work of his position involves engaging the entire health system in considering difference and its impact on work and care in our community.  Guided by a coordinated strategy, Robert’s programs and initiatives engage care givers to learn and talk about, celebrate and take action in response to difference.

For nearly two decades, Robert has worked with youth serving organizations through throughout the nations in training, advocacy, program development, change leadership and management activities. Most recently, with Colorado State University, Robert co-chaired the Diversity Catalyst Team, and served as leader trainer and coach with Denver Public Schools and Parks and Recreation.

A youth developer by trade, education and passion, Robert has worked to positively impact the lives of young people, their families and communities through advocacy, ally-ship and educational programming. Focused on creating new and inclusive opportunities for learning and engaging, Robert and his wife, Melissa, built MNMR, LLC to further their passions, merging entertaining performances and opportunities to learn – the EduTainment Experience.  Each experience is designed to engage its audience, and in doing so, provide lasting, memorable, and tangible “ah-ha!” moments.

Secretary: Sarah Lampe (2019 - 2022)

I have worked in the public health field for over 15 years, including conducting research and evaluation in community development; leading processes for coalition development; developing and implementing education assessment and evaluation; and managing, directing, and carrying out research on school health, the built environment, and public health systems. Most notably over the last few years, I was instrumental in the creation and direction of the Regional Health Connector Program, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute's Pipeline to Proposal Program and have expertise in planning, evaluating, and constantly improving a public health programs centered on the strengths of communities. I have a persistent passion for eliminating health inequities and building community collaborations to achieve positive public health outcomes. I have worked for Trailhead for the last five years in varying roles and currently holds the position as CEO of Trailhead. Prior to working at Trailhead I was a Program Manager for CALPHO where I ran research projects for the Colorado Public Health Practice Based Research Network and evaluation projects for the Public Health Alliance of Colorado. In the role with CALPHO I worked closely with the 10 public health associations in Colorado, including CPHA on the administration of their organization's including membership, events and cross organization collaboration. 

Treasurer: Katie Gelman (2019 - 2021)






Katie Gelman is the Director of Public and Behavioral Health at OMNI Institute, a nonprofit social science research agency with a mission to strengthen the nonprofit, public and phil- anthropic sectors through evaluation research, capacity building, and technology solutions. Katie has experience across a range of population health evaluation projects, spanning clini- cally focused and community level evaluations. She has significant experience in evaluating behavioral health prevention and treatment projects, as well as across other areas of public health including maternal and child health evaluations, needs assessment and epidemiologi- cal analysis, and supporting local communities in public health improvement planning. Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Skidmore College, a Master of Public Health degree in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University, and a Doctor of Public Health degree in Community and Behavioral Health with a minor concentration in Epidemi- ology from the University of Colorado, Colorado School of Public Health. She is trained in Mental Health First Aid, is a Colorado Certified Prevention Specialist II, and serves on the Colorado Prevention Certification Board. 

Affiliate Representative to the Governing Council (ARGC): Tara Thomas-Gale (2020 - 2023)






Tara has more than 15 years’ experience building collaborative relationships with health professionals, government, and community partners to implement initiatives in the areas of maternal child health, home visitation and health care delivery. She currently leads family planning and health education efforts for Denver Health, the region’s safety-net health system.

Tara serves on the State & Local Strategies Advisory Group for Power to Decide, formerly the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, City Match’s Reproductive Justice Action Group, and volunteers with the CPHA Mentoring Program.  She holds an MPH in Global Health from George Washington University and completed a post-graduate fellowship in International Healthcare Management with Yale University in Ethiopia.


Health Equity Coalition Senior Director: Ashley Wheeler-Bell (2019-2021)

Ashley Wheeler-Bell works as an Operations Coordinator at Denver Public Health and identifies as an Equitable Administrator. Ashley has a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration and is working towards mastering being a better human.

Understanding that systems are constructed upon a series of connected policies, practices and cultures that have not historically been created for or by people of color, she works hard to change and evolve workspaces she is in. Ashley is committed to operationalizing equity, eliminating health disparities, diversifying the workforce at all levels and to social and racial justice. She has been engaged with the Health Equity Coalition since its inception and is thankful for all of the people who have worked to establish the coalition as it is today and what it will be in the future. Her goal with the Coalition is to continually curate a space where equity thrives, relationships go deeper, learning happens continuously, and ultimately, the head is met by the heart.  

In her free time, Ashley enjoys art, creativity, reading, gardening, meaningful relationships, meditating and cooking dishes that nourish. She often imagines worlds where all people are valued, with the intention of identifying action that can be taken towards actualizing them now.

Health Equity Coalition Associate Director: Lorena Dawson (2020-2022)


Communications Senior Director: Kelsey Robinson (2020-2021)


Kelsey Robinson is the Public Health Planner with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's (CDPHE) Office of Public Health Practice Planning and Local Partnerships. In this role, she provides support to local public health agencies for their community health improvement processes, including conducting community health assessments, capacity assessments, and writing improvement plans. She graduated from the University of Colorado Anschutz in December of 2019, with a Master’s degree in Public Health. During her time as a graduate student, she served as the Communications Chair for the Student Health Promotion Committee and as the Speaker Engagement Chair for the Annual Emerging Leaders Conference. As a graduate student, she also worked at CDPHE as a Research and Evaluation Coordinator with the Marijuana Health Monitoring and Research Program. Her involvement with CPHA began as a graduate student mentee with the Colorado Public Health Mentoring Program. She is excited to continue her work with CPHA as a current member of the Board. 

Communications Associate Director: Jessica Murison (2020-2022)


As a humanitarian, Jessica has traveled all over the world working in the global health sector evaluating hospitals and clinics to outfit them with medical equipment and conduct trainings, program management in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and promotes health for children in equitable access to nutritious foods here in Colorado. Her interest in the Colorado Public Health Association has grown over the last few years as her work has transitioned to more domestic public health. Jessica is passionate about public health issues, especially issues pertaining to women and children. She earned her Master’s degree from the prestigious Josef Korbel School of International Studies in International and Intercultural Communications, with a Graduate Certificate in Global Health Affairs. She is excited to be part of the CPHA team to communicate helpful information to the CPHA members and general community as Associate Director of Communications. Aside from her work, Jessica is the President of the Board of Directors for the United Nations Association of Denver, on the Board of Directors for Project Education South Sudan, is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children in Denver, Rotary International member, and can be found enthusiastically enjoying the Colorado outdoors with her dog Sahara.

Membership Senior Director: Juan Roberto Madrid (2020-2021)

Juan Roberto Madrid is a Retired U.S. Navy Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman (SARC), who had 22 years of Naval Service. During his time in service he deployed to the Invasion of Panama Operation Just Cause 1989; Deseret Shield and Desert Storm Invasion of Iraq 1990-1991; deployed to Somali for Operation Restore Hope 1992-1993 as a part of the Multi Nation Peace Keeping Force; multiple deployments to South America for Drug Interdiction operations; as well as seven deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002-2010. During his time in service many of Juan Roberto’s deployments were public health related as well as global health related as he often worked to strengthen or augment Host Nation Public Health Systems. After his Retirement in 2010 Juan Roberto worked for some of Colorado’s largest healthcare provider systems such as Centura Health and HealthOne. While working for these health systems in a Paramedic role and Paramedic Education role he learned how these systems operated at multiple levels. Juan Roberto has displayed a passion for Rural Health, Health Education and Promotion which lead him to complete his Bachelor Science Degree in Health Professions focusing on Health Education and Promotion. After completing his Bachelor Degree from Excelsior College, he went on to apply to The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health where he was accepted to the Master of Public Health Program. Juan Roberto will graduate in November with concentrations in Health Communication & Marketing as well as Environmental Health Science & Policy.

In his spare time Juan Roberto enjoys being outdoors running, swimming, cycling and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) with his two teen daughters as well as bonsai tree gardening.

Membership Associate Director: Molly Gutilla (2020-2022) 


Molly J Gutilla is currently an Assistant Professor at the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University where she teaches epidemiology, GIS, and research methods courses. She works to have her feet, head, and heart on the academic campus and immersed in public health practice. Molly has spent time as a researcher on campuses including The Ohio State University, Williams College and the University of Colorado. She also is engaged in public health practice, working as a practitioner in both urban and rural local public health, with the state and local health departments, and alongside the non-profit community in Colorado. Molly’s interests include teaching, learning, health equity, spatial and social epidemiology, and ethics.

Public Health Policy Senior Director: Allison Howe (2019-2021)

Allison graduated from The Colorado School of Public Health in 2009 with an emphasis in Community Health Education. She has also maintained her credential as a Certified Health Education Specialist for ten years because the professional development allows her to better assess health promotion and services from an administrative perspective.
Her public health experience spans multiple sectors, including maternal and child health, reproductive health, vaccine education and compliance, food insecurity, childhood obesity, health services navigation, and increasing access to recreation. She is engaged with community organizing and serves as an elected councilwoman for the City of Fort Morgan. Allison understands that policy is critical in changing systems and she loves the challenge.
Her current professional role is Director of Client Health Services for the Northeast Colorado Health Department. She oversees the agency's largest division which includes Reproductive Health, Immunizations, School Wellness, Tobacco Prevention, WIC, Oral Health, among others. She joins the CPHA Board as the Associate Policy Director and looks forward to helping set legislative priorities that impact the communities we serve.

Public Health Policy Associate Director: Martha Pofit (2020-2022)

Martha H. Pofit, MHP, received her undergraduate degree in political science and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College and her Masters in Public Health from Yale University with a concentration in hospital administration. Recently, she completed the contact tracing program from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Martha is a new arrival to Colorado, where her four daughters reside, having spent her career in New York State and Vermont, as a hospital vice president, health system lobbyist at the state and federal level, elected local official, health systems consultant and former Executive Director of the New York State Public Health Association. 

She has served on Boards of community health networks, health insurance plans, nursing homes and home health agencies. She and her husband Joseph have residences in Denver and Breckenridge. 

Martha has assumed the role of Associate Director of Public Health Policy at CPHA and is looking forward to helping galvanize public health professionals and organizations around public policy priorities.

Emerging Leaders Senior Director: Nalleli Ramirez-Salinas (2019-2021)


Nalleli Ramirez-Salinas is a Program Administrator with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment- Office of Behavioral Health Strategies. Nalleli has extensive experience serving diverse communities of color in various professional capacities aimed at addressing disparities in educational achievement and health-related outcomes. She is passionate about equity and serving under-represented individuals, groups, and communities.

Nalleli is a first-generation Mexican immigrant and the first in her family to earn a high school diploma, bachelor’s, and most recently, a master’s degree. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Public Health degree from the Colorado School of Public Health.  

Nalleli is honored to serve as the Director for the Emerging Leaders Committee (ELC) and thrilled to continue elevating the voices of students and early career professionals alongside ELC’s Associate Director, Jennifer Villalobos and our five ELC Delegates, Mattie Cassaday, Veronika Hanna, Erin Mercado, Kathy Pang, and Betty Shiferaw.

Emerging Leaders Interim Associate Director: Betty Shiferaw (2020-2021)


PHiR Senior Director: Venice Ng Williams (2019-2021)


Venice Ng Williams is a mixed-methods health services researcher at CU Anschutz's Prevention Research Center for Family & Child Health and Adjunct Instructor in Health Systems, Management & Policy at the Colorado School of Public Health. Her research relates to improving the implementation of prevention programs like Nurse-Family Partnership through cross-sector collaborations and integrating public health and healthcare systems. Venice has a range of experience in public health, including conducting health impact assessments to inform child welfare health policy, evaluating systems change interventions with Urban Indian health centers, developing collegiate tobacco control policies, and implementing reproductive health education with inner city youth. 
Venice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Public Health degree in Community Health Sciences from UCLA, and a PhD in Health Services Research from the Colorado School of Public Health. She is a first-generation immigrant from Hong Kong to Vancouver, Canada. Despite being a transplant in Colorado, she has embraced the state's great offerings. She enjoys her free time with her husband and black lab, home gardening, keeping bees, hiking, skiing, doing yoga and watching hockey (go Canucks!). Venice is passionate about working with communities to improve their health and excited to lead the planning of Public Health in the Rockies this year!

PHiR Associate Director: Heather Weir (2020-2022)


Heather Weir, MPH, RD,
 is the Director of the Office of Strategy and Performance at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). She began working with CDPHE in February 2015 and previously worked with Denver Public Health as the Performance Improvement Manager. She has over fifteen years of experience in healthcare and public health, and has been working with multidisciplinary teams in organizational improvement efforts since 2008. Prior to moving to Colorado, Weir worked with Providence Health & Services in Portland, Oregon as a registered dietitian (RD) and diabetes educator and later worked in Eugene, Oregon with Lane County Public Health and was the Quality Improvement Coordinator for the Community Health Centers of Lane County. She received her bachelor’s degree in health and human development from Montana State University; her dietetic internship from Oregon Health & Science University; and master’s degree in public health from Portland State University.

CoD Senior Director: Kelsey Fife Duarte (2019-2021)

Kelsey earned her MPH from the University of Arizona and her BA in Sociology from the University of Colorado Denver. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She works remotely for the University of Colorado School of Medicine as a Professional Research Assistant and is an adjunct instructor at Colorado Mesa University. She previously worked for Mesa County Public Health as a Health Promotion Specialist on the Epidemiology team as a bridge between health promotions and data. She has worked on projects improving community health through tobacco prevention and cessation, substance use and suicide prevention, and promoting the use of active transportation. Kelsey grew up in Western Colorado and enjoys exploring the outdoors with her fiancé and Husky puppy. 

CoD Associate Director: Julia Simhai (2020-2022) 


Julia Simhai is a Senior Researcher at OMNI Institute, a nonprofit social science agency with a mission to accelerate positive social change toward a more equitable society through integrated research, evaluation, and capacity building services. Julia leads evaluation projects in OMNI’s Public and Behavioral Health division, with the majority of her work focused on substance use prevention. Julia is passionate about helping organizations and communities effectively use evaluation data to drive action, and has applied evaluation and data utilization techniques across a variety of community settings. Prior to joining OMNI in 2016, she worked in the public health and prevention fields providing technical assistance for tobacco prevention initiatives and implementing employee wellness programs. Julia received a Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health from the University of Maryland. She serves on the Colorado Prevention Certification Board.

PHN Section Director: Mary Doran (2020-2021)

Mary Doran graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and worked for several years in domestic violence shelters with a focus on reducing the impacts of violence on women. Mary graduated in 2007 from the University of Colorado with her Bachelor's in Nursing. Mary’s public health career began in 2008 with Tri-County Health Department’s Mothers First Program as a nurse home visitor for low income families with new babies. Working in public health has allowed Mary to continue her mission of reducing violence and the impacts of traumatic events on the health of our communities. Currently, Mary works full-time as a program manager for Tri-county Health Department’s Nurse Support Program which provides nurse home visitation services for families involved with Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams County Human Services. Mary also serves as secretary on the Board of Directors for St. Benedict’s Health and Healing Ministry, an organization that provides free health care services to those in need in Boulder County.

PHN Section Associate Director: Angela Fellers LeMire (2020-2022)

Angela Fellers LeMire began her Public Health career in 1998 at Denver Health Medical Center. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner degree in 2002 from the University of Colorado. From 2002 to 2013, Angela practiced at Tri-County Health Department and at the Denver Metro Health (STD) Clinic (DMHC) specializing in sexual and reproductive health. Angela is a Nurse Consultant for the Colorado Family Planning Program and recently completed the Denver Community Leadership Forum (DCLF) Fellowship at the University Of Colorado- Denver School Of Public Affairs. She has also served as a mentor for the Colorado Public Health Mentorship Program and serves on the Denver Metro STI Coalition Steering Committee. During her five years as Nurse Consultant for the Colorado FPP, the program has successfully increased contraceptive access using multiple strategies, thereby reducing unintended pregnancies and abortion rates significantly in Colorado. Her goals in serving on the CPHA Board are to explore and expand leadership opportunities in public health nursing.


Pamela Valenza (2020-2021)

Pamela Valenza, MD, serves as the at-large director with the CPHA. Dr. Valenza is a board-certified family physician and the Chief Health Officer at Clinica Tepeyac, a nonprofit federally qualified health center, in the Globeville neighborhood in Denver. She provides medical direction, supervision, and integration of medical, behavioral, and dental health services within the clinic using her expertise working in integrated, team-based medical settings. Dr. Valenza received her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine where she received an Award for Excellence in Family Medicine, and she completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Colorado/Denver Health, where she was appointed chief resident. In 2016, she received an award from the Pennsylvania Medical Society as one of the Top 40 Under 40 physicians in the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Valenza's experience in the public health sector began with an informal internship at Denver Public Health while in residency. She has experience working on state-wide public health coalitions in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey and previously served as the medical director for mobile van school-based and neighborhood health initiatives. She is in the process of completing her Masters in Public Health with a focus on public health practice. Her interests include women’s and children’s health including obstetrics, community health, and teaching.

Chris Urbina (2020 - 2021)

Christopher E. Urbina, MD, MPH is currently the medical officer for Boulder, Broomfield and Pueblo counties.  He is the former executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Prior to CDPHE, he was the director of Denver Public Health at Denver Health.  He was a past president of CPHA. He did his undergraduate work at Stanford University, medical school at the University of Colorado, family practice residency at the University of New Mexico, and his master’s in public health at Johns Hopkins. He is board certified in Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine. 


Government Relations Consultant

Diana Protopapa, Frontline Public Affairs