CHAMPS Awards

For the past three decades, CHAMPS has presented awards to staff and board members of Region VIII Health Centers and related organizations to recognize exceptional contributions to the health center community. This has allowed CHAMPS to honor numerous highly deserving individuals from across the region for their exceptional advocacy, leadership, and dedication to the health center mission. Please read on for more information about the upcoming call for nominations, the most recent year’s awardees, and for lists of prior awardees in each category.

Questions about CHAMPS Awards? Please contact the CHAMPS Workforce Development & Member Services Director.

Please click or scroll down for:
2022 CHAMPS Awardees
CHAMPS Awards Categories
Prior CHAMPS Awardees

2022 CHAMPS AWARDEES

CHAMPS is pleased to recognize our 2022 CHAMPS Awards winners, each significant for their outstanding achievements, leadership, and contributions to their communities.

The 2022 CHAMPS Awardees were honored at a live, online ceremony immediately preceding the Annual CHAMPS Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.

Please click or scroll down for each award category and more information about 2022’s awardees:
Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award
Exceptional Board Leadership Award
Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award
Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved Award
Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award
Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award

Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award

The CHAMPS Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award honors individuals who demonstrate innovative and effective strategies that strengthen their health centers and communities.

2022 CHAMPS EXCEPTIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP AWARDEE:

Lori Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Family Healthcare, UT
For Her Team-Focused Leadership & Commitment To The CHC Mission

Lori is a shining example of what is possible in administrative leadership, recognized for her commitment, vision, and innovation, and for understanding the value of a skilled team. Please click HERE for Lori’s nomination statement.

A video of the presentation of Lori’s award and her acceptance remarks can be viewed below.

Lori Wright

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”
– Buddha

Exceptional Board Leadership Award

The CHAMPS Exceptional Board Leadership Award recognizes health center board of directors members who exemplify dedication to and excellence within community-led governance.

2022 CHAMPS EXCEPTIONAL BOARD LEADERSHIP AWARDEE:

Carol Lewis, Board Chair, Denver Health Community Health Services, CO
For Her Belief In The Value Of Service & Dedication To Denver Health & Community Health Centers

Carol strongly believes in the value of service to the community, and that health care is a right and not a privilege. Please click HERE for Carol’s nomination statement.

A video of the presentation of Carol’s award and her acceptance remarks can be viewed below.

Carol Lewis

 “Dream more than others think practical…Expect more than others think possible.”
– Howard Schultz

Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award

The CHAMPS Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award is bestowed upon medical, dental, behavioral health, and other clinical staff members who display outstanding service and commitment to improving the health and well-being of their patients and communities.

2022 CHAMPS EXCEPTIONAL CLINICAL LEADERSHIP AWARDEE:

Michelle Scholtz, DDS, Chief Dental Officer, Horizon Health Care, Inc., SD
In Recognition Of Her Outstanding Service & Commitment To Dental Excellence

Dr. Michelle Scholtz is a respected leader, positively impacting health outcomes for thousands of health center patients. Please click HERE for Michelle’s nomination statement.

A video of the presentation of Michelle’s award and her acceptance remarks can be viewed below.

Michelle Scholtz

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved Award

The CHAMPS Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved Award acknowledges those who champion the populations served by Region VIII health centers, going above and beyond to improve access and reduce disparities.

2022 CHAMPS OUTSTANDING ADVOCATE OF THE UNDERSERVED AWARDEE:

Tiffany Klein, Community Health Advocate, One Health, MT
For Demonstrating Dedication To The Health Center Mission Through Exceptional & Inspiring Service

Tiffany is known for her community connections, professional expertise, and personal dedication to the underserved. Please click HERE for Tiffany’s nomination statement.

A video of the presentation of Tiffany’s award and her acceptance remarks can be viewed below.

Tiffany Klein

“As we lose ourselves in the service of others we discover our own lives and our own happiness.”
– Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award

The CHAMPS Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award is presented to leaders in local, state, or national government, at a public or private agency, or within a health center or related organization, who make significant efforts to advance community health policy.

2022 CHAMPS OUTSTANDING LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP AWARDEE:

Mary Lynne Shickich, Policy Consultant, Wyoming Primary Care Association, WY
For Championing Accessible, Affordable, Quality Health Care for All

Mary Lynne’s wisdom, knowledge, and legislative advocacy strengthen the position of Wyoming’s health centers. Please click HERE for Mary Lynne’s nomination statement.

A video of the presentation of Mary Lynne’s award can be viewed below.

Mary Lynne Shickich

“Without service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.”
– Dr. Dorothy Height

Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award

The Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award was created by the CHAMPS Executive Committee in 2013 in honor of Stanley J. “Jerry” Brasher, a CHAMPS founder and Chief Executive Officer of Salud Family Health Centers, CO, to honor individuals who have dedicated their careers to solving the problems of health, poverty, and human rights and who have contributed toward the mission and recognition of community and migrant health centers in the Mountain/Plains States.

2022 CHAMPS STANLEY J. BRASHER LEGACY AWARDEE:

Laurie Francis, Retired, Executive Director, Partnership Health Center, MT
For Her Dedication To Advancing The Mission & Recognition Of Community Health Centers In The Mountain/Plains States

Laurie’s vision and effectiveness have made, and continue to make, an immeasurable positive impact on the health and well-being of Montanans. Please click HERE for Laurie’s nomination statement.

A video of the presentation of Laurie’s award and her acceptance remarks can be viewed below.

Laurie Francis

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

CHAMPS AWARDS CATEGORIES

CHAMPS Awards nominations are typically accepted in the following categories:

  • Exceptional Administrative Leadership: The CHAMPS Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award honors individuals who demonstrate innovative and effective strategies that strengthen their health centers and communities.
  • Exceptional Board Leadership: The CHAMPS Exceptional Board Leadership Award recognizes health center board of directors members who exemplify dedication to and excellence within community-led governance.
  • Exceptional Clinical Leadership: The CHAMPS Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award is bestowed upon medical, dental, behavioral health, and other clinical staff members who display outstanding service and commitment to improving the health and well-being of their patients and communities.
  • Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved: The CHAMPS Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved Award acknowledges those who champion the populations served by Region VIII health centers, going above and beyond to improve access and reduce disparities.
  • Outstanding Legislative Leadership: The CHAMPS Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award is presented to leaders in local, state, or national government, at a public or private agency, or within a health center or related organization, who make significant efforts to advance community health policy.
  • Stanley J. Brasher Legacy: The CHAMPS Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award was created by the CHAMPS Executive Committee in 2013 to honor individuals who have dedicated their careers to solving the problems of health, poverty, and human rights and who have contributed toward the mission and recognition of community and migrant health centers in the Mountain/Plains States.

More information about the nomination requirements and the selection and recognition process for 2023 will be released by early summer 2023.

PRIOR CHAMPS AWARDEES

PRIOR EXCEPTIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP AWARDEES:

  • 2021: Annette Franta, Mountain Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2020: Breann Streck, RiverStone Health, MT
  • 2019: Angela Green, PsyD, STRIDE Community Health Center, CO
  • 2018: Christina Konechne, Horizon Health Care, Inc., SD
  • 2017: Rebecca McCay, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, CO
  • 2016: Maria Clemons, Northwest Community Health Center, MT
  • 2015: Michael Welch, DO, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, CO
  • 2014: Robert “Jay” Brooke, High Plains Community Health Center, CO
  • 2013: Nancy Taylor, RiverStone Health, MT
  • 2012: Pam Locken, Prairie Community Health, SD
  • 2011: Patricia Patrón, Family HealthCare Center, ND
  • 2010: Paul Melinkovich, MD, Denver Health Community Health Services, CO
  • 2009: Ramona Larsen, Wayne Community Health Center, UT
  • 2008: Mitzi Moran, Sunrise Community Health, Inc., CO
  • 2007: Byron Geer, Pueblo Community Health Center, CO
  • 2006: LaVal B. Jensen, Bear Lake Community Health Center, UT
  • 2006: Dianne Smith, Dove Creek Community Health Clinic, CO
  • 2005: Elizabeth “Bette” Vierra, Association for Utah Community Health, UT
  • 2004: Robert “Jay” Brooke, High Plains Community Health Center, CO
  • 2004: Gina Flanagan, Wayne Community Health Center, UT
  • 2003: Donald Moore, Pueblo Community Health Center, CO

PRIOR EXCEPTIONAL BOARD LEADERSHIP AWARDEES:

  • 2021: Jesus Tijerina, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2020: Marge Gavenda, Summit Community Care Clinic, CO
  • 2019: Tom Bibbey, Heritage Health Center, WY
  • 2018: Lionel Tapia, MD, RiverStone Health, MT
  • 2017: Linda Hughes, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2016: Richard “Dick” Bair, Horizon Health Care, Inc., SD
  • 2015: Melissa Robins, Wayne Community Health Center, UT
  • 2014: Kenneth Floyd, Denver Health Community Health Services, CO
  • 2013: Jen Knellinger, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, CO
  • 2012: Frank Taylor and Wally Wesener, Metro Community Provider Network, CO
  • 2011: Doug Follick, Community Health Center of Central Wyoming, WY
  • 2010: Echo Petersen, Horizon Health Care, Inc., SD
  • 2009: Elbert “Dean” Brown, Denver Health Community Health Services, CO
  • 2007: Caroline Sweiter, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2006: Carolyn Wenger, Yellowstone City-County Health Department, MT
  • 2005: Lewis Reyes, Clinica Campesina Family Health Services, CO
  • 2004: Daniel Hacking, Community Health Centers, Inc., UT
  • 2004: Michael Hurtado, DDS, Pueblo Community Health Center, CO
  • 2004: Jim Nybo, Cooperative Health Center, MT
  • 2003: Ivan McCourt, Carbon Medical Service Association, UT

PRIOR EXCEPTIONAL CLINICAL LEADERSHIP AWARDEES:

  • 2021: Megan Littlefield, MD, RiverStone Health, MT
  • 2021: Karen Miller, DDS, Pueblo Community Health Center, CO
  • 2020: Chad Hess, PA-C, Pueblo Community Health Center, CO
  • 2019: Jonathan Muther, PhD, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2018: Eva Poulson, DDS, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2017: Ricardo Velasquez, MD, Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc., CO
  • 2016: Elias Hernandez, MD, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2015: Chastity Dolbec, RN, BSN, Coal Country Community Health Center, ND
  • 2014: Keith Horwood, MD, Community Health Centers, Inc.
  • 2014: Stephen Stemm, DMD, Northland Community Health Center, ND
  • 2013: Lucy Loomis, MD, Denver Health Community Health Services, CO
  • 2012: Julie Wood, MD, Community HealthCare Center, Inc., MT
  • 2011: Hans Elzinga, MD, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2011: Carolyn Shepherd, MD, Clinica Family Health Services, CO
  • 2010: Martin Ellbogen, MD, Community Health Center of Central Wyoming, WY
  • 2009: Christopher Tonozzi, MD, Mountain Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2008: Ed Farrell, MD, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, CO
  • 2007: Noreen O’Shea, DO, Union County Health Foundation, SD
  • 2006: Barry Martin, MD, Metro Community Provider Network, CO
  • 2004: Cindy Erwin, PA-C, Rural Health Care, Inc., SD
  • 2004: Mike Welch, DO, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, CO
  • 2003: James “Jim” McNeely, III, CFNP, Rural Health Care, Inc., SD
  • 2003: Douglas Moore, MD, MPH, Deering Community Health Center, MT

PRIOR OUTSTANDING ADVOCATE OF THE UNDERSERVED AWARDEES:

  • 2021: Shawna Yates, DO, Southwest Montana Community Health Center, MT
  • 2020: Juanita Sapp, MD, Heritage Health Center, WY
  • 2019: Anne Beer, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, CO
  • 2018: Diana Bird, RN, HealthWorks, WY
  • 2017: Alan Pruhs, Association for Utah Community Health, UT
  • 2016: Delfina Merino, Summit Community Care Clinic, CO
  • 2015: Jennifer Morse, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2014: Greg Morris, PA-C, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, CO
  • 2012: Janet Fieldman, Pueblo Community Health Center, CO
  • 2011: Donna Singer, Utah Navajo Health System, Inc., UT
  • 2010: Ricardo Velasquez, MD, Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc., CO
  • 2009: Dennis “Denny” Royal, Community Action Partnership of Natrona County, WY
  • 2008: Jennifer Thomas, Community Health Centers, Inc., UT
  • 2007: Julie Lehman, DO, Cheyenne Health and Wellness Center, WY
  • 2006: Ken Kamis, Cheyenne Health and Wellness Center, WY
  • 2005: Donna Singer, Utah Navajo Health Systems, Inc., UT
  • 2004: Adi V. Gundlapalli, MD, PhD, 4th Street Clinic, UT
  • 2003: Yvonne Jensen, Carbon Medical Service Association, UT

PRIOR OUTSTANDING LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP AWARDEES: 

  • 2021: Jan Cartwright, Wyoming Primary Care Association, WY
  • 2020: Tracy Johnson, PhD, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, CO
  • 2018: Daniel R. Hawkins, Jr., National Association of Community Health Centers
  • 2017: David Pump, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, CO
  • 2016: Bob Marsalli, Montana Primary Care Association, MT
  • 2015: Pam McManus, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, CO
  • 2012: Kent Conrad, United States Senate, ND

PRIOR STANLEY J. BRASHER LEGACY AWARDEES: 

  • 2021: Don Gutstadt, PA-C, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2020: John Mengenhausen, Horizon Health Care, Inc., SD
  • 2019: Julie Hulstein, Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States
  • 2018: Jeanne “Gigi” Darricades, Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc., CO
  • 2017: Eileen Flaherty, FNP, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2016: Dave Myers, Metro Community Provider Network, CO
  • 2015: Robert “Jay” Brooke, High Plains Community Health Center, CO
  • 2014: John McFarland, DDS, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2013: Pam Locken, Prairie Community Health, SD 

PRIOR JOHN MENGENHAUSEN PRESIDENTIAL AWARDEES:

  • 2020: Keith Horwood, MD, Community Health Centers, Inc., UT

PRIOR PRESIDENTIAL AWARDEES:

  • 2016: John Mengenhausen, Horizon Health Care, Inc., SD
  • 2013: Stanley J. Brasher, Salud Family Health Centers, CO
  • 2012: Kate McIvor, Cooperative Health Center, Inc., MT
  • 2007: Dan Euell, Denver Health Community Health Services, CO
  • 2006: Pam Locken, Prairie Community Health, SD
  • 2001: Thomas M. Olson, Sioux River Valley Community Health Center, SD

PRIOR AWARDEES IN ADDITIONAL CATEGORIES: 

  • 2020: Debby Myers, RDH, Salud Family Health Centers, CO – Outstanding Emergency Response Leadership Award
  • 2015: Pam Locken, Prairie Community Health, SD – Mountain/Plains Legacy Award
  • 2005: Susan Jaworowski, Health Resources and Services Administration – Exceptional Federal Partnership Award
  • 2002: Alfred O’Brien, PA-C, Butte Community Health Center, MT – Mountain/Plains Clinical Network Award
  • 2002: Bill Buckles, Community Action of Laramie County, WY – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: Dennis “Denny” Royal, Community Action Partnership of Natrona County, WY – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: Gary Dunckel, DDS, Salud Family Health Centers, CO – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: Jerry Wheeler, Health Resources and Services Administration – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: Joel Maes, DDS, Cooperative Health Center, MT – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: John McFarland, DDS, Salud Family Health Centers, CO – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: John Smith, DMD, Cooperative Health Center, MT – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: Mike Jones, DDS, Sunrise Community Health Center, CO – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: Pete Leibig, Clinical Campesina Family Health Services, CO – CHAMPS Award
  • 2002: Rhina Rodriguez-Cernak, PA-C, Salud Family Health Centers, CO – CHAMPS Award
  • 2001: Arda Morrell, Wayne County Clinic, UT – CHAMPS Award
  • 2001: John Mengenhausen, Horizon Health Care, Inc., SD – CHAMPS Award
  • 2001: Mary Lou DeZeeuw, Health Resources and Services Administration – CHAMPS Award
  • 2001: Stanley J. Brasher, Salud Family Health Centers, CO – CHAMPS Award
  • 2001: Vernon Maas, MD, Health Resources and Services Administration – CHAMPS Award