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 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:
2024 CHAMPS Awards: Call for Nominations
2023 CHAMPS Awardees
Prior CHAMPS Awardees

2024 CHAMPS AWARDS: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

The Call for Nominations for 2024 CHAMPS Awards is now open, with nominations being accepted in the following categories:

Emerging Star: The CHAMPS Emerging Star Award recognizes an outstanding up-and-coming staff member whose exceptional promise, dedication, and work have significantly enriched a health center and its outcomes and/or advanced the mission and goals of the Community Health Center Movement.

Eligible individuals include Region VIII CHC or PCA representatives with five or fewer years of CHC/PCA experience. The CHAMPS Emerging Star Awardee will receive a registration scholarship to the CHAMPS/NWRPCA Annual Primary Care Conference.

Excellence in Innovation: The CHAMPS Excellence in Innovation Award honors a health center which showcases innovation, effectiveness, creativity, and adaptability in addressing needs within the organization or the broader community it serves.

Examples of areas of innovation may include, but are not limited to, those focusing on:
i. Addressing structural injustices.
ii. Committing to environmental resiliency and responsibility.
iii. Leveraging community resources to enhance sustainability.
iv. Fostering a skilled and resilient current and/or future workforce.

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.

Nominees for the Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award need not meet the CHAMPS Organizational Membership requirement.

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.

To Submit a Nomination: Download, complete, and return the 2024 CHAMPS Awards Information & Nomination Form

  • All nominations must be submitted by Wednesday, July 31, 2024.
  • All nominees must be affiliated with a current Organizational Member of CHAMPS, with the exception of nominees for the Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award.
  • Nominating organizations may submit only one award nomination per nominated individual and/or organization, and each candidate may be nominated in only one category.
  • Awards will be presented during an Awards Ceremony which may be held in-person or virtually in late autumn and/or during the CHAMPS Annual Primary Care Conference scheduled for October 26-29, 2024 in Denver, CO; additional scheduling information will be provided in late summer/early autumn 2024.

Questions? Contact the CHAMPS Workforce Development & Member Services Director.

2023 CHAMPS AWARDEES

CHAMPS is pleased to recognize our 2023 CHAMPS Awards winners, each significant for their outstanding achievements, leadership, and contributions to their communities.

The 2023 CHAMPS Awardees were honored at a live, online ceremony immediately preceding the Annual CHAMPS Board of Directors meeting on Monday, January 22, 2024.

Please click or scroll down for each award category and more information about 2023’s awardees:
Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award
Exceptional Board Leadership Award
Exceptional Clinical Leadership Award
Outstanding Advocate of the Underserved 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.

2023 CHAMPS EXCEPTIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP AWARDEE:

Betsy Seglem, Chief Executive Officer, Glacier Community Health Center, MT
For Her Team-Focused Leadership & Commitment To The CHC Mission

Betsy’s dedication to service and commitment to putting patients and the community first has been central to the organization’s growth and success. Please click HERE for Betsy’s nomination statement.

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

Betsy Seglem

“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.

2023 CHAMPS EXCEPTIONAL BOARD LEADERSHIP AWARDEE:

Arthur Yarbrough, Jr., Board Member, Pueblo Community Health Center, CO
For His Commitment To Patient Dignity & Respect & Dedication To Pueblo CHC

As a consumer board member, Arthur passionately advocates for other patients, and his guidance has been critical to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Please click HERE for Arthur’s nomination statement.

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

Arthur Yarbrough

“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.

2023 CHAMPS EXCEPTIONAL CLINICAL LEADERSHIP AWARDEE:

Stephanie Low, MD, Chief Executive & Medical Officer, Community Health Service Inc., MN/ND
In Recognition Of Her Service & Commitment To Her Communities

Dr. Stephanie Low’s strong leadership, unwavering support for her staff, and devotion to the community she serves embodies the mission of community health. Please click HERE for Stephanie’s nomination statement.

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

Stephanie Low

“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.

2023 CHAMPS OUTSTANDING ADVOCATE OF THE UNDERSERVED AWARDEE:

Ross Brooks, Former Chief Executive Officer, Mountain Family Health Centers, CO
For His Commitment To The CHC Movement & Always Placing Patients First

Ross is recognized for his morally courageous voice as a legislative leader and tireless advocate for community health patients. Please click HERE for Ross’ nomination statement.

A video of the presentation of Ross’ award and his acceptance remarks can be viewed below.

Ross Brooks

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

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.

2023 CHAMPS STANLEY J. BRASHER LEGACY AWARDEE:

John Felton, Retired Chief Executive Officer, RiverStone Health, MT
For His Dedication To Advancing The Mission & Recognition Of Community Health Centers In The Mountain/Plains States

John has lived an exceptional life of service, devoting over two decades to ensuring the highest quality of care for the underserved patients in Montana and beyond. Please click HERE for John’s nomination statement.

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

John Felton

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

PRIOR CHAMPS AWARDEES

PRIOR EXCEPTIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP AWARDEES:

  • 2022: Lori Wright, Family Healthcare, UT
  • 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:

  • 2022: Carol Lewis, Denver Health Community Health Services, CO
  • 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:

  • 2022: Michelle Scholtz, DDS, Horizon Health Care, Inc., SD
  • 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:

  • 2022: Tiffany Klein, One Health, MT
  • 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: 

  • 2022: Mary Lynne Shickich, Wyoming Primary Care Association, WY
  • 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: 

  • 2022: Laurie Francis, Partnership Health Center, MT
  • 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