Cristina joined WMRHA as the Alliance's first Executive Director in 2017 with a focus on developing organizational leadership, strategy, innovation and sustainability. Cristina brings more than 15 years of experience working with health and human service non-profit organizations in the West Mountain region. Cristina has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University and a Bachelors of Journalism from the University of Missouri. Cristina is passionate about creating a community healthcare system that serves all people, and believes that this requires a focus on health equity and determinants of health.
Regional Health Connector, Region 12
Namrata joined WMRHA as the Regional Health Connector for Region 12 (Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin, and Summit counties) in 2017 to identify the priority physical and behavioral issues facing the region, create connections with healthcare providers and other community organizations, and finally develop projects to address these issues and the region’s social determinants of health. Namrata has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Wichita State in Kansas. Namrata is a native of Nepal, and she worked with Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in the international platform with a variety of partners including Governments, INGO ( UNICEF, World bank, WSSCC), NGO ( Red Cross Nepal, CODEF) and foreign aid program like USAID around WASH.
Chris McDowell Board Chair
Chris McDowell is the Executive Director of the Valley Health Alliance located in Carbondale, Colorado. Chris holds an MBA in Healthcare Management from George Washington University along with a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy. Chris has over 25 years of healthcare management success including work within family practice clinics, hospitals and hospice and home health settings.
The Valley Health Alliance is a non-profit organization comprised of six self-funded employers in the Roaring Fork Valley focused on improving access to quality care, raising the level of engagement in employee health and adding true value to healthcare benefits and services. The VHA was established to help manage the cost of healthcare and to improve the health and well-being of its employees, their families, the organizations themselves, and the community at large. The VHA employer group includes the Aspen Skiing Company, Aspen Valley Hospital, the City of Aspen, Mountain Family Health Centers, Pitkin County, and Valley View Hospital.
Pitkin County Public Health Director
Karen has been the Public Health Director for Pitkin County since 2017. In this role she oversees all of the Department’s core public health services as well as well as population-level work to promote health, health equity and prevent chronic disease by ensuring environments, policies, and systems that support wellness for everyone. Previous to this position, she served as the Delta County Public Health Director; and for five years before, the Healthy Communities Manager for Eagle County Public Health and Environment. She served as Co-Chair of CDPHE’s Health Equity Commission for four years and currently serves as Board Secretary for the West Mountain Regional Health Alliance. Karen holds an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Alaska, a Masters in Education from the University of Alaska and a Masters in Geography from the University of Wyoming.
AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer
Katrina is an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with WMRHA since July 2019. As Program Coordinator, Katrina works to facilitate and collaborate on ongoing and new projects to strive toward the Alliance’s goal of creating an integrated health system and improving the local residents’ health. Katrina graduated from Clarkson University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Previously she completed biological research, publishing two articles, and worked as a Project Coordinator in the Potsdam area for Parkinson’s Disease in Central New York. After her time as a volunteer, Katrina will be pursuing a medical degree with a focus in rural medicine. In her free time Katrina enjoys the outdoors by hiking, biking, and hammocking.
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