The 2015 Kids Convening was a big success with 80 participants representing education, healthcare, child protection, human services, child development, and the community.  Presenters from Children's Hospital, the Piton Foundation, and The Colorado Health Foundation provided an update on the status of children's health.  Joe Sammen, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, led the group through a series of discussions to identify what might be done over the next two years to help make the kids in Aurora even healthier.  The participants were directed to imagine strategies that were "small enough to win, big enough to matter."  On July 15, 2015, AHA will host a follow-up meeting (Kids Convening Phase II) to take the ideas generated at the May convening, and develop a community work plan.  To participate, please register here.



AHA's Coverage Work Group has been exploring the issue of health insurance options for one of Aurora's most vulnerable groups - undocumented people.  The Exchange, and other public assistance sites, state that if you are not a legal resident, you do not qualify for tax credits nor can you purchase insurance on the Exchange.  Applicants are directed to buy insurance in the private market.  With the help of a student from the Colorado School of Public Health, Michael Wallingford, we have been exploring what options are really available.  Luckily, Michael is donating this time, or we'd have to pay for the hours he's been spending on hold with "customer service" reps. There appears to be a lot of confusion and "misinformation" about this issue.  Michael presented his initial findings during the last Coverage Work Group meeting.  So far, only one company actually offered coverage:  Kaiser. Our study isn't done yet, but when it is, AHA will develop and distribute a fact sheet.  We especially want to thank a few of Aurora's private insurance brokers who have joined the work group and have been invaluable in exploring this issue.  If you'd like to join us, the next meeting is on July 8th. Please email Denise at ddenton@aurorahealthaccess.org for more information.

News about the AHA Board


In June, we will say goodbye to seven Founding Board Members as AHA transitions to a not-for-profit governing board structure.  They aren't going far, and have graciously agreed to continue serving AHA in an ex officio capacity as needs arise.   Join us for the Quarterly Community Meeting in July, where we will publicly and profusely thank them for all their contributions in getting AHA off to such a good start. 

  • Rita Beam, Nurse Manager of Perinatal Service for Tri-County Health Department. 
  • Molly Markert, with Colorado Access and the Aurora City Council.
  • Dave Myers, President and CEO of Metro Community Provider Network.
  • Maisha Pollard-Fields, Executive Director, the Fields Foundation.
  • Joe Sammen, new Executive Director of Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved.
  • Mitzi Schindler, the Director of Communications for the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.
  • Jeff Thompson, the Director of Government and Corporate Relations for University Colorado Health.

Even as we are sad to see some of our founding board members rotate off the board, we welcome new AHA Board Members who officially start their service on July 1, 2015.  In this newsletter we will begin our introductions.  Watch for more next month!  
J. Ronald DeVries

J. Ronald Devries, Center Director for InnovAge/PACE in Aurora, has 20 years experience in the healthcare industry and management.  Ron's specialties are:  Change Management, Business Process Re-Engineering, Process Analysis, IT Consulting and System Selection, Safety and Risk Management, Medical Practice Management, Financial Analysis, Contract Negotiation, Fee Schedule Analysis, Reimbursement Analysis, Practice Benchmarking, and Management Coaching.  
Mandy Ellefson

Mandy Ellefson is the Manager of Government and Corporate Relations for University of Colorado Health.  Mandy graduated from the University of South Dakota  with a B.S. in Political Science and Communication Studies.  In 2013, Mandy earned her J.D. and  Master of Health Administration from Saint Louis University and moved to Colorado.  Mandy is admitted to the State Bar of Colorado.  

Amara Frumkin

Amara Frumkin works as a Care Navigator at Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics, a pediatric medical home in Aurora. In this role, she works with families experiencing economic hardship and other barriers to care. She graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and is passionate about children's health and health equity in Aurora and beyond. Prior to moving to Colorado, Amara worked with underserved populations in Argentina, British Columbia, Connecticut, and Tanzania.  

Upcoming AHA Meetings

If you haven't attended one of our Quarterly Community Meetings yet, please attend to see why it keeps growing!  The summer Quarterly Community Meeting will be held on July 15 from 2:00 to 4:30 in the beautiful Mt. Princeton Room (2nd floor) at Children's Hospital.  The "Did You Know?" Panel will offer surprising information about Alzheimer's, Spalding Hospital, lightning strikes, and our very own City of Aurora. During this meeting, we'll also say goodbye and thank you to several of AHA's Founding Board Members.  Please join us.


AHA will be hosting a community health forum focused on "Seniors' Needs and Resources in Aurora" on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Registration is at 9:30. The event runs from 10:00-3:00.  This event will be held at St. Therese Church at 1243 Kingston Street, Aurora, CO with lunch sponsored by InnovAge and Central Colorado AHEC.  The day's agenda will include brief presentations by organizations who serve seniors in Aurora, a presentation by Robert Semro from the Bell Policy Center on the Silver Tsunami, and a time for exhibitors and networking. 


Registration:  Seating is limited and we are almost at the cutoff point, so please register soon by clicking here before registration closes. 


Exhibitor Registration is closed because we are full.  Thank you for your overwhelming response!


Please check out the new addition to our website!  We have created a "Calendar" so you can easily access information about all of our upcoming meetings.  Find it at 

and then click on the "AHA Calendar" tab.  (For your convenience we've provided a link here.) Please take a look at this new tool.  We hope you find it useful.
Community News
African American Infant Mortality in Colorado

You are invited to "Creating Solutions Together" on Saturday, June 13, 2015, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. This event will be held at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about the African American infant mortality rates and introduce providers and community members to the Infant Mortality Collective Impact Initiative. Lunch is provided.  Registration is required as space is limited. Click here to register.

A Picture of Homelessness

Aurora Warms the Night (AWTN) and Portrait Biographies present  "A Picture of Homelessness," Friday July 24th 5:30-8:00 pm. Join AWTN at the Aurora Cultural Arts District Gallery for a fine-art-portrait-of-the-homeless fundraiser, by artist Sarah Curry of Portrait Biographies. Evening includes live music, a silent auction, and appetizers at Aurora Cultural Arts District Gallery, 1400 Dallas Street Aurora, CO 80010. Tickets are $25.00 in advanced or $30.00 at the door.  For more information and for tickets, please click here.
Medicaid Rate Increases Effective July 1!

Targeted Medicaid Rate Increases were approved by the General Assembly for the 2015-2016 fiscal year to mitigate rate inequities, improve access to care, and improve health outcomes.  

Approved Across-the-Board Increases, if applicable, may also apply to provider rates.  Here are links for more information on both types of rate increases.
For additional information, please go to Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.
Aurora Action Coalition for Community Services


AHA wants to give a "shout out" to one of our favorite networking partners.  The Aurora Action Coalition for Community Services (AACCS) was organized in 1975 to create a forum for sharing information about health and human services in Aurora.  Informal, friendly meetings are held every third Friday of the month from 9:00 to 10:30 at the MLK Library on Colfax. 


At about half the meetings, AACCS invites a guest speaker to provide an educational overview of a relevant topic.  Recent topics have included the new Colorado Crisis Services Program and the impact of marijuana legislation.  During the other meetings, participants simply share updates, seek support and assistance from one another, and solve problems.  Recently, the members quickly mobilized to assist the City of Aurora with its initiative for our homeless citizens.  A few months ago, when one food pantry found they had more supplies than they could easily use, these resources were efficiently distributed to other sites. 


AACCS uses its list serve to share timely, relevant information.  At AHA, we rely on AACCS to alert us to meaningful meetings and factual Facebook posts.  While you don't have to be a member to participate in AACCS meetings, at only $25/year for agencies, and $10/year for individuals, you won't find a better bargain for staying connected in Aurora.  If you'd like to learn more or become a member, you can reach them at aaccsaurora@gmail.com. We hope to see you at a future meeting.

AHA envisions a community where all residents
 have an opportunity for health. 

AHA works collaboratively to improve access 
to care and create a healthier Aurora.

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