As Executive Director, Lynn provides overall leadership to TCHNetwork. Prior to this calling, she held executive positions in the health insurance and multi-specialty medical group fields. Lynn and five peers created a successful start-up Medicaid managed care plan, which currently serves over one million people. Yet her proudest and most challenging role to-date is raising three boys to be responsible, engaged, and independent. Lynn’s dedication and devotion to rural healthcare is grounded in the belief that rural communities should have the same rights as their urban counterparts. Lynn believes that through collaboration the Tri-County region can be a model for systems of improved access, outcomes, and patient experiences for all health related services. When work gets too serious Lynn decompress by skiing, playing hockey, and enjoying Colorado’s beautiful outdoors with her hubby and kids as well as watching her favorite Pittsburgh sports teams – the Steelers and Penguins!
Director of Strategic Initiatives
As Director of Strategic Initiatives with TCHNetwork, Rasa oversees program evaluation, grants, and marketing for TCHNetwork. She also provides direction to several of our programs designed to address the social determinants of health and improve health and wellbeing for residents in our rural region. Rasa received her B.A. from Michigan State University and her Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado. Involved in the non for profit sector since 2007, her past experience includes program evaluator at the Center for Policy Research and Director of Program Support at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains. A perk to Rasa’s job is showing program staff, who can sometimes get caught up in the day-to-day, how their work is making a difference in people’s lives using findings from our program evaluations. Rasa is obsessed with the Michigan State Spartans and loves hiking, road biking, and backpacking.
Behavioral Health Program Manager
As the Program Manager for Behavioral Health Paul is excited to work to reduce stigma around mental health, to expand access to care in the communities we serve, and provide opportunities to educate our communities on mental health issues. Specifically, Paul works on the following initiatives: He is a trained Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor, a program to educate those who work with youth ages 12 to 18; Implementing new solutions in mental health through tele therapy; Implementing TCHNetwork’s Behavioral Health Strategic Plan for San Miguel County; Facilitating and coordinating the Telluride community’s efforts to implement the Communities That Care prevention planning system to reduce teen substance use and improve outcomes for all teens in our community. Paul has lived in Telluride since 2001 where he and his wife have raised 5 children. Paul serves on the Telluride School District Board of Education and the Colorado Association of School Boards, and he is a board member for the Center for Mental Health.
Community Programs Manager
As the Community Programs Manager, Erich oversees innovative programs that help our rural communities access important health and social services. He is currently leading the Skippy+ Dental Program, Insurance Navigation, Non-Emergent Medical Transportation Partnership with Lyft and the Senior Services Program. Erich believes that healthcare is a human right and enjoys working to implement solutions that he believes are correcting decades worth of inequities. Work often takes him around the Western Slope and he enjoys the opportunity to explore the region he now calls home.
Outside of work Erich likes exploring the Western Slope through hiking, skiing, biking or paddling. What he likes best about the region are the 300+ days of sunshine (the opposite of where he grew up).
Community Outreach Manager
As Community Outreach Manager, Kody is charged with setting the strategic vision of the Tri-County Health Network’s multicultural initiatives. Unfortunately, significant barriers prevent our diverse population from accessing basic health and human services. Kody’s job is to identify service gaps and introduce targeted interventions to fill those gaps, utilizing community engagement, organization, and empowerment strategies. To prepare for this role, Kody spent several years in the Middle East where he served as a university lecturer teaching Spanish and intercultural communication courses. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala (’06-’08), and returned to Guatemala in 2014 to found Mujerave, a nonprofit dedicated to women’s empowerment. Kody enjoys all things outdoors, but if you catch him inside he is probably reading or listening to Bob Dylan records and trying new recipes in the kitchen.
Community Health Programs Manager
As Community Health Programs Manager, Adrienne is committed to expanding health equity and addressing health related social needs for rural Coloradans. She works on population health projects focusing on chronic disease prevention, social determinants of health and care coordination. Adrienne received her B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and developed her passion for public health during a semester abroad studying community and public health in Durban, South Africa. Adrienne was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and has lived on the western slope for 5 years. She is passionate about the outdoors, and enjoying all that Colorado has to offer with her friends, family and dog Gus (the cutest golden doodle in all the land).
Palliative Support Services Coordinator
As Program Coordinator, Ben is responsible for the facilitation of multiple programs at Tri-County Health Network that encompass both mental and physical health across diverse populations. These programs include Communities That Care, Mental Health First Aid, National Alliance on Mental Illness classes and support groups, Options Counseling through the Aging and Disability Resources of Colorado, Palliative Support Services, and Teletherapy. While splitting time between the Telluride office and field work in Ouray, Ridgway, and the West End of Montrose County, Ben works directly with community members, local stakeholders, and regional organizations to coordinate direct services. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Ben moved to Colorado in 2004. After completing his B.S. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Biomedical Sciences from Colorado State University, Ben moved to Telluride for what was supposed to be one winter and never left. A decade later, you can find Ben on his skis, his mountain bike, or in Town Park at one of the many music festivals that take place every summer.
Behavioral Health Outreach Coordinator
As Behavioral Health Outreach Coordinator, Sami is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the behavioral health programs administered by Tri-County Health Network. Sami works to support the education outreach of TCHNetwork related to mental health and wellness, including supporting community and youth coalitions, delivering evidence-based educational programs, and conducting outreach activities and presentations. Some of these programs include Communities that Care, Mental Health First Aid, NAMI Family-to-Family, and an annual Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk. After earning her B.S. in Sustainable Technology from Appalachian State University, she traded the Blue Ridge Mountains for the San Juan Mountains surrounding glorious Telluride, CO. Outside of the office, you can find Sami on her yoga mat, dancing to live music, hiking, paddle boarding, or baking something chocolatey.
Marlen Olivas Romero
As Cultural Navigator, Marlen provides insurance enrollment, immigration services, and general navigation services for clients, including housing applications, educational opportunities for youth, and arranging and interpreting during client meetings with lawyers and law enforcement. Marlen Olivas Romero arrived in Telluride in 2003 after spending her childhood in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, on the west coast of Mexico. There, she earned a technical degree in Tourism and spent three years at the University of Sinaloa working towards a degree in Communication Sciences. Upon arriving in Telluride, she continued to study and advance her career in the tourism industry, becoming a licensed esthetician and earning teaching certificates in Zumba and Pilates, courses she continues to teach each week at the Wilkinson Public Library. Marlen enjoys challenging herself and learning new skills and putting them into action, and she spends her free time hiking and cycling the mountainous terrain around Telluride.
Regional Health Connector
Alexis’ time in Telluride began in April 2016 when she joined the TCHNetwork team as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Originally from Northern Virginia, she fell in love with the mountains and wide open spaces that make the Western Slope a gem. In college Alexis earned a degree in environmental science from the University at Albany. She continues with TCHNetwork serving the community as a Regional Health Connector working to build relationships between medical providers and community partners and a Health Coverage Guide in San Miguel and the Westend of Montrose counties. In her spare time you can catch Alexis playing outdoors, reading, eating spaghetti, or petting cats (in a perfect world she’d be doing all at once).
Community Programs Coordinator
As the Community Programs Coordinator, Lily will be helping to expand TCHNetwork community programs, including the Skippy Dental Program, our on-demand transportation services, and various outreach activities. Lily understands the importance of an integrative healthcare system and she is passionate about connecting individuals with services to improve their overall health. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Puget Sound. Lily moved to Colorado to serve as an AmeriCorps member within Community HealthCorps and she most recently managed a cardiovascular clinical research site. Originally from Montana, Lily is happy to be back living in the mountains. She is excited to explore the Western Slope through skiing, hiking, fishing, and rafting. When not outside, you can find her watercolor painting or baking pies.
Health Equity Coordinator
As Health Equity Coordinator, Marisa will lead the development of TCHNetwork’s health and racial equity advocacy efforts and support health equity initiatives internally and throughout the region. One component of this work includes developing an immigration legal assistance program. Before taking this position, Marisa served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Telluride Foundation focusing on rural economic development in the West End of San Miguel and Montrose counties. Marisa earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy, with a concentration in public service and ethics, from Boston College. Marisa traded the ocean for the mountains by moving to Telluride, after having grown up on the South Shore of Massachusetts in Scituate.
Leveraging health data to improve patient care and to provide actionable insights for our network members is the core of Matt’s role at TCHNetwork as Data Analyst. He also acts as the point person for all IT related matters for the organization. Originally trained in economics, Matt has a strong background in data modeling, forecasting, and statistical analysis, as well as extensive experience in data visualization. He has a passion for the power of good data analytics to inform decision making and improve people’s lives. Matt has a Master’s in applied economics from John’s Hopkins University, and a Bachelor’s in economics from the University of Colorado – Boulder. When he’s not wrangling data in the office Matt can be found outside hiking, camping, fishing, or snowboarding with his wife and daughter – enjoying all the beauty and adventure that our region has to offer.
Community Health Workers
Our local Community Health Workers provide outreach, education, referral, follow-up, case management and advocacy for those at-risk for diabetes and heart disease. Our CHWs offer local residents free diabetes and heart disease screenings that include Cholesterol, Blood Glucose, Blood Pressure, BMI, Height & Weight, Health Information and an action plan for healthier lifestyle choices.
Enrollment Navigators are responsible for educating, processing and enrolling eligible individuals and families efficiently and effectively into programs such as Medicaid/CHP+/SNAP and the state marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado, as well as assisting with TCHNetwork’s mobile school based cavity prevention program known as Skippy.
Born and raised in Gardner Massachusetts Carol moved to Telluride in 1972. She had almost every job imaginable in the small ski town from Lift operator to owning her own business. As a licensed practical nurse, Carol had the experience of working several years, at the Norwood Clinic and the Telluride Medical Center, then called Mountain Medical. Empathetic and compassionate by nature, Carol joined TCHNetwork to help the community. She is dedicated to providing the best service possible for anyone who may need her assistance. Ask Carol about: Colorado’s state marketplace for health insurance, CHP+, Medicaid, San Juan Kids Cavity Prevention Program “Skippy”, and the Good Neighbor Fund. On a slow Friday afternoon, you can find Carol on her deck with friends and family.
Patient Health Navigators
Patient Health Navigators work collaboratively with a clinical team to engage patients in actively managing their chronic conditions and promote patient education and self-management skills through motivational interviewing techniques.
Naturita’s Basin Clinic
When a close family member was seriously injured last year, a TCHNetwork employee reached out to Cyndi’s family and helped coordinate services for them during a very difficult time. This persona was an angel to them and Cyndi now hopes to be the angel to others in the Westend. Outside of work, you’ll find Cyndi and her husband working on their ranch, where they have 68 Suri Alpacas that produce beautifully fine fleece that gets processed into yarns and fabrics. Cyndi also enjoys hiking, off-roading, mountain biking, and spending time with her 6 grown kids and 3 beautiful grandkids.
Delta Outreach Coordinator
As a native of Colorado and of Delta County, Angela has deep roots connecting her to local communities. Angela earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and Public Administration from the University of Phoenix and has vast experience navigating regional resource. Angela is passionate about serving community members who need help accessing and utilizing resources throughout Delta County. Angela strongly believes that “if we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. …We need not wait to see what others do.” -Mahatma Ghandi. Ask Angela about local resources and programs from human services, medical and non medical transportation and for ideas to meet your need! Angela enjoys cooking new and tasty recipes with her family, reading as often as possible, and keeping her teenage boys busy!
Montrose Outreach Coordinator
Amy will be working as an Outreach Coordinator with Rocky Mountain Health Plans Health First Colorado members and medical providers in Montrose. She is working to help members access support and services to increase their health and wellness. Amy has worked in an array of fields geared around older adults and adults with disabilities for the past 26 years. Starting as a Certified Nursing Assistant, transitioning to recreation coordination and now care coordination, outreach and resource development. Amy enjoys researching and developing programs to reduce health disparities and empower people to improve their health and independence. She is certified as a REACH (Resources Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health) Interventionist and certified to teach Healthier Living Colorado classes, she currently is participant in the Colorado Trust Health Equity Leadership Learning Series. Amy says, “Every day I learn something new, if I can take a little bit of what I learn to help someone else the day is complete.” Ask Amy about how to access resources on long-term care supports, services, and benefits. Amy’s favorite thing about our community is the San Juan Mountains and enjoys photographing their beauty.
Ouray Outreach Coordinator
As Outreach Coordinator for Ouray County, Karla works part time on three Tri-County Health Network projects: Aging and Disability Resource Center, Rocky Mountain Health Plans Care Coordination, and as the Ouray County Community Health Worker. Born and raised in Chicago, Karla became a San Juan Mountain “LIFER” when she married her husband, a native of Ouray, over a decade ago. With more fifteen years working in the nonprofit sector, Karla is very excited to be helping improve access to health care and support services in her rural community. Karla enjoys Nordic skiing, wildflowers, mushroom hunting and being with her husband and two sons.
West End Outreach Coordinator
Skitter Jones a local resident of 17 years. She brings years of knowledge and experience navigating regional resources. Skitter is passionate about her community and connecting individuals with services to improve their overall health and well-being. As the West End Outreach Coordinator, Skitter works directly with community members, local stakeholders, and regional organizations to coordinate services for the West End communities. She has raised five children, now adults, who love hiking, exploring and relaxing along a mountain stream in what she calls “the most beautiful countryside in these great United States”. She enjoys cooking, crafting, and an occasional carpentry project.
Skippy+ Dental Team
Blythe is one of our Registered Dental Hygienists for the Dental Skippy Program. This program goes into the schools and offers dental care of the underserved children in our region. Blythe has been working on and off for this program since it’s beginning days and is now a more permanent helper with this program. Blythe has lived in Telluride for 13 years now and has practiced dental hygiene for 23 years. She graduated with a BS in Dental Hygiene from the University of Vermont in 1996 and found her way to Colorado where she is raising her 10 year old daughter, Stella, and enjoying the surrounding wilderness and all it has to offer. You might see her doing her favorite sport, skate skiing, on the valley floor, or dancing at one of our many musical festivals that come to town during the summer. Blythe is also one of our volunteers for our Palliative Volunteer Program, helping community members in need of care.
Claire Appel, R.D.H. grew up in Durango, Colorado. She graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program at San Juan College in Farmington, NM in 2011. Claire worked for a private dental practice in Moab, UT for six years. She started working with Tri-County Health Network’s SKIPPY+ dental program upon moving to Telluride in 2017. Claire is currently working on international dental non-profits in Haiti, Ecuador and Nicaragua. Claire loves crack climbing, kayaking, running, skiing, surfing, traveling, biking, baking, and above all, her two kids.
Originally from Texas, Celia graduated dental hygiene school in Jackson, Mississippi, where she met her husband, Jim. After working for National Outdoor Leadership School, they received advanced degrees at University’s of Wyoming in Laramie before migrating to Denver for work. The allure of the amazing mountains of southwest Colorado brought them to Ridgway in 2002. Celia brings 34 years of dental hygiene experience to Skippy. In her own words, “Teeth are attached to such interesting people! I love connection with folks of all ages and feel like my relationships are a collaboration whereby as I endeavor to brighten smiles, I learn something new each day. I especially enjoy asking the children about what books they are reading and what they want to be when they grow up. Then we talk about the importance of teeth and how to brush.” Celia and her husband are avid road bikers and have ridden Ride the Rockies the past four years, as well as other local rides. Celia has a passion for reading (mostly biographies/non-fiction), hiking, exploring the mountains and entertaining friends and family.
Dr. Christy Kopasz, is the SKIPPY+ Dental Program dentist for Tri-County Health Network. Dr. Christy graduated from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine and completed additional training in a General Practice Residency at Denver Health Hospital. Before attending dental school, Dr. Christy worked 10 years as a dental assistant in a pediatric dental office and practiced as a registered dental hygienist for 16 years. Dr. Christy uses teledentistry to provide education, dental consultations, and treatment planning for patients during their comprehensive exam with a registered dental hygienist. Using the teledentistry examination data, Dr. Christy goes back into the schools to provide restorative dentistry to treat dental decay without parents missing work or children missing school. Dr. Christy is a native of Colorado. When she is not working in dentistry, she enjoys spending her free time with her 10-year-old son. They love swimming and skiing together.
Lynsey is a registered dental hygienist that has been working with Skippy Dental program for the past four years. She attended The Sarah Whitaker Glass School of Dental Hygiene at West Liberty University in West Virginia and has been a practicing locally in Telluride and Ridgway for the last six years. Lynsey started coming to Telluride in the early 90’s with her family to go camping and skiing. She has always wanted to live in the mountains and when she moved to Telluride her dreams became true. Lynsey, and her husband Matthew, enjoy spending time with their two boxer dogs – Bowie and Geddy. Additionally, she likes to snowboard, golf, camp, and she plays competitive disc golf all over Colorado.
Peggy is a Colorado Native and grew up on the Front Range before moving to Montrose in the 1980’s. She graduated from Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely, CO in 1977. She was raised in a dental and medical family and has been a practicing hygienist for over 40 years. She is married with four kids and ten grandkids. Her husband is Professional Western Artist. The beautiful Rocky Mountains, that they call home, provides inspiration for his work as well as every John Wayne movie ever made. In their leisure time, they enjoy spending time with family and the beautiful Colorado outdoors! A SKIPPY alumni, Peggy is excited about returning and helping out with her favorite age group – toddlers and elementary aged kids. She owns an independent dental hygiene practice in Montrose and loves the flexibility and peaceful atmosphere. She also recently trained to expand into orofacial myology to help improve many oral conditions that complicate patient’s health.
I have worked in the dental field for the past 25 years. It is a privilege to be back on the Western Slope providing preventative dental care to the people within my community. As a dental hygienist, I believe it is important not only to provide effective hygiene care to every patient, but to also listen to my patients dental concerns and make sure those concerns are fully addressed with the most recent research base information available. When I am not working you can find me outdoors taking time to enjoy the scenery or exploring new areas with my family.
Data & Reporting Specialist
Tim is an AmeriCorps VISTA Data & Reporting Specialist originally from Oswego, IL, a lesser-known suburb of Chicago. He studied at Vanderbilt University and received a BA in Neuroscience with a minor in Spanish. He has completed and published original research, as well as an honors thesis. When he was at Vanderbilt, Tim worked with a free clinic in Nashville where he served as a Spanish interpreter and helped monitor clinic outcome measures. Tim is excited to marry his interests in the communication and use of data with public health during his year at TCHNetwork. While in Telluride, he is eager to explore many long-time and emerging interests like hiking, reading, and dabbling in artistic endeavors.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Ryan is an AmeriCorps VISTA working for TCHNetwork as the Community Engagement Coordinator. Her role is to develop and implement outreach and marketing strategies to promote TCHNetwork programs. Ryan received her B.S. in Community Health from the University of Montana and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. She is a Colorado native who is passionate about helping people improve their lives through all dimensions of wellness. Outside of work, you can find Ryan on her mat practicing yoga, spending time outdoors hiking or skiing, planning her next international adventure, or daydreaming about dogs.