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, and provide opportunities to educate our communities on mental health issues. Paul is a trained Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor, a program to educate those who work with youth ages 12 to 18. He also focuses on implementing new solutions in mental health through tele therapy, implementing TCHNetwork’s Behavioral Health Strategic Plan for San Miguel County and facilitating and coordinating 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.
As Operations Manager, Laura is responsible for facilitating all TCHNetwork business operations. Laura oversees general policy and procedure development at Tri-County Health Network and supports the many volunteers that keep the organization running. The aspect of her work that most excites Laura is working with TCHNetwork’s program managers to more effectively implement all of the organization’s grants. Laura has a background in urban planning and public health, with a passion for understanding how our built environment plays a role in our social determinants of health. Originally from the great state of Oregon, Laura moved to Colorado to complete her master’s degrees, but happily traded life in the front range for a lifetime of peace and adventure in the San Juans. Outside of work, you can find Laura on a bike in the mountains or a raft exploring the rivers of the Southwest.
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.
Care Coordination Supervisor
As Care Coordination Supervisor, 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).
School Based Program Coordinator
As School Based Program Coordinator, Julia is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the school based programs administered by Tri-County Health Network. Julia oversees all aspects of the existing teletherapy program including developing new venues for delivering teletherapy services in schools and communities. She delivers education and outreach programs including Mental Health First Aid, SafeTALK and NAMI to adult and youth populations. Julia also assists with the Skippy dental program. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Strategic Communications and a minor in Psychology, Julia traveled to Southern Goa, India to study Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. After India, she traded in the Arabian Sea for the San Juan Mountains. Julia is a local yoga teacher who loves sharing her passion for movement meditation. If she’s not in the office, or at a yoga studio, you can find Julia meandering the mountains and enjoying a world without walls with her dog Scout.
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.
Population Health Coordinator
As the Population Health Coordinator, Alexis is in charge of coordinating all of TCHNetwork’s food programs from Cooking Matters, to serving on the Local Food Initiative Board. 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 University at Albany, SUNY. 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 Health Programs Supervisor
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.
Cultural and Enrollment Navigator
Nuria joins Tri-County Health Network as the Cultural and Enrollment Navigator. In this postion, she tackles many roles with the goal of increasing health equity in TCHN’s coverage area. Nuria helps clients enroll in various benefit programs, including SNAP, Medicaid, and other health insurance plans. Nuria is also spearheading a common, inclusive application for San Miguel County youth programs to increase access to extracurricular activities for children living in Telluride. Her first experience in Telluride was during the 2016-2017 school year where she worked for Telluride School District as a dual immersion teacher. Originally from Spain, Nuria held positions in education and international sales prior to relocating to Telluride permanently in 2019. When she is not at the office, you can find her on any sunny terrace chatting with friends, hiking the Telluride trails, or planning her next camping weekend.
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.
Hope joins the TCHNetwork team as an AmeriCorps VISTA Community Specialist. She is ecstatic to gain a deeper knowledge of how policy informs community health through developing programs at Tri-County Health Network, with a focus on Behavioral Health. Hope will provide program support and work to improve processes and workflows for programs including Communities That Care, San Miguel Behavioral Health Collaborative, and Teletherapy. A Maine native, she received her B.A. in Biology and English Literature from Bates College where she also was Captain of the swim team and fostered a keen interest in sustainable food systems. Outside of the office, she is stoked to play in the San Juans and hone her cooking skills.
Public Health Analyst
Shanan joins Tri-County Health Network as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the role of Public Health Analyst. She comes from Proctorville, Ohio, a small suburb of Huntington, West Virginia. Shanan earned a BS in Biochemistry from Ohio University and, while in college, fell in love with hiking, camping, and especially with running. Quite the advocate for fresh veggies and coffee, she can usually be spotted at a local farmer’s market. During her VISTA experience, Shanan plans to get to know Telluride, Colorado, and the surrounding region. She will also work to improve Tri-County Health Network’s systems and procedures for gathering data and reporting outcomes on the organization’s wide-ranging programs
Public Health Marketing Coordinator
As the Public Health Marketing Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA, Corinne works to expand the reach of Tri-County Health Network’s marketing efforts. Her role includes a focus on digital and print media promotion. Corinne’s goal is to effectively promote programs and initiatives so that the diverse population in Tri-County Health Network’s coverage area can achieve more equitable health outcomes. Corinne received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Grand Valley State University in her home state of Michigan. During her time as an undergraduate she spent a semester studying abroad in Sydney, Australia, and surfed breaks from Melbourne to Perth and the South Island of New Zealand. In her free time, Corinne enjoys camping, hiking, surfing, coaching volleyball, saving the planet, and feeding her unique obsession with Antarctica.
Skippy+ Dental Team
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 the University of Wyoming in Laramie before migrating to Denver. The allure of the mountains 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 has a passion for reading, 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.
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 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.
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.
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.