Licona award

The Dr. Virgilio Licona Community Health Leadership Award recognizes impassioned Coloradans who are finding innovative and effective strategies to overcoming community health barriers across the state. The 2018 nomination application is now closed and currently in review.

Dr. Licona worked to improve the health of Coloradans most in need, focusing his expertise as a physician in rural health care delivery and migrant health. A nationally recognized advocate for social justice, his role as a leader in communities brought a critical voice to some of the most important conversations and decisions related to how we can bring health in reach for all Coloradans.

In a documentary showcasing his life work, Dr. Licona eloquently shared his challenging, yet rewarding, journey as a grassroots activist:

“All of this, why? ... I’ve been able to focus my efforts within the health care arena to push forth those ideals that we had of the Chicano movement of improving the living status of our population, our communities and fighting for justice, fighting for equality. Fighting for those things that we think each one of us deserves, just because we are human beings and we breathe air, we’re on this planet and we’re in this together.”

The Foundation is pleased to open this award program in 2018 and to honor on-the-ground changemakers helping Colorado communities thrive today, tomorrow and in the years ahead.

The award program is designed to:

  • Advance innovative, proven and replicable solutions to critical health issues in Colorado communities
  • Recognize the power of community-based leadership in driving positive health outcomes
  • Recognize and acknowledge impactful efforts affecting social justice and improvement in the health delivery of communities most in need
  • Inspire others to strive toward Dr. Licona’s standard of excellence and to acknowledge those whose work embodies his spirit of care, compassion, activism and dedication

A strong nomination application will exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Builds bridges among people with differing backgrounds or viewpoints
  • Achieves positive change in their community
  • Contributes to better public policies and practices in the field
  • Represents a community-based organization from any field (e.g., education, health, public safety, housing, economic development, environment, etc.) that shows evidence of improving health outcomes in their community
  • Creates a positive impact in the delivery of rural health, migrant health and/or the overall health of those most in need

Nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Nominee must be a Colorado resident
  • Nominee must be making a positive impact within Colorado communities
  • Nominee must have influenced or made a significant contribution to community health and/or public policy in Colorado that advances the Foundation’s mission of improving the health of Coloradans

Nominations must comply with the following eligibility requirements:

  • Nominations are open to the public
  • Each nominator is allowed one nomination
  • Potential candidates may be nominated by more than one person
  • Organizations may nominate more than one person, but may only submit a single nomination per candidate.*
  • No self-nominations will be considered
  • No Foundation Board member, Board committee community member, staff or their immediate family members will be considered
  • No posthumous nominations will be considered
  • No standing elected officials will be considered

Learn more about the 2017 award recipient. Watch a video on the life and legacy of Dr. Licona.

The nomination application was open from Wednesday, March 28 until midnight on Wednesday, April 25. The final award winner will be chosen by the Colorado Health Foundation Board of Directors and will be announced at the Colorado Health Symposium on Thursday, Aug. 2.

The award recipient will have the opportunity to attend the full three-day Symposium free of charge, lodging and meals included, and also be offered the opportunity to designate a one-time $20,000 donation to support a Colorado-based nonprofit working to bring health in reach for all Coloradans.**

Dr. Virgilio Licona Community Health Leadership Award Recipients:

For questions, contact Keri Jones, Colorado Health Foundation communications officer, at 303-953-3695.

*We encourage individuals within an organization to collaborate on submitting a single application per candidate.

**The award donation funds may be distributed to the winner’s Colorado-based charity of choice, but “shall be used for such charities that do not enjoy substantial support through taxation.” As a result, the Colorado Health Foundation may only make a grant to a publicly-funded organization if the grant supports a specific project that does not receive most of its funding from public dollars.