New Health Advocacy Organization Appoints First Executive Director
DENVER, CO — A new, health-focused 501(c)(4) organization created and seed funded in 2013 by the Colorado Health Foundation has hired Jake Williams as its executive director. As the head of the organization, Williams will drive the organization's mission to increase Coloradans' access to health coverage, quality health care and healthy living through changes in public policy. The advocacy organization, which will be officially named in the coming weeks, is separate from and independent of the Colorado Health Foundation.
The Foundation provided the seed funding for the organization in order to continue to bolster the level of advocacy for health-related issues across the state.
"Everyone involved in health-related advocacy throughout our state should be strengthened through this organization's abilities to partner with individuals, communities and organizations working to advance policies to make Colorado a healthier state," said Anne Warhover, president and CEO of the Foundation. "I am excited for Jake Williams to get this important work underway."
In making its decision, the 501(c) (4)'s board conducted a broad-based search for a strong, community-oriented leader with a history of organizing and activating a wide range of community partners to bring about solution-driven health policies for Coloradans.
Mike Dino, a senior policy advisor at Patton Boggs, chairs the organization's diverse board of directors.
"We are pleased to welcome Jake as the leader of this new organization," said Mr. Dino. "Jake brings years of strong political and campaign experience in the environmental and health sectors that will strengthen our efforts to advance policies to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation."
In addition to Dino, the six-member board currently includes: Tamra Ward, board vice chair and also president and CEO of Colorado Concern; Grant Jones, executive director of the Center for African American Health; Jackie Brown, MS, RN, APN, integrated care director at Southeast Health Group in Lamar, Colo.; Pete Maysmith, executive director of Conservation Colorado; and Chris Watney, president and CEO of Colorado Children's Campaign.
Williams, who received his masters in comparative politics and policy from the London School of Economics, most recently served as a consultant to the Walton Family Foundation in their effort to sustain the Colorado River and to the Gill Foundation in their effort to promote LGBT legal equality. Previously, he was campaigns director for the Western Conservation Foundation and campaign director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In addition, he has led a number of other grassroots engagement and advocacy campaigns in Colorado. He lives in Lafayette, Colo., with his wife and two daughters.
"Launching an organization that is uniquely positioned to improve the health of Coloradans is truly a privilege," said Williams. "I look forward to developing many new relationships and forging partnerships as our success will depend on working in cooperation with nonprofit advocates, the private sector and individual Coloradans."
About the Colorado Health Foundation
The Colorado Health Foundation is singularly focused on helping Coloradans live their healthiest lives by advancing opportunities to pursue good health and achieve health equity through grantmaking, policy and advocacy, strategic private investments and convening to drive change. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.