Steamboat’s Lisa Brown steps down as CEO of Northwest Colorado Health
November 12, 2017
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Lisa Brown has witnessed many changes at Northwest Colorado Health since accepting the position as the organization’s chief executive officer six years ago.
"We have expanded our services, so we have increased our clinical care by opening a community health center in Steamboat Springs, as well as offering dental health across all of our community health centers," Brown said. "Today, we also have integrated behavioral health on-site in our community health centers, and we have been able to provide more services across a bigger area and that includes expanding home health and hospice in Grand County when they were having a pretty severe funding crisis."
Brown announced last week she will be leaving Northwest Colorado Health by the end of the year. The move comes a few months after her mother, Mary Brown, was involved in a bike accident at the corner of U.S. Highway 40 and Majestic Circle south of Steamboat Springs. She suffered a serious spinal injury and is undergoing therapy at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver.
"Certainly my mother's accident has clearly been life changing," Brown said. "It's a huge part of the reason (I’m leaving), and it's really fortunate for me that I can be in a position where I can take some time to help my mom transition."
Brown said she was comfortable making the choice to relocate to be closer to her mom and provide the support needed in her recovery because Northwest Colorado Health is in such a good position.
"The organization is in a really good and stable place and now is a good time to have a leadership change while we are doing really well," Brown said. "That's something that I'm really excited about — helping to make this a really good, well-thought-out transition, and I also get to take care of my family at the same time."
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Among the many accomplishments Northwest Colorado Health has achieved is a new primary care clinic in Steamboat Springs as well as integrated dental and behavioral health centers in Steamboat and Craig.
"She has been just a phenomenal assist to us, to the organization and for the entire region,” said Charlotte Kuntz, vice president of the Northwest Colorado Health board of directors. “For the past six years, she has walked the organization through all kinds of growth. She was there to meet the community needs, and she has stayed focused on the mission. She has done some really wonderful things for the organization and the community."
The organization continues to look to the future of health care and improving outcomes for residents of Northwest Colorado.
"At the same time we are expanding services, we are really working to have our services and our work and our philosophy be more and more about how do we support people and walk together with people in prevention,” Brown said, "both with building resiliency as well as building physical health and wellness."
Brown said she was particularly proud that the organization was invited to join the National Pursuing Equity Initiative.
The two-year program, which was launched in April, has the goal of reducing inequities in health and increasing health-care access, treatment and outcomes by implementing comprehensive strategies to create and sustain equitable health systems.
"We do have a good team and provide very high quality care," Brown said. "Our challenges are not unique to us, and they are part of bigger societal challenges. With more and more folks aging, and aging independently, being able to provide the services to keep people living independently and as healthy as possible is increasingly difficult.”
Brown insists that Steamboat Springs will always be her home even after moving to Denver in the new year.
“Health care was new to me, and it's been incredible to work with our team,” Brown said. “The people I get to work with every day are so caring and creative and dedicated. Getting to be with people who are supporting others in some of the worse days of their life is pretty amazing."