Licona award

The Dr. Virgilio Licona Community Health Leadership Award Program is now closed and will open for nominations in the spring of next year. In the meantime, we encourage you to review the nomination criteria outlined below. For questions, contact Keri Jones, communications officer, at 303-953-3695.

A nationally recognized advocate for social justice and health equity, Dr. Licona contributed to the health of Coloradans as a physician and expert in migrant health and rural health care delivery. His role as a leader – at both the systems- and community-levels – brought a critical voice to some of the most important conversations and decisions for bringing health closer in reach for all Coloradans.

In a video showcasing his life’s workDr. Licona shares his challenging, yet rewarding, journey as a community health leader:

“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.”

Vea el sitio web del Premio Dr. Virgilio Licona al Liderazgo de la Salud Comunitaria en español

The award program honors on-the-ground changemakers – working both at the systems- and community-levels – who are tackling significant community health barriers and advancing health equity in Colorado.

The award program is designed to:

  • Recognize impactful efforts to advance health and health equity for Coloradans who have historically had less power and/or privilege
  • Advance innovative, proven and replicable solutions to address critical health issues in Colorado communities
  • Recognize the power of community health leadership in driving positive health outcomes 
  • Inspire others to strive toward Dr. Licona’s standard of excellence and to honor those whose work embodies his spirit of care, compassion, activism and dedication

Through this award program, the Foundation recognizes one Coloradan annually who demonstrates a distinguished track record of leadership in the communities they serve and in the systems they are working to disrupt for positive change. 

A strong nomination application will demonstrate alignment with the following eligibility criteria:

  • Nominee is a Colorado resident working in and serving Colorado communities
  • Nominee’s work aligns with the Foundation’s cornerstones that advance our efforts to bring health in reach for all Coloradans
  • Nominee is actively and intentionally working to advance health equity and improve health outcomes for all Coloradans
  • Nominee has significantly influenced or contributed to positive systems-level and community-level change, such as implementing better public policies and/or practices in the field
  • Nominee has fostered lasting connections and built bridges among people with differing backgrounds or viewpoints
  • Nominee represents a community-based organization from any field that shows evidence of improving health outcomes in their community (e.g., education, health, public safety, housing, economic development, environment, etc.)

Nominations must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • 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

We encourage all nominators to watch a video on the life and legacy of Dr. Licona for more insight on the types of leaders, and leadership characteristics, we are looking to recognize through this award program.

The annual award recipient is honored in their home community and offered the opportunity to designate a one-time $20,000 donation to support their nonprofit or another nonprofit working to improve the health of Coloradans.**

Dr. Virgilio Licona Community Health Leadership Award Recipients

2022 – Bernadette Cuthair
2021 – Dr. Lilia Cervantes
2019 – Beka Warren
2018 – Liza Marron
2017 – Sundari Kraft
2016 – Dr. Virgilio Licona

Vea el sitio web del Premio Dr. Virgilio Licona al Liderazgo de la Salud Comunitaria en español

Questions? Contact Keri Jones, senior 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.

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