The Colorado Health Foundation Names Three New Members to Its Board of Directors
DENVER, CO – The Colorado Health Foundation (CHF) recently named Ross Brooks, Adam Schlegel and Michael J. Thomas, Ed.D., as the newest members of its board of directors. The Foundation thanks Russ Dispense and Virginia "Ginger" Maloney, Ph.D., as well as former board chair, Janet L. Houser, Ph.D., whose terms ended at the close of 2020.
Ross Brooks serves as CEO of Mountain Family Health Centers, overseeing the organization’s workforce, operations, mission and strategic plan since 2012. Driven by the belief that accessible, affordable health care is a right, not a privilege, Brooks has held multiple leadership roles at health care providers in Washington, D.C. and Colorado and has served on various local, state and national boards and committees, including with the National Association of Community Health Centers and the Colorado Community Health Network.
“I’m thrilled and humbled to join the talented board of directors and staff at CHF in the pursuit of this belief,” said Ross Brooks. “Thanks for inviting me to be a part of this band of troublemakers, misfits, and social justice giants.”
Adam Schlegel brings experience in entrepreneurship, management and social conscious business practices. Primarily operating in the restaurant and food industries, Schlegel also served as Eat Denver’s executive director, a nonprofit focused on locally owned, independent restaurants, where he led the development of its mission, community education and advocacy efforts. In the Denver restaurant scene, Schlegel co-founded Snooze A.M. Eatery and owns Chook Chicken. He serves on the boards of Denver Public Market and Visit Denver, as well as health-based initiatives, and speaks on sustainable and triple bottom line management opportunities at the local and national level.
“It’s truly an honor to join the board of CHF. Having worked across the Denver and Colorado food industry for many years, alongside many organizations focused on food access, health and equity, CHF has played a pivotal role in building a just food system,” Schlegel said. “CHF plays a major role in what many of us Coloradans hold dear, a healthy lifestyle for all to flourish, and I’m excited to help in this conversation however I can.”
Dr. Michael J. Thomas possesses over twenty-five years of experience in the education, community-based mental health, hospital and corrections fields. Currently, in his third year as superintendent of schools for Colorado Springs School District 11, he oversees approximately 26,000 students in 55 elementary, middle and high schools. Dr. Thomas prides himself on a collaborative, engaging leadership style, built with equity at the center of his professional and personal identities. He serves on multiple boards, including the Pikes Peak Region YMCA Board of Directors and the Colorado Springs Downtown Rotary.
“I am thrilled to join CHF’s Board of Directors and I appreciate the intersectionality of my 25 years in education and the importance that comprehensive health plays to ensuring positive school outcomes,” said Dr. Thomas. “The Foundation is explicit in their mission to ‘improve the health of all Coloradans’, but I am most impressed with CHF’s cornerstones to include the voices of the communities they serve and an intentional focus of creating health equity. As a member of the board, I am committed to ensuring my governance voice aligns to this.”
“Our board members are critical to our work to bring health in reach for all Coloradans. I am grateful to Janet, Ginger and Russ, whose exceptionally dedicated leadership over the years has moved our mission forward,” said President and CEO Karen McNeil-Miller. “I look forward to working with Ross, Adam and Michael, all of whom bring a wealth of experience with and passion for the health and well-being of the people of Colorado.”