Dr. Virgilio Licona Honored with New Community Health Leadership Award Program

For Immediate Release
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KEYSTONE, CO – The work and memory of Dr. Virgilio Licona was honored today by the Colorado Health Foundation at the annual Colorado Health Symposium, with a new community health leadership program that embodies his spirit and lifelong work. Dr. Licona, a nationally-recognized physician, activist and community-based leader who brought a critical voice to some of the most important conversations and decisions related to how Coloradans can live the healthiest lives possible. Dr. Licona passed away earlier this year on March 29.

The Dr. Virgilio Licona Community Health Leadership Award program will recognize impassioned Coloradans who are designing and implementing effective solutions to community health barriers. The program will officially launch in March 2017. 

Painting by Anthony Ortega. Titled: Paletas a las Cinco de la Tarde. Pastel (22" x 27”)

As a dedicated physician, Dr. Licona practiced medicine for more than 40 years, spending the last 19 years at Salud Family Health Centers. A devoted advocate for improving the health of hard-working families and social justice, Dr. Licona contributed to the health of Coloradans by advocating for community-based health solutions and through his personal experiences, expertise in rural health delivery, migrant health and social justice.

The Foundation’s President and CEO Karen McNeil-Miller honored Dr. Licona, a long-time Foundation Board member, and his family at an evening reception. She shared her thoughts on the impact of his work on Coloradans. 

“My friend’s impact on community health is unparalleled in Colorado. It was an honor to have Dr. Licona’s important and strong voice influence the work of the Foundation,” noted McNeil-Miller. “For countless others, Dr. Licona was much more than a trusting voice on health. He brought unwavering activism for equity and access to support families across the state. His work went beyond the clinic setting – it embodied the notion that we all have a role in the business of health. This program is a unique opportunity to honor the spirit of who he was, and support others who believe and are changing lives as he did.”

Dr. Licona’s family joined the Foundation’s Board, staff and Symposium at an evening reception to announce the new program and receive a painting created by Denver-based visual artist, Anthony Ortega. The painting, titled “Paletas a las Cinco de la Tarde” was inspired by community gatherings.


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.

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