Taryn Fort

Senior Director of Communications and External Influence

Taryn is a storyteller at heart. At the Foundation, she leads the Communications team, where she sets the vision for the communications department to advance Foundation goals, strategy and mission through effective and equitable communications. She’s also responsible for developing and managing relationships that help advance organizational influence through strategic executive engagement and community engagement, including programming that advances the nonprofit executive leadership sector. Through all of this work, Taryn is driven by her belief that everyone deserves to be healthy, regardless of economic, social or geographic circumstances. As a communicator, she also believes we have a responsibility to tell the story of Colorado’s health and create a sense of belonging for those the Foundation serves.

Taryn has worked in health-related strategic communications for more than 20 years and has been at the Foundation since 2013. She started her career as a journalist, eventually moving into the corporate communications sector working for about a decade in New York City at leading communications agencies where she honed her skills in public relations, brand development and marketing. After moving to Denver, she transitioned to the nonprofit sector, working as a marketing and communications director for a national patient advocacy organization that is now part of the American Stroke Association/American Heart Association. She then transitioned to the philanthropic health sector to lead communications at the Foundation, where she has been for nearly eight years, developing and institutionalizing an approach to doing equitable and strategic communications that centers equity and the people the Foundation serves. 

The Foundation’s statewide listening tour revealed much to her, especially as a newer Coloradan. Her experiences helped her view communities and their assets and barriers to health more clearly. Having grown up in a rural Kansas community, Taryn reconnected to the unique features of small-town life as a result of the tour and better understood how school systems, clinic settings and neighborhoods can impact health. From the public library in Rifle to the vibrant after-school programs in Craig, the tour illuminated the stories that are unique to each Colorado community.

It makes sense that this storyteller’s favorite hobbies include reading historical narratives, short stories and The New Yorker. Never one to stay still for long, Taryn has been an avid runner since the age of 17. On weekends, she strikes a healthy balance — brewery hopping; hitting the slopes; and spending time with her husband, Matt, and young daughter, Ginger.

“Everyone deserves to be healthy, no matter where you live, who you are or what you do in life.”
Taryn Fort
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