Assembly 2018, San Diego | June 10-12

Sr. Concilia Moran Award - Colleen Scanlon, RN, JD



Colleen Scanlon, RN, JD
Senior Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer
Catholic Health Initiatives
Englewood, Colo.


As senior vice president and chief advocacy officer for Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), Colleen leads the development and implementation of a comprehensive advocacy program that has had a significant positive impact not only for CHI, but for the Catholic health ministry in the United States.

Under Colleen's leadership, CHI has been a leading voice at the federal, state and local levels on a wide range of issues related to the health and well-being of the patients and residents it serves.

Throughout her two decades with CHI, Colleen has embodied the organization's vision of creating healthier communities while serving as an advocate for those in need.

Although Colleen is responsible for framing and advancing the many issues, causes and concerns that are CHI's advocacy priorities, she has been especially effective in making violence prevention a
hallmark of CHI's advocacy efforts. As an executive sponsor of CHI's United Against Violence program, Colleen led the implementation of a multifaceted approach to violence prevention in the health care industry that has attracted attention from peer organizations and external audiences alike, including the American Hospital Association.Colleen championed an approach that recognizes violence as a complex public health issue requiring solutions that employ multiple methods. The model involves public policy, socially responsible investing, community-based programs, education across the socioecological
spectrum, and strong partnerships with local and national organizations to influence social and political norms.

One example of this approach is CHI's work with a number of community groups in Nazareth, Ky., to help raise awareness about human trafficking. Within two years, that education effort resulted in the formation of a statewide coalition instrumental in helping pass one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation in the nation addressing human trafficking. CHI's program, centered around a clinical education module developed with the Massachusetts General Hospital Human Trafficking Initiative, helps health care providers identify and respond to victims of human trafficking. This module has been featured and shared by the Catholic Health Association (CHA) and others. Colleen also was a leading force in CHA's development of a human trafficking initiative, Faithfully United Against Human Trafficking.

Colleen has been instrumental in the oversight and direction of CHI's Mission and Ministry Fund, which represents an in-house grant program. Since its creation in 1996, the same time CHI was formed, this fund has provided approximately $80 million for almost 500 different projects nationally and worldwide, including nearly $19 million to support CHI's violence prevention program.

As a former clinical nurse specialist in palliative care, Colleen has dedicated her career to giving voice to the voiceless and to advancing the wide-ranging advocacy efforts that help define the mission of Catholic health care.

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© The Catholic Health Association

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© The Catholic Health Association

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© The Catholic Health Association