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.