Every year, Colorado Senior Lobby (CSL) has a few new board members as existing members rotate off the board. This year we have several new members who started their terms on August 1, 2020.
During our selection process we asked CSL members to show their interest in becoming a board member. We received applications from more people than we had vacancies to fill – which indicated a high level of interest! Our Executive Committee of the Board interviewed all the applicants and selected those who were the best fit in terms of interests, experience, and skills.
Please welcome our newest Board Members: Lisa Smith, Blaine Cole, Jodi Waterhouse, and Gail Meehan.
This year, CSL has the most age diverse board representing a number of different generations working together for a common purpose. And so we begin with our “under forty” years of age Board members – Jarett, Blaine, and Lisa.
Blaine Cole comes to us with tremendous passion and enthusiasm for working for the benefit of older Coloradans. His current occupation is Medicaid Enrollment and Eligibility Representative with InnovAge in Aurora. He works one-on-one with people who need help navigating the many complexities of our social and health systems.
Blaine is deeply interested in helping our older citizens to age in place, to have “the ability to live in one’s own community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” Public policy issues of importance to Blaine include public-private partnerships, expansions of long-term Medicaid services, of telehealth services for rural Coloradans, adequate funding for our AAA’s, improved access to services for minorities, innovations in affordable housing and continuously improving the protections of our disabled populations.
Lisa Smith is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and currently works for Team Rubicon in their fellowship program. Team Rubicon equips military veterans with tools to redefine their purpose and self-identity out of uniform for a life of continued community service as servant leaders. Lisa has a Masters in Social Work and Policy from Boston College and experience working with Larimer County Human Services Long Term Care.
Lisa has extensive experience working in nursing homes as a teenager and young adult and has carried her interest in helping older adults into her career and higher education. She hopes that Colorado’s policy makers focus on providing community services and support to help people age in place; to encourage more family engagement to help their older family members live in the comfort of their own home. Lisa also believes in the idea of home sharing with older adults to avoid hospital and nursing home admissions.
Naturally, this leads to a strong interest in having available transportation options to support aging in place while combating social isolation.
Jodi Waterhouse is the Program Manager for at the CU Anschutz Multidisciplinary Center on Aging, where she focuses on industry, community, and campus outreach. She has a Masters in Health Care Administration from Chapman University and over 24 years of working experience, including 23 years at the University of San Diego before joining the University of Colorado
In her role at CU Anschutz, she works with faculty and clinicians to enhance and expand existing educational, research and clinical programs within the Multidisciplinary Center on Aging (MCOA), manages and creates partnerships in the community and governmental agencies, and directs the communication efforts for MCOA and Division of Geriatrics working with School of Medicine, internal departments and outside agencies to develop communication, marketing and strategic plans.
Jodi is passionate about eliminating ageism in Colorado, highlighting the many contributions of older Coloradans, providing educational opportunities to all Coloradans through multiple platforms to encourage the immediate use of relevant and practical information. She says that, “Without beginning to build higher-level conversations and changing attitudes about ageism, we will continue to fight our silo battles and only make small changes to a much bigger societal problem.”
Gail Meehan is our first board member from outside the Denver metro. She lives in Trinidad, Colorado and is a native of the East Coast. She earned her Masters of Public Health from Boston University School of Medicine and has extensive experience in both administration and as an educator in Geriatric Services in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. She has served in executive roles in the New York Presbyterian Health Care System and the Bayonne Medical Center Geriatric Services and has extensive experience as a nursing home administrator. In Trinidad, Gail founded and serves as chair of Senior Health Advocates Colorado whose mission is “”To ensure that seniors in Southern Colorado are provided with services required by law and by standards of decency and dignity.”
She is deeply concerned about the care of Colorado’s frail elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities and is interested in “innovative and supportive housing; supporting older workers and reducing ageism; improving legal aide, educating the population regarding their rights and services available to them; developing a statewide quality, coordinated, geriatric healthcare system which includes mental health and cognitive evaluation; developing effective outreach services to seniors living in rural communities; developing a transportation system that meets the needs of seniors; developing community improvements to allow for safe and healthy living; and working for an environment that supports the well being for all seniors in the state.”
As of 2020, the Colorado Senior Lobby Board meets monthly on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 1:00 to 2:30 with Zoom. Prior to COVID-19 we were meeting at Disability Law Colorado located at 455 Sherman St #130, Denver, CO 80203. We hope at some point that we will be able to meet there again. Visit our CSL Board web page to meet all of our board members – CLICK HERE