December 31st, 2010
DENVER - Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper announced today Sue Birch will be Executive Director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
Birch is now the Chief Executive Officer of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association in Steamboat Springs. She also helped start Club 20?s Health Care task force, which focused on Western Slope health care challenges. The task force evolved into Healthy 58, uniting 58 non-metro counties from the state on improving health care.
"Sue Birch has made herself an expert on how to provide medical care in rural areas with limited budgets," Hickenlooper said. "Her regional and collaborative approach will serve well to address health care issues on a statewide basis."
Birch has worked the past 17 years for the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, expanding programs, developing strategic partnerships and strengthening the association?s operations. The agency is moving into a nurse-led model of integrated community health services including primary care, home and hospice care, public health and aging services.
"I am honored to be part of the Hickenlooper-Garcia team," Birch said. "At this pivotal time in health care reform, Colorado is poised to leverage the successes of our healthy state and improve on health disparities and access for all Coloradans. Our opportunities to better health begins where we live, learn, work and play."
Before moving to Northwest Colorado, Birch served at Georgetown University Hospital and in a variety of progressive nursing roles with Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. She is a trustee of the Caring for Colorado Foundation, and the Colorado Health Institute and a past president of the Home Care Association of Colorado.
Birch recently completed an appointment to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, had a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellowship and the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship. She earned a nursing degree and a master?s degree in business administration, both from the University of Colorado.