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Sue Birch, Executive Director

Date appointed: 12/31/10

Senate Committee hearing date: February 2, 2011

Senate Committee hearing vote: Passed Committee hearing vote - 9-0

Senate vote date: February 9, 2011

Senate vote: Confirmed - 32-0-3

Salary: $150,000

"Sue Birch has made herself an expert on how to provide medical care in rural areas with limited budgets,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “Her regional and collaborative approach will serve well to address health care issues on a statewide basis."


Sue Birch was appointed Executive Director in January 2011 by Gov. John Hickenlooper and oversees the operations and strategic direction of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Birch directs the Department’s efforts to improve the health of all Coloradans, Medicaid and CHP+ clients, and increase access to care and contain costs.The department has a budget of more than $6 billion and is the single state agency to administer Colorado Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus Program.


Under Birch’s leadership, the department was awarded grants and performance bonuses – the highest bonus of any state in 2012 - in recognition for its innovation and modernization of eligibility and enrollment systems by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Birch leads the implementation of the federal and state health care reform and works with stakeholders to redesign the long- term services and supports system.


Birch was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association in Steamboat Springs, where she was instrumental in expanding programs, developing strategic partnerships and strengthening operations. The agency moved into a nurse-led model of integrated community health services including primary care, home and hospice care, public health and aging services.


Prior to moving to Northwest Colorado, Birch served at Georgetown University Hospital and in a variety of progressive nursing roles with Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. She completed an appointment to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellowship and the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship.


Birch earned both a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the the University of Colorado.



About the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing:

The Department administers the Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) programs as well as a variety of other programs for Colorado’s low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities. In September 2010, there were 541,285 clients in Medicaid and 69,973 clients in the CHP+ program.