Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Mary A. “Sally” Schaefer serve as Chair of the Board of Directors. Sal has been a tour de force in health care at the community and state levels for more than 50 years. She has worked as a Nurse, Senior Manager, and CEO of Hilltop Community Services developing multiple programs for the medically underserved, including the Life Adjustment Program for brain injured patients.
Western Colorado Physicians IPA
It is an honor for Rocky Mountain Health Foundation to have Pat Riddell serve as our Chair of the Grant Evaluation Committee. Pat is the Executive Director of the Western Colorado Individual Practice Association, providing diverse services to member physicians and their practices in Montrose County. Prior to that, she worked as a Health Care Consultant, providing business planning for hospitals and health centers. In the Bay Area she worked for the Association of Western Hospitals (now Health Care Forum), as a grant manager addressing the unique needs of rural hospitals in 13 western states, and for Voluntary Hospitals of America in their Western Division.
Primary Care Partners
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Dr. Jennifer (Jen) Roller serve as Secretary of our Board of Directors. Jen is a board-certified Family Practice physician at Primary Care Partners. Prior to that, she served on the clinical faculty and as the Pediatric Coordinator of St. Mary’s Family Practice Residency program; she has also practiced in Fort Collins. She received her BA from Claremont McKenna College and her MD from the University of Colorado. She completed her residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver. Jen has served on both the Board of Directors of the Colorado Physicians Insurance Company (COPIC) and the Board of the COPIC Foundation.
The Pediatric Specialty Clinic at St. Mary’s
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Charles “Chuck” Breaux, Jr. serve as a member of the Finance and Grant Evaluation Committees. Chuck has served as the only pediatric surgeon on the Western Slope for 22 years. He has multiple Board certifications and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Pediatric Surgical Association. He was educated at Harvard (BA) and the University of Alabama (MD) and has repeatedly been selected as “One of the Best Doctors in America” and listed in the “Guide to America’s Top Surgeons.” In 2015, he was honored with St. Mary’s Physician of the Year Award.
Mesa County Health Department
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Jeff Kuhr serve as Past Chair of our Board of Directors. Jeff is the director of public health for Mesa County, based in Grand Junction. In addition to the RMHF board, Jeff serves on the Colorado Board of Human Services, the Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission, and the Regional Early Head Start Governance Council. Locally, he serves on the boards of directors for St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Quality Health Network (regional health information exchange in Western Colorado), and the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission. He also serves as the facilitator for the Mesa County Health Leadership Consortium.
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Nicole Bernal Ruiz serve as a founding member of our Board of Directors. She is a member of the Grant Committee. Her professional trajectory began in non-profit service, working in leadership in Hispanic ministry in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex for five years. That work led to a life-changing opportunity to be part of a grassroots advocacy group on the Western Slope, the Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP) which strives to develop diverse, just, respectful communities. She served for several years on the founding board of the Western Colorado Latino Chamber of Commerce. Nicole’s health care experience began while serving on an Outreach & Inclusivity Committee for Marillac Health in 2010. Other organizations that have benefited from Nicole’s time are the Western Colorado Initiative to Combat Human Trafficking, the CMU Cultural Diversity Committee, and the Grand Junction Police/Latino Alliance.
Colorado Mesa University
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Terry Chase serve as a member of the Board of Directors for our foundation, and a member of our grant committee. Terry has been involved in the health and wellness field for over 30 years as a physical educator, exercise physiologist, registered nurse/clinical nurse specialist, psychotherapist and professional coach. In August 2014 she assumed a faculty position as Assistant Professor, BSN Nursing-Mental Health at Colorado Mesa University. At CMU, Terry’s emphasis is in guiding young nurses into the human caring field while learning aspects mental and emotional healthcare of clients and patients in all levels of mental health delivery. In addition to the higher education degrees achieved over the years, Terry is trained and skilled as a Gestalt psychotherapist and has training in equine-assisted learning and psychotherapy.
Colorado Attorney General’s Office
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have John Feeney-Coyle serve as a member of the Board of Directors for our foundation. John is the Assistant Attorney General. He was appointed by the Office of the Attorney General.
Family Health West
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Errol Snider serve on our Board of Directors as a member of our finance and grant committees. Errol has divided his career between healthcare and public service. He worked for more than twenty years at Family Health West, rising to the position of Executive Vice President/COO. In 2017, Errol became a Certified Patient Experience Professional and began his second career at Family Health West as the Director of Patient-Resident Experience, Patient Advocate, and Chaplain. Prior to that, he worked for St. Thomas Moore, and St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Canon City and Florence, leading the effort to merge those facilities. He has also served as City Manager for Fruita, City Manager for Canon City, and as a Mesa County Commissioner. Additionally, Errol and his wife Michele, own EMS – providing consultation, training, and advocacy for healthcare and educational organizations.
Errol is passionate about improving health along the Western Slope because after living in this area for more than 50 years, having children, grandchildren and now a great grandchild born and raised here, as well as working closely with the elderly and the Medicare and Medicare population—he has seen firsthand the need for quality, accessible, innovative, and affordable health options.
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Dr. Cassie V. Comeau serve as a member of our Board of Directors. Cassie is a licensed Counseling Psychologist. She earned her PhD from the University of Northern Colorado in 2012. Her clinical areas of specialty include trauma, depression & anxiety, infertility and perinatal/postpartum issues, LGBTQ issues, integrated health care, social justice, supervision/training and relational work. As a Psychologist, she is trained to work with various issues related to well-being and distress. Cassie is also a bilingual Spanish speaking provider. In addition to her work on private practice, she is currently contracted with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office as a Clinical Program Manager to help implement a new Crisis Co-Responder model which pairs law enforcement and mental health clinicians to respond to crisis call in the community.
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Richard Betts serve as a member of our Board of Directors. Richard is president of ASAP Accounting & Payroll, Inc., which he founded in 1990 in Telluride after “retiring” from his home building company in San Antonio, Texas. Richard is tirelessly involved in the community, serving on a variety of local and regional boards. He is board chairman of the Telluride Regional Medical Center, as well as a board member and chairman of the Telluride Foundation audit committee. In 2011, Richard was appointed to the Connect for Health Colorado inaugural board to represent small business interests during the transition to the Healthcare Reform Act. He served as vice chairman, board member, and chairman of the finance committee overseeing the implementation of Colorado’s health exchange, which was noted as one of the success cases. Richard also served on the board of Tri-County Health Network and was the initial board chairman for the Telluride Medical Foundation.
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Kathleen McInnis serve as a member of our Board of Directors. During her 30-year nursing career, Kathleen has practiced in clinical settings, community & public health, as a leader in the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about improving health and using her experience and skills in strategic planning, team building, facilitation, program planning & implementation, and process evaluation to assist other organizations in achieving their mission. One of her former passions was inspiring young people to pursue health careers through developing and directing the annual high school Health Careers Camp in SW Colorado, which will ultimately expand and improve SW Colorado’s health workforce. She retired from SWC Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in February 2019 and now works part time managing the RN/LPN Refresher Program at Central Colorado AHEC and contracts with Comfort Keepers Home Care as its Director of Nursing.
Rocky Mountain Health Foundation is honored to have Bob Tesch serve as a member of our Board of Directors. Bob has been a Certified Financial Planner since 2004 and has worked as a Trust Officer and Wealth Advisor for US Bank, Norwest Bank and Wells Fargo since 1990. Recently he and a partner created WealthSource Partners working in Grand Junction and Montrose. He has held leadership positions on the Boards of Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club, Montrose Community Foundation, The Center for Mental Health, and Habitat for Humanity. His time as Board Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair at the Center for Mental Health has expanded his understanding of nonprofit accounting and procedure.
Bernie Buescher is “Of Counsel” with the law firm of Ireland Stapleton Pryor and Pascoe, P.C. A lifetime resident of Grand Junction, Bernie practiced law in Grand Junction with Williams Turner and Holmes for 14 years, and served as President and CEO of West Star Aviation from 1986 through 1995. He served two terms in the Colorado General Assembly and for two years served as Secretary of State for Colorado. For four years Bernie was a Deputy Attorney General, managing the State Services Section of the office. He has served on approximately 40 non-profit boards. In 2017-2018 Bernie was one of the architects of Referenda Y and Z which created Independent Commissions for Redistricting. In 2020, Bernie served as Chair of the successful effort to repeal the Gallagher Amendment in the Colorado’s Constitution.
Janette Najera is a first generation Mexican American, born and raised in Steamboat Springs. She was one of the six Hispanics in her grade that graduated from Steamboat Springs High School. She went on to pursue her degree in Graphic Design and in 2016 she integrated in the Medical field. Starting off as an interpreter for Northwest Colorado Health she is now an interpreter and dental assistant and has been with NW Colorado Health for five years. Janette is currently living in Steamboat with her partner and two dogs. Her many interests include martial arts and painting. She is very excited to continue helping the Latino/Hispanic community. Janette is part of the millennial generation and this is her first experience serving on a board of directors.