2022 Plenary Session

How Colorado Forges Forward Together

There will be a Plenary Session at Public Health in the Rockies on the 2nd day of the conference, Wednesday, September 28th, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. A panel of 5 Colorado public health leaders will share their reflections on the conference theme, Public Health: Forging Forward Together, and will answer questions from the audience.

Plenary Moderator: Robert Franklin, II, CPHA Health Equity Officer

In addition to maintaining consulting relationships throughout the US with organizations and individuals in service and community facing roles, Robert has been lead of diversity, equity and inclusion programs and initiatives for Children’s Hospital Colorado since the summer of 2018. Guided by coordinated strategy and impactful initiatives, Robert’s programs and consultation direct caregivers and staff as they learn and talk about, celebrate and take action in response to the differences individuals bring. The community facing work of both his passion and position led him to also volunteer as the Colorado Public Health Association’s Health Equity Officer, where he’s able to bring both hospital resources and an openness to accountability for forwarding the work toward health equity.

Plenary Panelists:

Picture of Rachel Herlihy
Dr. Rachel Herlihy, MD, MPH, Medical Director & State Epidemiologist, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Rachel Herlihy is a preventive medicine physician and the State Epidemiologist for the
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. Her position resides in the
Department’s Division of Disease Control and Public Health Response where she directs the
medical and epidemiologic activities of the Division including communicable disease
reporting, surveillance, and investigation efforts. Dr. Herlihy is currently leading Colorado’s
epidemiologic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and monkeypox. She has been with the
Department since 2011.

Rachel earned her MD and BS in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin.
She completed an internal medicine internship at the University of Virginia and a preventive
medicine residency at Johns Hopkins University. Previously, Rachel was the Deputy State
Epidemiologist for Utah, and the Deputy Director for the Department of Defense’s Infectious
Diseases Clinical Research Program.

Dr. Cerise Hunt, PhD, MSW, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Director (Center for Public Health Practice), Clinical Assistant Professor, Colorado School of Public Health

Cerise Hunt, PhD, MSW, is the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Director for the
Center for Public Health Practice, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and
Behavioral Health at Colorado School of Public Health University of Colorado Anschutz Medical
Campus. She is responsible for collaboratively leading the school’s efforts to advance equity, diversity,
and inclusive excellence. Cerise is also responsible for forming community linkages that guide public
health practice, providing education and workforce development opportunities, and engaging in public
health practice research. Cerise was instrumental in the formation of the Colorado Black Health
Collaborative, which is a community-based organization that is committed to improving health and
wellness in Colorado’s Black, African, and African American communities through collaborations, and
partnerships, with community-based organizations, non-profits, public organizations, private entities, and
government agencies.

Cerise’s expertise in promoting health equity builds concretely on her experience with the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment Office of Health Disparities. She was charged with
developing and implementing statewide strategies to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities. Cerise’s
research and practice explore topics related to equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI) and organizational
transformation, racial and ethnic health inequities, and community outreach and mobilization among
diverse populations. Cerise has more than 16 years of experience in organizational EDI consultation and
educational support.

Annie Guo VanDan, MBA, President of Asian Avenue magazine, Executive Director of Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network

Annie Guo VanDan (she/her) is the Executive Director of Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network, where she works to create equitable spaces and opportunities for Asian American Pacific Islanders. She previously worked at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in the Office of Health Equity and in Maternal and Child Health. She is a Colorado Family Leadership Training Institute graduate and facilitator, a program that promotes civic engagement and community leadership. With an MBA in Health Administration from the University of Colorado Denver, she has provided training and coaching on health equity, leadership, and inclusion related topics to community organizations, companies, and individuals. 

Born in Taipei Taiwan, her family immigrated to Denver in 1988. Growing up in Denver and being involved in the community, she is passionate about serving diverse communities and working with youth. In 2006, she co-founded Asian Avenue magazine, a monthly Denver publication that lifts up the stories of the Asian American community. She received her bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri Columbia and is a Maynard 200 Fellow, a fellowship program for journalists of color. 

Dr. Ben Bynum, MD, MPH, MBA. Senior Director, Impact Investing, The Colorado Health Foundation and Adjunct Professor, Colorado School of Public Health

Dr. Bynum is the senior director of impact investing at the Colorado Health Foundation where he develops the Colorado Health Foundation’s impact investing strategy and has guided the Foundation to investing over $100 million through its impact investment portfolio, including its nonprofit and for-profit mission-related investment (MRI) and program-related investments (PRI).

Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Bynum helped launch a $100 million nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) to help support health care services and good jobs in communities of need.

Dr. Bynum is currently an adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Public Health where he created and teaches the mandatory health equity course for graduate master in public health students. He serves on national nonprofit boards including Grounded Solutions Network, a national nonprofit that builds strong communities by promoting housing solutions that will stay affordable for generations, and Mission Investors Exchange, which is the leading impact investing network for foundations dedicated to deploying capital for social and environmental change. Within the state of Colorado, Dr. Bynum volunteers on the Board of Directors for Colorado Access, a nonprofit Medicaid health plan with 600,000 members, and the Colorado Access Foundation where he serves as the Board Treasurer.

Dr. Bynum received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and completed a dual Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City as the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholar.

Dr. Amy Wineland, RN, MSN, ND, CPNP, Director, Summit County Public Health Department

Dr. Amy Wineland is the Director of the Summit County Public Health Department and has been with the department for 22 years. She has been leading the County’s COVID-19 response as the Incident Commander since March of 2020. She is serves on the Board of Directors for Building Hope and the Summit County Community Care Clinic. She is the previous Chair of the Summit County Early Childhood Leadership Committee, is a former President of the Public Health Nursing Leaders and a former Commissioner on the State Early Childhood Leadership Commission; and formerly sat on the state Public Health Improvement Steering Committee. As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner by training, her passion is in maternal child health and she maintains local and state involvement in efforts to enhance the early childhood system and maternal child health in the community. In 2019, she and her staff lead efforts with members of YESS (Youth Empowerment Society of Summit) to implement countywide retail licensing for nicotine sales, raise the age for purchase to 21, and impose a substantial tax increase on all nicotine product sales. She received her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate in Nursing from the University of Colorado.