Chris Tholen, MBA
President and CEO
Benjamin Anderson, MBA, MHCDS
Vice President, Rural Health and Hospitals
President and CEO
Vice President, Rural Health and Hospitals
Chief of Staff
Senior Vice President of Communications and Media Relations
Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
Senior Vice President, Financial Policy and Data Analytics
Vice President, Shared Services
Vice President, Clinical Affairs
Vice President, Education and Membership Development
Chris is the president and CEO of Colorado Hospital Association. He provides leadership and direction in the development of CHA financial policy legislative positions, advocates on behalf of Colorado hospitals and health systems and informs partner organizations on complex aspects of health care reform, such as payment reform, hospital utilization, hospital billing and margins. Chris has more than 20 years of experience in health care finance and strategy that includes an emphasis on government policy, hospitals, physician groups and commercial insurance. Prior to joining CHA, he worked with Kaiser Permanente where he provided financial leadership to the Medicare business line for six Kaiser Permanente regions. Chris has a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.
Benjamin is the Vice President of Rural Health and Hospitals for Colorado Hospital Association. He provides leadership and direction in the development and execution of the Association’s rural strategies, advocates on behalf of rural hospitals and health systems and works to develop strategic partnerships with organizations that affect the health of rural Coloradans. Benjamin has 20 years of experience in health care and non-profit administration, and is a nationally-recognized leader in health equity and transforming rural health care through an innovative approach to attracting physicians to diverse, underserved areas with a generous paid time off package to be used for international volunteer work. Prior to joining CHA, he spent six years serving as the CEO of Kearny County Hospital in Lakin, Kan. Benjamin earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and an MBA from Drury University as well as a Master’s of Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College.
Tim is the chief of staff for Colorado Hospital Association, where he works closely with the president and CEO to drive progress and completion on a variety of the Association’s initiatives. In his role, Tim identifies and sets strategic priorities and areas of focus, developing metrics of success and regularly evaluating progress and ongoing needs. Before joining CHA, he worked as vice president of business development at North Suburban Medical Center and as a senior business manager Denver Health. He has experience serving as a corporate marketing manager for a leading global medical device company and has large-scale project management experience at the executive level. Tim also spent some time at Disneyland working on large scale projects. He has an MBA in Strategic Management from Regis University and received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
Julie joined Colorado Hospital Association in 2015 and serves as the Vice President of Communications and Media Relations. In her role, Julie ensures that the Association’s communications and collateral are strategically aligned and uphold the high standard befitting its members. Previously, she worked as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Denver Health and Hospital Authority where she led the marketing and public relations team in planning and executing internal and external marketing and communications efforts. Prior to her position at Denver Health, Julie worked as the Directors of Planning, Marketing and Business Development for Swedish Medical Center. Julie holds a Master’s degree in Marketing from Colorado State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University. She pivoted her career from the financial industry and has combined that experience with health care to create an effective and analytical skillset that aids in furthering the Association’s missions for progressing health care in Colorado.
Katherine is the Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer for Colorado Hospital Association, where she is responsible for overseeing the Association’s public policy priorities and ensuring more than 100 CHA member hospitals are well-represented in policy debates at the state and national level. Prior to joining CHA, Katherine served as the Senior Policy Advisor on Health to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, where she was responsible for coordinating the administration’s health policy initiatives. Her experience has shown that the best way to approach problems is to actively engage in collaborative efforts where all parties are committed to identifying and achieving a common vision or objective. She is a passionate believer in the value of interdisciplinary approaches, as evidenced by her joint degrees in Law and Health Care Leadership from the University of Denver and in Religion & Politics and American History from Lafayette College.
Tom is the Senior Vice President of Financial Policy and Data Analytics for Colorado Hospital Association, where he is responsible for development of the Association’s position on issues involving the financing of health care services and provides leadership and direction in the development of CHA health care analytics program. Tom has more than 20 years of experience in financial management in health care. Before joining the Association, he worked for Kaiser Permanente of Colorado where he held roles in the leadership of financial planning and analytics, revenue cycle, and Medicare reimbursement. Tom holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and dual Masters’ degrees in Public Health and Health Services Administration, all from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Michael joined Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) in May 2002 and presently serves as the Vice President of Shared Services. Michael is responsible for the CHA Trust for Workers’ Compensation, the CHA unemployment program, CHA Career Services and business relations for member hospitals and health systems. He also serves as the president of CHA Financial Advisors, an insurance agency and broker dealer that provides insurance products and financial services to members. Michael is the Immediate Past President of the Association of Healthcare Solutions (AHS) as well as a director of the Doximity Recruiter Advisory Board. He began his career as a Mardi Gras artist before joining the insurance industry. Michael is a 34-year member of National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
Darlene is an Associate Professor and academic hospitalist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She received her MD from St. George’s University and completed her residency and fellowship at Lutheran Medical Center and Johns Hopkins respectively. Darlene has built quality and safety educational programs for students, residents and faculty for health professionals across disciplines and is excited to apply her expertise to further the work being done by the Quality and Patient Safety department at CHA.
Laura joined Colorado Hospital Association in May of 2015 and currently serves as Vice President of Education and Membership Development, overseeing the development and implementation of education programs across multiple focuses for members, hospital trustees and other stakeholders. Before joining CHA, she was the Vice President of Professional Development for the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination where she was responsible for ensuring effective development and delivery of education programs to members and customers. Prior to that, Laura was the ACMPE Director at the Medical Group Management Association, further extending her experience in association management. Laura holds a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado – Boulder and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Director, Broadband Services
Program Administrator for Broadband
Kathy earned her BA in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University, St. Paul, MN, and earned her MBA from Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs, CO. Her experiences include Mayo Medical Laboratories, Mayo Clinic, where she was accountable for fostering new growth in hospitals and Denver Health, where she served as a financial, operations and strategic senior manager overseeing a large call center operation focused on integrated care. She is passionate about being an impactful leader
Tracy studied sociology and gerontology at the University of Northern Colorado and received an Applied Science degree in from Paradise Valley College. With over 20 years’ experience in hospice operations and regulatory compliance in Arizona and Colorado, she brought this experience along with her passion for helping others, when she joined the Colorado Telehealth Network. Currently, she assists health care facilities reduce telecom expenses with federal subsidies which allows revenue allocation to focus on improved patient care.
Thao graduated from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Information Systems. Prior to joining the Colorado Telehealth Network, she completed an internship with HealthONE as an EMR analyst and interned with Children’s Hospital Colorado float flex nursing team. Thao is passionate about working hard with team members and achieving goals.
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Prior to joining CHA, Cara worked as the marketing manager at Rose Medical Center in Denver, leading the hospital’s advertising, community relations, internal communications, website and media relations. Previously, she worked at Schenkein Public Relations leading media and community relations for a variety of clients. She has an MBA from the University of Colorado-Denver and a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Wyoming. She enjoys telling the story of the great work of Colorado’s hospitals.
Julie is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs where she earned a Bachelor of Innovation™ degree in Marketing. Before coming to CHA, she worked as a Patient Care Technician for Memorial Hospital North, giving her a unique understanding of the intersection of health care and business. Julie is fascinated by innovative strategies and how they can be applied to better the health care industry in Colorado.
Director, Data and Analytics
Program Manager, Data Quality and Security
Program Manager, Data Analytics
Sr. Health Care Research Analyst
Essey received her Master’s degree from Colorado School of Public Health in 2015 in Health Systems, Management and Policy. Before coming to work at CHA, Essey worked for over six years at the University of Colorado where she served in several capacities in the Department of Medicine, from program manger to division administrator – most recently working as program manager for the School of Medicine. Essey is most passionate about using data to help hospitals and health systems improve patient outcomes while providing quality care and reducing costs.
Krista received her degree in Health Information Management in 2003. After graduation, Krista worked at Sky Ridge Medical Center as the Health Information Management Operations Manager until 2012. Before coming to CHA in 2014, she worked in a rural hospital in Evanston Wyoming as the Director of Health Information Management and Facility Privacy Officer. Krista is passionate about finding new ways the health care industry can utilize health care data to improve the patient experience and create efficient workflows.
Sunwoo holds a Master’s degree in Business Analytics from the University of Denver and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Previously, he worked as a data analyst at Clear Peak. Sunwoo’s passion for his coworkers and community spurs him to always be learning new ways to keep Colorado healthy.
Dominick is a recent graduate from the University of Sydney where he earned a Master’s degree in Public Health. Before coming to CHA, he was heavily involved in three different startup ventures discovering the intricacies of entrepreneurship. Dominick is inspired by the innerworkings of the many different health care systems worldwide and their history of creation.
Meeting and Events Coordinator
Valerie is a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado where she completed double majors in Dietetics and Psychology. She previously worked at the National Stroke Association as the Senior Programs Coordinator where she was responsible for scheduling and coordinating continuing education opportunities for medical professionals. Valerie is passionate about professional education and development.
After answering a small, two-line job ad in the Denver Post, Peggy began working for CHA nearly 30 years ago. Over the years she has gained extensive experience in, and a passion for, creating and managing memorable events and conferences that help members enhance their knowledge and gain insight into the local health care industry.
Director, Hospital Emergency Preparedness
Lyle holds a Master’s in Public Health from Denver University and a Bachelor’s in Communication from Central College in Pella, Iowa. Prior to joining CHA, he held various positions at the local and state level in the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program and the Hospital Preparedness Program while being deployed to numerous local and national emergency incidents. Lyle is passionate about strengthening and building Colorado’s hospital and health care preparedness efforts.
Chief Financial Officer
Richard has more than 19 years of health care financial and accounting leadership experience. He obtained his MBA and MHA from the University of Maryland University College. He has been with the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) since 2011. Prior to CHA, he was the Director of Finance for the Nevada Cancer Institute. He currently sits on the board for CAHE and has been a member of ACHE since 2012.
Quentin graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Finance and Accounting. He has more than 25 years of experience in accounting across multiple industries including manufacturing, private equity and health care. Quentin has been inspired during his time at CHA to focus on the health care system because if its inherent ability to benefit or harm everyone, depending on how it is managed.
Shushan graduated from Metropolitan State University in Denver with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She worked as a staff accountant for HealthOne and CORAM before joining Colorado Hospital Association. Shushan has been with CHA since 2015 and is proud to support the Association’s mission to provide access to affordable, high-quality health care to Coloradans. Shushan is passionate about helping others and working closely with her team members.
Ryan is a graduate of Regis University where he received a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Prior to joining CHA, Ryan worked in the finance and reimbursement department at the University of Colorado Hospital, as well as for a Medicare Fiscal Intermediary here in Colorado. Ryan has over 13 years of health care experience with a focus on hospital finance and reimbursement.
Stephanie earned a Master of Science degree in Health Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. Before coming to CHA, she previously worked in accounting and finance for Sky Ridge Medical Center and Craig Hospital. Her passion for analysis, data and numbers combined with the desire to help hospitals on a larger scale led her to pursue a career at CHA.
Kyle attended Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN. Before joining CHA, she was the Senior Manager of Membership at the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago, assisting over 54,000 worldwide members. Kyle is dedicated to providing CHA members with the support they need to better serve their patients and communities.
Director, Human Resources
Executive Assistant to the President
Manager, Information Systems
Angela holds a Master’s in Human Resource Management from Regis University and Bachelor’s in Psychology from Iowa State University. She is a Senior Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP) and certified Senior Professional in HR. Angela has a passion for health and wellness on a personal and professional level.
Jim has a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. Prior to joining CHA Jim worked for United Health Care developing a series of Web-based reporting tools used to track inpatient data. Jim enjoys working with people and strives to provide CHA employees with quality assistance; he is always looking for a challenge.
Lori has more than 20 years of experience as an administrative professional and has been with CHA since 2008. She is a certified administrative professional and is working towards completing two other certifications. Lori is always looking for ways to make improvements, whether through her professional role or in her personal pursuit of ambitious fitness goals.
Sarah holds a Bachelor’s in Hospitality Business Management from Washington State University. Having previously worked for the Fred Huchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and later in the customer service industry, she brings a unique perspective to her role at CHA. Sarah is always learning more about science, medical research and the advancement of patient care.
Whitney graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Journalism before moving to Colorado in 1997. She has a strong background in navigating heavily regulated industries, having previously worked for the Colorado Restaurant Association and in the tax industry. Whitney joined CHA in 2016 and is enjoying working for an association again.
Associate Vice President, Legislative Affairs
Director, Public Policy
Manager, Public Policy
Joshua is the Associate Vice President of Legislative Affairs for Colorado Hospital Association, where he serves as liaison to the general assembly, state regulatory agencies and the broader health care community for Colorado’s 100+ hospitals and health systems. Prior to joining the Association, Joshua worked as a health policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures serving the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. He also served as the organization’s liaison to the Missouri General Assembly. Joshua holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado-Denver and a Bachelor’s degree in social work from Missouri State University.
Amber holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy and minor in Global Health from Colorado College. Prior to joining the Association in 2015, she worked as a Health Policy Analyst for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and Project Coordinator for ClinicNET. Currently, she is pursuing a Double Executive Master’s in Health Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the London School of Economics. Amber’s passion lies in solving Colorado’s complex health care challenges at both the state and federal level.
Lila holds a Master’s of Health Science from Johns Hopkins University. Before joining CHA, she worked for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing, focusing on the department’s rate review process. Lila’s interests include payment methodologies, access to care and working with collaborative teams to generate solutions to the problems facing Colorado’s hospitals and health systems.
Kevin holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from The University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining CHA, Kevin held various positions in policy analysis, advocacy, and communications with organizations including American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Washington, D.C., as well as Easterseals Central Texas and the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin, Texas. He is passionate about collaborating with policymakers and other stakeholders to ensure quality health care at hospitals in Colorado.
Director, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
Clinical Manager, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
Manager, Infection Prevention
Diane is a registered nurse and holds a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Leadership from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Diane is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) and a certified champion in Just Culture and High Reliability. Diane collaborates with the Association’s member hospitals and health systems in the preparation and implementation of clinical performance improvement initiatives in quality and patient safety. Diane is the clinical lead for opioid safety work including the Colorado ALTO Project.
Toni holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees from Regis University in Nursing and Psychology. Nursing was a mid-life career change for her and, prior to joining CHA, she worked as a registered nurse (RN) in public health and infection prevention. Toni has a passion for teaching and mentoring and is energized when she can assist infection preventionists, both novice and experienced.
Matthew earned his Master’s in Health Administration and Bachelor’s in Health Care Management from Southern Illinois University. Prior to joining Colorado Hospital Association, Matthew worked for a Regional Accountable Entity in Colorado focusing on population health data to drive quality improvement efforts. Matthew also has worked for a large health care system in patient experience and revenue cycle departments. Matthew is passionate about all aspects of health care and is eager to work with CHA members to improve health care in Colorado.
Whit earned his Master’s in Public Health from the University of Colorado and completed a two-year SAMHSA fellowship while housed within the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health. Prior to joining Colorado Hospital Association, Whit worked for the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention focusing on collaboration and systems change. He is passionate about collaborating to address complex health care issues.
Ali earned her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health at George Washington University and her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Muhlenberg College. She joins the CHA team from New York City where she worked in quality improvement at the Mount Sinai Health System. There she focused on improving the quality of care by engaging frontline staff and targeting their greatest needs and challenges. She is excited to bring her quality improvement experience to hospitals throughout Colorado while also exploring her new home state.
Barbara has been a dedicated employee at CHA for more than 20 years. While currently the administrative assistant to the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety team, she has gained valuable insight through serving in a variety of roles during her time at the Association. Barbara is very proud of the advancements in quality and safety happening in Colorado’s hospitals and is energized by collaborating with other departments to further these improvements.
Director, Workers' Compensation
Director, Career Services
Director, Shared Services
Gary graduated from Adams State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. Before coming to CHA, he was director of workers’ compensation at Employer’s Unity. He also worked as a paralegal at a plaintiff’s law firm, giving him a unique perspective to both plaintiffs and respondents. Gary believes in educating and supporting employers in the workers’ compensation arena.
Kellie received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from California State University at Fullerton and has more than 20 years of experience in recruitment marketing with national recruitment advertising agencies. CHA has provided her the opportunity to help hospitals and health care system recognize, recruit and retain top talent. She is dedicated to connecting health care professionals with Colorado employers and helping them find a cultural fit for their career.
Cherry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Wyoming. She began her professional career when she joined CHA in August 1996. Cherry is an advisor and representative for member hospital retirement plans and is the primary relationship manager for services procured through CHA Financial Advisors. Cherry values her long-standing relationships with CHA member employees and strives to provide retirement plan guidance and employee education that is tailored to individual needs and goals.
Traci has more than 10 years of administrative experience working with C-Suite executives and board of directors. Prior to joining CHA, she worked as a licensed broker at a health insurance agency and at Connect for Health Colorado, where she helped hundreds of Colorado residents enroll in health insurance plans. Traci was drawn to her role at CHA because of her passion for supporting Colorado’s hospitals and health care community.