Co-operate Colorado educates Coloradans about the health care crisis, brings Coloradans together to work for solutions, and advances principles, policies and structures that establish universal and equitable access to affordable, quality health care for all Coloradans.
Co-operate Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, marital status, military status, health status, or citizenship status in its activities or operations.
Sen. Irene Aguilar, M.D.
We are indebted to Sen. Irene Aguilar, M.D., who is one of the creative forces behind the idea for the Colorado Health Care Cooperative. Sen. Aguilar, the only practicing physician in the Colorado legislature, consulted scores of experts to help develop the Cooperative as an alternative to our insurance-based health care system.
It was her work on the Vulnerable Populations Task Force of the state’s 208 Commission on Health Care Reform that brought Dr. Aguilar to champion universal health care as the most sensible solution to the health care crisis. When she and others noted that no one in the state legislature wanted to carry a bill that would establish health care reform for the state, she ran for and was appointed to a vacated seat in 2010. In 2012, her constituents voted her into office with 70 percent of the vote.
In her work as a doctor and as a senator she has shown herself as a person who values family and community and has worked tirelessly to make sure that everyone, especially the underserved, the poor, and the disabled, is given equity in our society.
Though she is not a part of our organization, we are grateful to Sen. Aguilar for her vision and energy in pursuit of universal health care.
AMA Nathan Davis award for Outstanding Government Service, 2015
Denver Post Strength in Health Awards, nominated for Community Outreach, 2014
2014 Boy Scouts of America, Vale La Pena Award, 2014
Champions for Children Visionary Award, 2014
Newsed Civil Rights Award, 2013
Fellow, American College of Physicians, 2013
Women’s Lobby of Colorado, Certificate of Thanks, 2013
Latinas First Foundation Trail Blazer Award, 2013
Colorado Community Health Centers, Community Health Champion Award, 2013
Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Legislator of the Year, 2013
Colorado Disability Benefit Support Program award, 2012
Colorado Medical Society Defensor del Paciente award, 2012
Easter Seals Outstanding Advocate Award, 2012
Colorado Nonprofit Association, Legislator of the Year, 2012
Colorado Social Legislation Committee, Annual Legislative Award (for SB 12-134), 2012
Project WISE Wisdom Award, 2012
Colorado Alliance for Retired Americans, 2012
Denver Women’s Commission and Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Outstanding Legislative Achievement, 2012, (Hospital Payment Assistance Program)
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative Legislator of the Year, 2012
National Association of Social Workers Award, 2012
Health Care for All Colorado, Award of Merit in Health Care, 2011
Alliance Legislator Award, 2011
Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, Legislator of the Year, 2011
Democratic Party of Denver Pat Schroeder Families First Award, 2011
“In effect, there are those who want us to continue to patiently waste many of our health care dollars in the current fractured system. With the Colorado Health Care Cooperative, our State would spend over six billion dollars less a year, while providing the high-quality health care that we all need with an improved focus on what keeps us healthy.
“I think there are many Coloradans who share the impatience to stop the waste and have the health care that we all can afford. Only with this universal health care can we call an end to the bureaucratic quagmires that ensnare our businesses and providers. Knowing that we can do so much better keeps me ﬁred up to organize to make this historic change.” – Bill Semple, President, Co-operate Colorado Board of Directors.
William Semple, President
For the past several years, Bill Semple has been in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). For more than 20 years, he treated clients in a nonprofit community mental health center. In his practice he has experienced the fractured nature of the present insurance reimbursement systems with all their complexities, inadequacies, and gaps. As a provider he has become dedicated to creating a universal health care system that is efficient and publicly accountable. He believes the focus of our present health care system should be on quality of care not volume of care.
Bill was chosen as the 2014 Colorado Social Worker of the Year by the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. He has also served as vice president of the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care board; on the Citizens Review Board, Boulder County Health and Human Services; as a volunteer with the Boulder County Aids Project; and as a board member of the Community of Sudanese and American Women/Men.
Eliza Carney – Vice President
A former high school and college teacher, Eliza Carney has spent many years working on political campaigns, legislative and grassroots advocacy for a variety of justice issues, community organizing, and community building. As Director of WHEAT, a faith-based, anti-hunger educational and advocacy association based in Phoenix, she helped build a statewide food-security coalition. After moving to Colorado in 1995, she became involved in health care reform and is a founding member of Co-operate Colorado, with a focus on grassroots advocacy and community organizing. She also developed and coordinated Sen. Irene Aguilar’s Health Care Check-up and Listening Tour in 2013. Currently she is focused on building a base of advocates and other activists in local communities statewide. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband Jim. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Ralph Ogden, Secretary
As an attorney, Ralph has received a very high to preeminent rating by his peers. He has a wide range of experience both nationally and internationally. As a Denver attorney, he’s written a published book about appellate practice, and has briefed and argued over 200 appeals in various state and federal courts around the country. He’s also served as the head Junior Varsity baseball coach at Denver South High School.
Internationally, he’s worked as a volunteer war crimes investigator in Kosovo; as a U.S. AID legal consultant to the Supreme Court of Afghanistan; as an election monitor in Guyana and Cambodia; as a volunteer instructor for the Cambodian Defenders Project, a guest lecturer in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Peking University People’s Hospital in Beijing; and has done humanitarian work in Myanmar and Kenya. His work in Kenya includes obtaining Rotary International funding for a rain catchment water storage project and teaching secondary students.
Ralph has been married to Anne Wilcox since 1981 and has a step-daughter, two grandchildren, an adopted son and daughter from Cambodia, and a foster daughter in Ahero, Kenya. Ralph and Anne have hosted and sponsored secondary and university students from Cambodia, China, the Middle East, Myanmar, and Kenya.
Ivan J. Miller, Ph.D., Treasurer
Ivan Miller is a psychologist in private practice and has been a passionate supporter of health care reform since 1994. Ivan has served in the public mental health system as a leader in advocacy for both patients and health care professionals. He is also an employer and entrepreneur leading a marketing group of 70 psychotherapists.
Believing that incremental health care reform is making at least one step backward for every hard fought step forward, he has dedicated his health care reform efforts to creating a universal health care system that can provide quality health care to everyone. He has developed model legislation and economic models for a universal health care plan that serves consumers, benefits providers, and relieves employers from the burden of employee health care.
Ivan has been in private practice as a psychologist for 27 years. He is the executive director of the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care and is the president of the Boulder Psychotherapists’ Guild. He has also served as the treasurer of the Boulder Independent Business Alliance; a board member with the American Psychological Association Division of Independent Practice; co-chair of the American Psychological association task force on managed care and health care reform; executive director of the National Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers; and chair of the Patient Advocacy Coalition.
Dave Beckwith, Board Member
Dave Beckwith grew up in Indiana and has a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University. He moved to Colorado in 1979. He is retired after working for 41 years designing electronics and writing computer software. Dave has been volunteering with Co-operate Colorado since February 2012, and in June 2014 became a member of the board.
Lyn Gullette – Executive Director
Lyn has been executive director of Co-operate Colorado from the beginning. For Lyn, it is more of a mission than a job. She has spent many years passionately working for universal health care reform and other important causes. Lyn is a Ph.D. psychologist and maintains a small private practice in order to devote full-time energy to achieving universal health care in Colorado. Her previous work experience includes teaching at all levels in public schools; working in multiple community agencies and hospitals; and living and working in the diverse communities of Boulder, Pagosa Springs, Pueblo, and now Louisville. She not only brings her wealth of experience with health care issues to her job as executive director, but the perspective as a health care provider, patient, businesswoman, family member, and taxpayer, as well as from jobs in manufacturing, tourism, and the food service industry.
Lena Feng – Intern
Lena is passionate about health care innovation and improving patient experience through human-centered design. She has a master’s degree in health communication from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Peking University in China, which is equivalent to an M.D. in the U.S. She also holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Peking University. Lena has broad experience in design, marketing, technology and startups, in both private and nonprofit sectors, and expects to bring her knowledge, entrepreneurship and artistic skills to design a better health care system for Colorado. In her leisure time, Lena likes traveling, hiking, drawing, Chinese calligraphy, and playing the classical guitar.