By Ana English, MBA, CEO and President
With my retirement approaching in December of this year, I’ve been reflecting on my time at CIVHC. To say my decision to step back is bittersweet may be cliché, but absolutely true. I’m excited to travel - one of my lifelong goals for retirement - but I’ll miss the staff at CIVHC, the colleagues and friends I’ve made over the years, as well as the pleasure of leading an organization instrumental in improving the lives of Coloradans.
The past eight years haven’t been easy personally or professionally. Early into my tenure as CEO, I unexpectedly lost my husband of three decades. We had planned to grow old together, to travel together upon retirement, to watch our kids, Amber and Josh, become adults and take on careers of their own. I miss him every day. Mike wasn’t physically present when my daughter, Amber, won Olympic gold last year in Tokyo, but he had been a key part of her coaching and one of her biggest fans, and we know he was there every step of the journey. Knowing this made Amber’s accomplishment even more incredible.
CIVHC’s journey as an organization also had its ups and downs. When I joined, we were essentially a small start-up company, as well as a non-profit. Figuring out our strategic direction and finding the financial resources to be sustainable while innovating and growing wasn’t always easy. We had initial operational funding through our incredibly supportive partners at the Colorado Health Foundation and The Colorado Trust, but we soon had to find other ways for financial viability. Concurrently, we were also developing the necessary skills and knowledge to be a creditable and worthy steward of the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD). A steward selected to realize the vision of a cutting-edge state resource that provides accessible and transparent health care information for Colorado.
Those first years were difficult and challenging. Getting through required grit and teamwork, which forged an organization that is now supported by incredible state and federal partners and helps Change Agents make health care not only more affordable and accessible but also higher quality. It may sound a bit crazy, but I’m grateful for the challenges we faced and the resilience of our board and staff. Our ability to come together and find solutions to advance our mission will forever be what I’m most proud of and the most memorable part of my time here. Without those bitter challenges, what we achieved together wouldn’t be as sweet. I’m honored to leave behind a CIVHC built through determination and polished by grit.