LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
A YEAR IN REVIEW
Dear Colorado Black Health Collaborative Community,
August marked one year as your Executive Director. During this time, I have met countless supporters, volunteers, and community stakeholders. After a year of listening to our founders, allies, and the Black community, the power of CBHC has made the deepest impression on me. “Living in the spirit of excellence” has established us as a respected and trusted, Black-led community organization within the state of Colorado.
The work of both leadership and our Board of Directors has made that possible. Our dedicated group of volunteers are pushing the vision of CBHC forward by offering meaningful collaboration opportunities and attracting the next generation of Black community members through our dedicated programs.
Something that has been on my mind this year has been both the evolution and revolution required for great things to happen. CBHC’s 15th anniversary is preceded by countless hours and immeasurable efforts from CBHC staff and community support. Community advocacy is no stranger to years of groundwork, resilience, and passion; and I want to take some time to highlight the foundation laid by our team as we continue to evolve:
CBHC Staff/Board of Directors
A priority of my first year has been in developing a team that consists of diverse skillsets and experiences to help lead the organization into the future. We are supporting the initiatives of CBHC’s strategic growth plan by aligning our resources and efforts with those priorities. I am extremely proud of the team, and I look forward to you collaborating with them.
Volunteer & Member Benefits
Our members and volunteers will have a more customized experience as we launch our new processes that provide training for volunteers to become more acquainted with the mission, vision, and success of CBHC. New members will stay up to date with our rebranded newsletters, community activation letters, and much more. As we have always said, volunteers and members are the backbone of our organization, and we will continue to strive to create a flawless experience for our supporters.
Not only has CBHC continued to focus on the health equity of Colorado’s Black community, but we have also continued to listen, advocate, and support the needs of the community by meeting them where they are. CBHC has continued the great work relating to tobacco and menthol usage, opioid addiction, mentorship, cardiovascular disease, and much more over the last 15 years, it was important that I continue the fight to address mental health disparities and gaps that exist for Black maternal mothers and youth.
As the end of the year slowly approaches, CBHC will continue to drive these new initiatives forward into 2024:
- Sports-Based Youth Mental Health Wellness Program focuses on catalyzing and sustaining change for Colorado’s Black Youth Athletes through incorporated mental health programming, group therapeutic services, and psychiatric over site and assessment. The youth will be provided with the appropriate coping mechanisms, ultimately leading to decreased mental health disparities by promoting a positive and therapeutic environment and developing coping mechanisms and strategies to increase self-esteem, resilience, and lower rates of depression and perceived stress.
- Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health Awareness Program that advocates for the voice of Black maternal mothers before, during, and after their pregnancy. Mental health is something that we all have experienced, with heightened levels since the beginning of COVID-19. For Black mothers, our voices have continuously been muted for generations, leading to disproportionate outcomes. By educating, advocating, and providing resources for our Black mothers, partners, family, and friends, CBHC hopes to create a change within local healthcare systems that promotes integrated care, shared decision-making, and applied emphasis toward Black women.
These are just a few highlights of a busy but productive year. As CBHC continues its journey, we will begin to adjust our pathways to accommodate the needs of the community that we serve. The heart of what we do will always remain the same, but it is time for CBHC to push to its next level. I am proud to serve as your Executive Director, and I and my team are honored to represent the Black Colorado community and its members that are advancing health equity for all.
Dr. Shakari Lee