Topic: People

The Kempe Foundation Elects Six New Members to its Board of Directors

The Kempe Foundation is pleased to announce the election of six new members to our Board of Directors. Each of these individuals brings their own unique personal and professional experience that will enhance the board and strengthen our organization. Meet our new board members below!

 

Jason Castro MPAcc, CPA (below) is a Contract Professional at Robert Half. He is based out of Denver, Colorado. 

 

Jonah Cave (below) is the Managing Director at CH Investment Partners based out of Dallas, Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jill DeRaad (below) is the Senior Manager of Project Management at Compassion International based out of Denver, Colorado. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cristina DeVito (below) is the CFO and Chief Strategy Officer at Heavenly interior design services in Denver, Colorado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Matuschek (below) is the President of the Engles Group. She is based out of Denver, Colorado. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Aurzada, JD, CPL (below) is a partner at Tyson, Gurney and Hovey, LLC  in Denver, Colorado.

 

Please join us in welcoming these six individuals to the Kempe Foundation board of directors. We look forward to working together to advance our mission of keeping all children safe and healthy.

The Kempe Foundation Announces New Chief Mission Officer, Jeremy Stern

 AURORA, CO (May 18, 2021) – The Kempe Foundation is pleased to announce Jeremy Stern as the organization’s Chief Mission Officer. Stern brings 18 years of experience in the nonprofit industry with expertise in corporate development, fundraising and community engagement to this new role. As Chief Mission Officer, Stern will play a pivotal role in turning the Foundation’s vision into action.

“Jeremy’s commitment to our vision and passion for the cause is palpable,” said Kempe Foundation CEO Jon Kruljac. “We are so excited to have his fresh perspective, energy and diverse skillset on our team.”

Most recently, Stern served as the Director of Business Development & Public Relations for Mile High Behavioral Healthcare – metro Denver’s leading nonprofit provider of affordable, evidence-based behavioral health services. In this role, Stern led all development and marketing components, cultivated partnerships and organized fundraising and community events. Stern is most excited to bring his ability to form lifelong, impactful relationships to the Foundation.

As Chief Mission Officer, Stern will focus on building revenue to contribute to the financial stability of the Foundation. This includes communications, donor database management, events, corporate partnerships, community partnerships, annual giving campaigns and comprehensive digital and social media campaigns and products aimed at raising the Foundation’s profile. He believes collaboration is key to finding lasting solutions to complex issues.

“I feel so connected to the Kempe Foundation’s mission and I’m so honored I get to be a part of the team that builds it out and sees it through,” said Stern. “I look forward to implementing strategies to increase revenue, brand recognition and community support for the Foundation.”

In his free time, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his family, which includes his wife Emily, sons Jack and James, and his furry son, Murray. He serves as the Board President of Denver North Business Association as well as the co-chair the Tips & Leads Group of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.

 

Ron Mitchell Named Deputy Executive Director for the Kempe Center

The Kempe Center and the Kempe Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of Ron Mitchell, MSW as the new Deputy Executive Director for the Kempe Center. Mitchell joins the Kempe team with over 30 years of dedication to public human services work and a passion for improving the lives of children through research, system reforms and legislative efforts.

“I am truly honored to begin this next chapter with such a phenomenal organization,” said Mitchell. “The team I’m working with is passionate and driven to create lasting change.”

As Deputy Director, Mitchell will take on the responsibility of developing and coordinating key strategic partnerships for the Center. He will also provide support and direction for projects related to the implementation of evidence-based and promising practices, systems of care and child health across multiple entities.

One of the projects Mitchell will lead, along with Dr. Antonia Chiesa, is the CARENetwork, which develops and maintains a standardized, coordinated response to child abuse and neglect through a network of designated healthcare providers.

“A child’s outcomes in the system shouldn’t be based on where they live. There needs to be a standard approach across the board, and I’m dedicated to moving us toward that goal with the CARENetwork and other projects,” said Mitchell.

Prior to joining the Kempe team, Mitchell’s career included work in child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and fiscal administration. He worked for Denver County and Mesa County, as well as Colorado’s Division of Youth Services, and has been the director of two residential child care facilities. He was also a co-author of one of the initial comprehensive child welfare system reform plans adopted in Colorado, the components of which would be used both in Colorado and nationally to dramatically reduce the numbers of children in out of home placement, and preserve more children with their biological and kinship families.

We are thrilled to welcome Mitchell to the Kempe team and look forward to engaging him in our work to help position the Kempe Center as a catalyst driving overall systemic change.

Kempe Child Protection Doctors Recognized for Professional Excellence

The Kempe Center’s Child Protection Team plays a critical role in our community, providing evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of children for suspected physical or sexual abuse or neglect. The professionals who make up the Child Protection Team share unmatched compassion and dedication to helping the children and families they serve. Two of the distinguished members of the team were recently recognized for their professional excellence and commitment in their work.

Denise C. Abdoo, PhD, cPNP has been elected to a two-year term to the Children’s Hospital Colorado Medical Board. Denise has been on the pediatric faculty at Kempe since 2003 and was nominated by a senior PNP colleague in the department. This important position is voted on by the entire medical staff and offers a great service to the hospital.

 

Andrew Sirotnak, MD, who has served on the Kempe Center Child Protection Team for over 25 years, has been selected as a faculty member in the Young Physicians Leadership Alliance Program (YPLA) of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Through this prestigious program, Dr. Sirotnak will, over a period of approximately 3 years, serve with other selected senior faculty members, working with one or more early career physician faculty members to create and present teaching sessions as part of the YPLA curriculum. Beyond the teaching role, these faculty members will also serve as coaches for an assigned group of program participants.

The Kempe Foundation joins the Center in congratulating Drs. Denise and Andy on these truly amazing accomplishments.

 

Child Maltreatment and Trauma: Treating the Whole Family

Over the past three months, we’ve been exploring the topic of childhood trauma and its impact on mental health. Child maltreatment is the most common cause of trauma for youth and commonly the adult perpetrators, who were also subject to maltreatment in their youth. The perpetrator’s experience is then transmitted to their family. Trauma may also be the result of other events. Trauma is the reaction to frightening, often life-threatening, and violent experiences and while our focus is on child maltreatment, a traumatizing event may be experienced by any or all members of a family and then may lead to maltreatment, disruption of relationships and impede family functioning. Regardless of the trauma type, every trauma is a family trauma.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network notes that all families experience trauma differently, and some factors such as a child’s age or the family’s culture or ethnicity may influence how the family copes and recovers from a traumatic event. Trauma changes families as they work to survive and adapt to their circumstances and environment. While this adjustment may be less difficult for some, for others the stress and burden cause them to feel isolated, overwhelmed, and less able to maintain vital family functions.

At Kempe, we believe that every family who has faced trauma deserves access to treatment so that they may heal and recover together. That’s why the Kempe Center’s IMHOFF Clinic takes a whole family approach and provides services for children, as well as their parents, caregivers and siblings who may also be dealing with symptoms related to stress, trauma and adversity.

We recently connected with Dr. Steven Berkowitz, a visiting professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus who is working in collaboration with Kempe to grow the IMHOFF Clinic’s whole family care approach.

Why is a family-focused approach a more effective way to address trauma?

Very often, children who experience trauma have parents or caregivers who were also traumatized in their youth and never received treatment to address the emotional, cognitive and behavioral consequences. Because trauma can be transmitted across generations, we see these children experience the same things that happened to their parents and caregivers. As a treatment provider, it is important to assess everyone in the family to identify any significant issues or psychological symptoms that may be related to an intergenerational history of trauma. In order for the child to successfully recover from their own traumatic experiences, we must take a whole family perspective and treat everyone in the family unit.

What is unique about your work at the IMHOFF Clinic?

We are building the IMHOFF Clinic into a family-focused clinic that provides services for children, youth and adults dealing with symptoms related to stress, trauma and adversity. Our multidisciplinary treatment team works together with children and their families in a much more integrated way. In the past, if we saw a parent or caregiver struggling alongside their child, we would have to refer them to another treatment provider in a completely different location. Here, the treatment is in one place and we offer a range of individualized therapies and pharmacology to any family members who need it.

What are you hoping to achieve at the IMHOFF Clinic?

This group is on the forefront of providing the most comprehensive and evidence-based assessments and treatments that focus on stress and trauma throughout the lifespan. We are working to develop a model program that helps to unify the various departments of the University of Colorado, School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado in order to better serve the families that come to Kempe for help. We’d also like to develop an effective home-based program for children and families so that treatment can happen in the least restrictive, most normative setting possible, with the goal being to help families live and function successfully at home.

(more…)