Jackie Brown Honored for Lifetime Achievement in Public Health

Kyle Legleiter, President of CPHA, presents Jackie Brown with CPHA Lifetime Achievement Award on September 20th in Pueblo, CO.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Brown, MSN, APN, who recently retired as Director of Prowers County Public Health & Environment, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Public Health Association at their annual meeting in Pueblo, CO, on September 20, 2012. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has retired from full-time employment in public health, in recognition of their outstanding contributions and leadership in the field of public health. The Colorado Public Health Association has over 350 members and works to assure healthy people and healthy places in Colorado. Members receive networking, professional education and advocacy through CPHA.

At the awards ceremony, Kyle Legleiter, President of CPHA, said, “Jackie Brown is the consummate public health nurse and advocate for local public health. She has been a terrific leader, mentor, friend and defender of public health in Colorado. As she moves on to a new position outside of public health, we want to honor the energy, passion and service she provided to public health and to the communities of southeastern Colorado.”

Jackie’s career in public health essentially began more than three decades ago when she worked as a nurse in a government sponsored community health clinic in a designated health professional shortage area in Southeast Colorado. During that time she found the stamina and passion to continue her education, receiving a BSN and then an advanced degree as a family nurse practitioner, while working and raising a family.

Early on, Jackie exhibited the knowledge and skills that quite naturally led her into the field of public health. She seemed to know everyone in the county, and treated each of them with a special mix of compassion and respect that always helped put them at ease, even in frightening and potentially embarrassing situations. She also never lost her composure. Co-workers still remember the calm and deliberate manner with which she dealt with tragedies and emergencies that occurred in the work place. Her serene and empathetic kindness helped to soothe the entire staff, while her unwavering dedication to keeping the clinic running demonstrated the kind of steady leadership qualities that she would one day need as a local public health director.

Legleiter said, “Jackie has been a tireless promoter of rural public health, while continually challenging her colleagues and elected officials to work for the improvement of public health in all of Colorado. We will miss her passion, her leadership and her ability to keep a balance between being delightfully supportive of others while strongly advocating for her own community, for rural public health and for public health nursing.”

Since her retirement, Jackie has taken a position as Primary Care Director with Southeast Mental Health Services. Jackie served on the SEMHS Board of Directors for a total of 27 years. “We’re lucky to have someone with Jackie’s unique skills and experience on our team,” said Becky Otteman, CEO/Executive Director of SEMHS. “Her medical expertise and understanding of mental illness and addictions, combined with her knowledge of the community, will be a tremendous asset as we push forward in integrating physical and behavioral health care here in Southeast Colorado.”

“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to work for an award winning agency, providing the very best mental health care system possible and making a difference in people’s lives,” said Jackie Brown. “I will continue to be an advocate for those with no voice, working with others to improve the system. I am also extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with other health care partners in both the state and Southeast Colorado to accomplish our goal of improving the health of all of our communities.”


La Junta, CO—September 26, 2012—Southeast Mental Health Services


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