Ms. Debbie Welle-Powell, our November Speaker, is an avid mountain climber and in July 2008, she attempted one of the Seven Summits, Mt Elbrus in Russia in an effort to raise $100,000 for clinics that treat some of Colorado’s most vulnerable populations, the uninsured. Several years ago she organized “Climbing for a Cause”, as a way to give back and help others in her community. She has climbed all 58 14,000 peaks in Colorado, Mt Rainer in Washington, and the Grand Teton in Wyoming. She is working on the Top 100 peaks in Colorado. Additionally, she has climbed peaks in Bolivia, Mexico, and France and is planning Argentine’s Aconcagua in Jan 2009 and Alaska’s Mt. McKinley in 2010.
“Climbing makes great metaphors for life”, she said and will share her journey to the summit and discuss the importance of 1) thinking big, 2) taking risks 3) working hard and 4) giving back
She is Vice President of Payer Strategies and Legislative Affairs for Exempla Healthcare. In her current role, she is responsible for over one billion dollars in contract negotiations and legislative affairs for three hospitals, behavioral health center and a large multi-specialty group practice. She works on developing strategic partnerships and relationships with state and congressional legislators, national and local leaders, policy makers, chambers and employer groups. In 2006, she led the effort that created the Colorado Hospital Report Card requiring providers to report clinical quality outcomes.
Ms. Welle-Powell has more than 18 years experience in managing physician practices, payer contract negotiations, risk contracting, managing IPA and PPO networks and working with physicians to create varied network models. She currently teaches courses on health policy and financing at Regis University. She earned her undergraduate degree from Moorhead State University and her Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in health care from University of Colorado.
Debbie is extremely active in community projects and serves on several boards, including Mile High United Way, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Board, the executive committee of the Metro Denver Economic Development Council and the Coalition for the Medically Uninsured. She has served on the March of Dimes board, and chaired annual events, plus chaired the Women’s Leadership Council of Mile High United Way, and in 2008 chaired the American Heart Association “Go Red for Women” annual luncheon.
Debbie has received several business and community awards, including the Outstanding Businesswoman Award in 2005 from the Denver Business Journal, the Frances Wisebart Jacobs Award for Philanthropy in 2005 from Mile High United Way, and in September, 2008 Camp Experience honored her with the Inspiring Leadership award.