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Change-Agent Alisha Brown Strives for Community Wellness

The VP of Healthy Living Initiatives for the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities takes on health and named Top Young Professional in Colorado


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ALISHA BROWN, 38

VICE PRESIDENT, HEALTHY LIVING INITIATIVES, THE FOUNDATION FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN COMMUNITIES, DENVER 

If northeast Denver is healthier than it was a decade ago, the residents there can thank Brown, founder of The Foundations for Sustainable Urban Communities Health and Wellness Initiative.

The initiative, which operates in Stapleton, Northeast Park Hill, Northwest Aurora, Greater Park Hill, East Montclair and Montbello neighborhoods, offers health and nutrition education, support and resources, and has become a model in Colorado and the nation. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded Brown’s program a three-year, $1.5 million grant in 2014 for the CDC’s REACH project, Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health — just
some of the $30 million Brown has leveraged.

Brown and her staff of eight oversee programs including free cooking and exercise classes at rec centers, free heart/health screenings and resource guides. Annually, more than 500 people participate in be well classes and hundreds more receive education and screenings not otherwise available.

Brown, the first in her family to earn graduate and undergraduate degrees, earned a Masters of Nonprofit Management from Regis University as a Colorado Trust Fellow, a selective and prestigious program to advance the quality of nonprofit leadership.

Creating change, Brown says, means following the best advice she’s ever received: “Simply keep going. A new path will be created, a new opportunity will come, a new way will be made. Take that next step, don’t give up: Keep going.”

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Lisa Ryckman

Lisa Ryckman is ColoradoBiz's managing editor. Contact her at lryckman@cobizmag.com.

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