Sen. Irene Aguilar, M.D., is the only practicing physician in the Colorado state legislature and the force behind the creation of ColoradoCare. Born and raised in inner city Chicago, she moved to Denver for her residency training. For 23 years, she worked as a primary care physician for Denver Health and Hospitals and now serves on its board of directors. When the state senate is not in session, she practices medicine at Clinica Tepeyac, caring for the uninsured.
Having a child with developmental disabilities led her to participate in public service. She was first appointed to the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council and served on the Vulnerable Populations task force of Colorado’s Blue Ribbon Commission on health care reform. Her experiences transformed her into an advocate for universal health care. Sen. Aguilar made the decision to seek public office in 2010 in part to ensure access to quality affordable health care for all Coloradans.
Senate Aguilar serves on the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Review Committee, and the Business, Labor and Technology Committee.
Senator Aguilar has been recognized by the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition, the National Association of Social Workers, the Colorado Non-Profit Association, the Colorado Medical Society, the Colorado Trial Lawyers, Easter Seals, and the Democratic Party of Denver. In 2015 she was awarded the American Medical Associations Nathan Davis Award for Government Services and honored as a Humanitarian by Escuela Tlatelolco. She will be honored by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce as one of the 25 most powerful women in Colorado in January 2016.
T.R. Reid is the New York Times bestselling author of The Healing of America, A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, a documentary filmmaker, and a former reporter with the Washington Post. At the Washington Post, he covered Congress and four presidential campaigns and served as the bureau chief in Tokyo and London.
Reid has made documentary films for National Geographic Television, PBS, and the A&E Network. The Healing of America and his 2008 documentary, “Sick Around the World.” Both examined how other developed countries in the world provide high-quality universal health coverage for everyone at a fraction of the cost that Americans pay. For his most recent film for PBS, “U.S. Health Care: The Good News,” he traveled across the country to study communities that provide first-rate health care at below market costs.
Reid has written nine books in English and three in Japanese. He majored in classics at Princeton University. He worked as a naval officer during the Vietnam War, a lawyer, a teacher, and assorted other jobs. T.R. is a board member for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and a member of the advisory board for the University of Colorado Medical School. He is also a former Kai-cho (president) of the Japan America Society of Colorado.
Reid says that ColoradoCare would be a win-win-win for Coloradans. “It gets everybody covered. It saves billions in administrative costs. And it gets Colorado out of ObamaCare.”
Sen. Jeanne Nicholson is a masters-prepared former public health nurse and practiced nursing in rural and urban Colorado from 1965 to 2002. Believing health care is a right not a privilege, she has promoted access to affordable, high-quality health care throughout her career.
Subsequent to her nursing career Sen. Nicholson served eight years as a Gilpin County Commissioner and four years in the Colorado State Senate, where she was a member of the Colorado Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
She has also been president of the Colorado County Nurses Association and the Colorado Public Health Association, as well as a district president of the Colorado Nurses Association and the chair of the Commission on Family Medicine and Colorado Counties Inc. Health and Human Services Steering Committee. Sen. Nicholson was also the chair of the Senate Democratic caucus and the Senate Local Government Committee.
Sen. Nicholson has served on the boards of the Colorado Public Health Association, Jefferson Center for Mental Health, Colorado Action for Healthy People, Colorado West Mental Health Center, and Family Home Health. She was also a member of the Gilpin County Board of Health, Commission on Family Medicine, and the National Association of Counties Health Committee. She was a founding member of the Eagles Nest Early Learning Center.