Posted by: kempefoundation | June 12, 2012

Salt on the Rim 2012


The Kempe Foundation Alliance’s annual Salt on the Rim fundraiser benefits The Kempe Foundation and Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. The Kempe Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and attendance will help ensure healing and hope for abused and neglected children for another 40 years! Individual tickets are $100 or $75 for young professionals, 39 or younger. The event starts at 5:30pm on July 27th at the Denver Botanic Gardens

This season’s signature exhibition, Kizuna: West Meets East, brings together two installation artists working in bamboo: Tetsunori Kawana and Stephen Talasnik. Through different working methods, both artists employed this versatile natural material to create large site-specific works for the Gardens.

In addition to these ephemeral artworks, Denver Botanic Gardens will proudly unveil the newly expanded Japanese Garden, Shofu-en, with the additions of the new Bill Hosokawa Bonsai Pavilion and Tea Garden in June. Living displays illustrate the diversity of bamboo species.

Posted by: kempefoundation | May 29, 2012

New Year, New Outlook


Pat Peterson

By Patricia L. Peterson

A very good prognosis. That’s what Kempe Center Executive Director Dr. Des Runyan says is one of the best parts of his work. With the proper treatment and therapy, abused and neglected children often get an excellent prognosis. Unlike other childhood illnesses and afflictions, we can cure the damages of abuse and turn around the life of a child.

After two fantastic events in February, I think 2012 has an excellent prognosis as well. Our first-ever telephone fundraiser raised an amazing $22,473 for abused and neglected children, thanks to the initiative and hard work of Kempe Board Member Patrice Gendelman. On the same day, our Kempe Takes Hong Kong kick-off party brought in $42,750 in corporate sponsorships, table purchases and individual donations.

We’d love to see you downtown the evening of March 31st as we kick off April Child Abuse Prevention Month by lighting a stunning canopy of lights over Skyline Park. Lining the canopy will be 12,000 blue ribbon tails, representing the number of Colorado children who suffer abuse or neglect each year.

If you haven’t yet bought tickets to the April 21 gala, get a move on. We’re running low on seats and we don’t want you to miss the excitement. Join us in recognizing two tireless advocates for children with Kempe Awards: Jon Kruljac and Dr. Andrew Sirotnak. Hundreds of abused and neglected children have received top-level treatment thanks to their work.

The Kempe Center staff have been busy planning for a May 7 symposium at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in honor of their 40th Anniversary, followed by a reception hosted by The Kempe Foundation.

We have a lot planned, and we hope to see you in the coming months! We’ve also been hard at work fine-tuning the operations of The Kempe Foundation to ensure we allocate your valued contributions and donations efficiently and effectively:

28 percent: Grants to The Kempe Center
11 percent: Advocacy, education and outreach
33 percent: Pavilion (housing The Kempe Center)
20 percent: Development
8 percent: Management

We are proud to report that for the first seven months of our 2012 fiscal year, 72 cents of every dollar were invested in community enrichment. We have a great team here at the Foundation, and they’ve been working hard to meet these goals. If you haven’t yet met Steve, Gene, Peggy, Nancy, Christopher, Rachel, Janet, Monica or Tara, please come by and visit or say hello at one of our upcoming events. You can also find our contact information on page 10. We’re at your service!

Patricia L. Peterson, B.S.N., J.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Kempe Foundation


Posted by: kempefoundation | May 29, 2012

New Kempe Center Grant

The Kempe Center is kicking off a new effort to help child welfare professionals in Denver under a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Kempe-Denver Trauma Informed Services Project aims to train child welfare service providers on the impact of child trauma and present strategies to identify, prevent, intervene and treat trauma exposure and trauma-related stress.

Posted by: kempefoundation | May 29, 2012

Meltons Join Kempe Center


The Kempe Center is welcoming new employees Gary Melton, Ph.D., and Robin Kimbrough-Melton, J.D.

Dr. Gary Melton will conduct research and write extensively in his area of expertise including child and family policy and psychology, child advocacy, use of social science research in legal reform, and international developments in child and family policy. Since 1999, he has served as Director of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University, as well as a tenured Professor of Psychology there.

Ms. Kimbrough-Melton will focus on policy development relative to the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and the application of international human rights law to child and family policy. She was previously a Research Professor at the Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life at Clemson University.

Posted by: kempefoundation | May 29, 2012

‘Tis The Season: Letter from Board Chair

By Andy Boian, Kempe Foundation Board Chair


Andy Boian

 Each December the closets at Kempe are over-flowing with coats, stuffed animals, toys and games. Supporters dropping off gifts for Kempe children and many others during the holidays are driven to make life a little brighter for our most vulnerable neighbors.

Let’s make that happen all year.

The need for high-quality therapy doesn’t wane in January. Children come into the E.R. with traumatic injuries in March, July and September. And all through the year there are families who need help restoring the special bonds that keep kids safe and let them grow up free of fear.

That’s why we need you all year long.

Your support this spring helps The Kempe Center serve families now, so they can make holidays brighter on their own. Join us at one of our upcoming events, donate online at or sign up for our newsletter to learn more about us.

Please enjoy the warmer weather, but don’t wait for another snow season to make a big difference in the life of a child.

Posted by: kempefoundation | May 22, 2012

Success Story: Imhoff Clinic Takes Shape


Walt Imhoff

Forty years ago, Dr. C. Henry Kempe would bring as many as four Denver families at a time into his tiny clinic on Jasmine Street to be guided in a special kind of therapy: rebuilding parent-child relationships.

Today, his vision lives on in the Kempe Center in the 38,000-square-foot Gary Pavilion on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Executive Director Dr. Desmond Runyan says he has the same resolve to fill the center with children and parents needing help with that reconnection.

This spring, Runyan said the center is recommitting itself to addressing the long-term consequences of maltreatment. The center is expanding its capacity to provide acute counseling and evidence-based mental health treatment services to children and families.

“The major long-term consequences of child abuse are psychological,” Runyan said. “Kempe is committed to serving the needs of maltreated children and helping restore them to their full potential.”

Families will have access to leading treatments in the field, including parent-child interaction therapy and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, Runyan said. The clinic is led by providers Laura Eccles, Dr. Deborah Carter, Dr. Bill Betts and their colleagues in psychology and psychiatry at the center.

The center has already begun taking in new children, with plans to expand services throughout 2012—the 50th anniversary year of Dr. Kempe’s landmark medical article, “The Battered Child Syndrome.”

Prevent Child Abuse America estimates that child maltreatment costs society nearly $104 billion a year. That includes the immediate costs put on the child welfare, medical and law enforcement systems. But more significantly, it also includes the chronic health problems and lost productivity of abuse victims as they grow up.

A half century ago, doctors were only just realizing the scope of this problem.

“In those early days, the data on the size of the problem was limited and there was less knowledge of the profound health and mental health consequences and the costs of child abuse to society,” Runyan said.

That’s what makes the foresight of Dr. Kempe’s work so significant, said Patricia L. Peterson, President and CEO of The Kempe Foundation. The foundation raises money to directly support the work of the center.

“We want to fill The Kempe Center to the brim with children getting the best treatment in the world,” Peterson said. “We know the need is great. We hear every week in the news about children suffering abuse and neglect. But we also know that they have a place here for healing.”

The clinic will be named for long-time Kempe supporter and Board Member Walt Imhoff.

“Walt understands that changes in health care financing make it difficult for families to afford these services on their own,” Peterson said. “His commitment to creating a place where children and families can come together and work toward a better future together is steadfast. Everyone at Kempe is grateful for his support.”

Posted by: kempefoundation | May 22, 2012

Donor Spotlight: Dr. Lynn and Lisa Taussig

By Janet Doolin, The Kempe Foundation

Dr. Lynn & Lisa Taussig

Dr. Lynn and Lisa Taussig have been champions for children and families for many years. The Taussigs support the important mission of The Kempe Center and The Kempe Foundation. We are proud to have them as part of our Kempe Family.

In 1969 and 1970, Lynn was a Pediatric Resident under Dr. C. Henry Kempe, who trained Lynn in a ground-breaking program to recognize child abuse and neglect. Because of his fundraising experience and expertise as CEO of National Jewish Health, he has over the years met with Foundation’s board leadership to advise them on fundraising strategies.

Lisa has also been deeply involved, starting with volunteering in the Therapeutic Preschool in 1993. Shortly thereafter, she was asked to become a member of The Kempe Foundation’s Board of Directors and has remained active on the board since then, while continuing volunteer work at the preschool until it closed in 2011.

“I have fond recollections of my early years volunteering at The Kempe Center when it was located on Oneida Street in Denver in a home that was once a convent,” Lisa said. “It was small and we were bursting at the seams—but it was filled with love for children, and the smell of home-baked cookies. The Kempe Center has now grown exponentially with a number of new programs, serving many more children and families. To accommodate our growing needs, we needed to move to a much larger facility and now we are adjacent to Children’s Hospital Colorado.“

Lisa said she and Lynn both agree that it was an exciting time to be a part of Kempe: “To see where we have come from and to look now to the future—we hope to make a real difference in the lives of many children by helping to support prevention, treatment, education and research in the field of child abuse and neglect. We continue to support the Center and Foundation because of the excellent work they do in addressing the very serious and prevalent problem of child abuse and neglect so that these children may live full and productive lives.”

The Kempe Foundation is so grateful for the Taussig’s unfailing support and conviction. As Charter Members of The Kempe Society—honoring donors who have named the Foundation in their estate plans—we hope their example will lead the way for others in the process of planning their estates and remembering The Kempe Foundation in their will or other estate plans.   

Posted by: kempefoundation | May 22, 2012

Workplace Giving: Leverage Your Impact

Workplace giving programs are a convenient and easy way for you to make your tax-deductible gift to The Kempe Foundation. Kempe proudly participates in workplace giving programs Community Shares of Colorado and United Way. To give at work through one of these programs, simply designate The Kempe Foundation in your contribution.

Did you know that many employers offer matching gifts to employees who give to charitable organizations? Find out if your place of employment offers matching gifts and how you can maximize your donation.

For more information about workplace giving and matching gifts, contact Rachel Lease at (303) 864-5311.


Posted by: kempefoundation | May 22, 2012

Charity of Choice: Socially Conscious Coffee


Socially Conscious Coffee© is a non-profit organization that creates sustainable prosperity with coffee harvesters, their families and their communities through education, health care and environmental stewardship.

Coffee is the world’s most popular beverage, with more than 400 billion cups of coffee enjoyed each year. At the root of all these cups are the poorest people in coffee making: harvesters and their families. Lack of education, health care, food, and safe drinking water keep harvesters and their families in a cycle of illiteracy, poor health and poverty.

Socially Conscious Coffee created a model that’s breaking this cycle.

In 2004 it built a school and community center—the Centro Rural Educafé—on a coffee farm in Bahia, Brazil. The organization educates children and adults, provides safe water, fosters entrepreneurship, and educates the broader community on health, hygiene, disease prevention, food cultivation, positive parenting practices and environmental stewardship.

The Kempe Foundation is excited to partner with Socially Conscious Coffee through our Charity of Choice program. For every pound of coffee purchased, Socially Conscious Coffee donates $1 to support coffee communities and $1 to The Kempe Foundation to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect.

The coffee is made from award-winning Brazilian Arabica beans. Kempe supporters also enjoy free shipping and can choose from whole or ground beans, as well as decaf. If 5 percent of Kempe supporters made this their household coffee, it would add up to more than $10,000 donated to the Kempe Foundation annually, and another $10,000 donated to Socially Conscious Coffee programs each year.

To order, visit

Posted by: kempefoundation | April 21, 2012

Jon Kruljac and Dr. Andrew Sirotnak to be honored

Two outstanding advocates for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect will be honored April 21 by The Kempe Foundation at its annual gala at the Denver Marriott City Center. Jon Kruljac will receive the 2012 Kempe Community Award and Dr. Andrew Sirotnak will receive the 2012 Kempe Professional Award.

The Kempe Awards began in 1985 to recognize individuals who have improved the quality of life for abused and neglected children. A few years later, the Kempe Board of Directors established two categories of awards, a Professional Honoree and a Community Honoree, to recognize that the vision will only be accomplished with a collaborative effort between professionals and community members.


Jon Kruljac

Jon Kruljac has been a Kempe supporter for more than 20 years. He served as Chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force in 2003 and is a past Chair of the Kempe Foundation Board. Jon also served on the Advisory Committee

 for the Nurse Family Partnership and is a long-time supporter of Invest In Kids, in addition to supporting numerous other child and faith-based charities in Colorado. A 27-year veteran of the investment banking industry, Jon is 

currently President of GVC Advisors, specializing in working with small cap energy and life sciences companies. He is married to Teri and has two children.He graduated with a degree in Oriental Studies from the University of Arizona.


Andrew Sirotnak

Dr. Andrew Sirotnak is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Since 1996, he has been Department Head for Child Abuse and Neglect, Director of the Child Protection Team, Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the Director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Program.

A Pennsylvania native, he graduated in 1989 from Jefferson Medical College and completed a pediatric residency at the Medical Center of Delaware and Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. In 1992 he was Chief Resident in Pediatrics at University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in Child Abuse and Neglect in 1994. He was previously the Medical Director for the Denver Health Medical Center Family Crisis Center Clinic. He served as Interim Executive Director of the Kempe Center from 2009 through July 2011.

He has maintained an active faculty and pediatric career as a respected clinician and committed teacher, and lectures extensively about child abuse and neglect to a wide range of audiences. Dr. Sirotnak has been qualified as an expert witness in pediatrics and child abuse by civil, criminal, and federal courts in the Rocky Mountain region.

 Dr. Sirotnak has had many service and administrative commitments at Children’s Hospital Colorado, the University and within the community. He serves on the Pediatrics Residency Selection Committee, is completing his leadership role as President of TCH Medical Staff and a four year term on the Children’s Hospital Board of Directors this year. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Denver CASA for five consecutive terms. In addition to several past community child advocacy agencies’ recognitions, he was presented the Champions in Healthcare Award, by the Denver Business Journal in 2007 for “professionals excelling through innovation, professional accomplishments and community leadership.” For three years in a row he has been voted as one of the Top Doctors by 5280 Magazine.

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