The Kempe Foundation proudly announces the 2011 Kempe Community Award recipient Jeannie Ritter, Former Colorado First Lady and Kempe Professional Award recipients Dr. Stephen and Elaine Berman. The Kempe Foundation will honor the award recipients during the Kempe Takes Paris Gala at 5:30 p.m. on April 8 at the Denver Marriott City Center. Additional event information and tickets are available at www.kempe.org.
About the Kempe Awards
The Kempe Award was established in 1985 as a way to recognize individuals who have successfully worked to improve the quality of life for abused and neglected children. In 1988, the Kempe Board of Directors established two categories, a Professional Honoree and a Community Honoree, to recognize that the vision will only be accomplished with a collaborative effort between professionals and community.
About Jeannie Ritter
During her time as First Lady of Colorado, Jeannie Ritter focused on mental health awareness. Within the first two years, she participated in hundreds of local meetings and community engagements, national summits, statewide conferences and consulted with leading experts in the mental health field. She began to identify common mental health needs across Colorado’s diverse landscape. In particular, she began to carry the language and message of mental health integration, early intervention and health promotion strategies.
As a strong advocate for veterans, she has worked with local funders, the Veterans Administration and community providers in establishing the Civilians for Veterans Fund. Other areas of focus have been homelessness prevention, child advocacy and suicide prevention. She also helped to establish the Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund.
About Stephen Berman, MD and Elaine Gantz Berman
Stephen Berman, MD, earned his medical degree in 1971 from Temple University Medical School and joined the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and The Children’s Hospital in 1978. From 1980 to 1990 and again from 1998 to 2010, he served as Head of the Section of General Academic Pediatrics.
Dr. Berman has served as Consultant to the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization on Control of Acute Respiratory Infections; National Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Health Financing; Director of Health Policy and State Medically Indigent Programs for the University of Colorado; and President of Colorado Bright Beginnings. From 2000 to 2001, Dr. Berman served as President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Berman has just been named director of the new University of Colorado Denver Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health.
In 2007, Elaine Gantz Berman was elected by a vacancy committee to the Colorado State Board of Education, representing Colorado’s 1st Congressional District. In 2008, she won her election to the seat in the general election. Prior to serving on the State Board of Education, she served on the Denver Board of Education and served as the DPS board president for four years. She also helped found the Colorado Children’s Campaign and the Adoption Exchange.
She serves on other boards and commissions including the Colorado Legacy Foundation; Common Good Colorado; College Summit Board; Colorado Scores-Denver and the Board of the Children’s Health Foundation. She also currently chairs the Colorado Department of Education’s Commission on Expanded Learning Opportunities.