Our Team

Kate Hartzell MA, MAT, MPH, Executive Director

As Executive Director of SWCAHEC, Kate is committed to the development and support of health professionals who meet the unique health needs of Southwestern Colorado. Kate has an extensive wealth of knowledge in anthropology, education, and public health. Her career has focused across the public health spectrum including women’s reproductive health, maternal & child mortality, the creation of public health education programs, the creation & dissemination of public health information, and instructional strategies for diverse student populations. Kate, most recently taught courses in Public Health at Diné College, the tribal college of the Navajo Nation, and created the new Bachelor’s in Science degree program in Public Health. [email protected]

Chelsie Begoody
Community Health Programs Lead & Regional Health Connector

Chelsie was born and raised in Northern Arizona and is a member of the Navajo Nation. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in public health and is passionate about increasing access to health in the Four Corners region. At SWCAHEC, her role focuses primarily on food and nutrition related efforts that support healthcare and community in Southwest Colorado. [email protected]

Dyllon Mills
Community Health Programs Associate

Dyllon graduated from Fort Lewis College and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health. He hails from the lands of Ute Mountain Utes of Colorado and is the Vice-Chair of the Board for Kwiyagat Community Academy where he continues to assist with educational efforts from the startup phase to its second academic year serving the residents of the SW community. Dyllon has a passion for educational policies, equity programs, and will be a strong asset in building SWCAHEC’s healthcare capacity programs. [email protected].

April Sandman
Public Health Training Associate

April is from the Navajo Nation Tribe. and originally from Sawmill, Arizona but she has resided in Southwest Colorado for nine years. She graduated with a BA of Public Health from Fort Lewis College in 2018. 

Her passion is helping the community with their health needs, providing health education, and promoting healthy lifestyles. She enjoys weight lifting, crafting, hiking, and baking.

Jenny Goessel, Fiscal Manager

Jenny is an independent provider who has served SWCAHEC in the fiscal manager role since 2020. While specializing in NPOs, she offers full charge bookkeeping services for a diverse range of area businesses including construction, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, healthcare and professional services. Her previous experience as a director of finance for both an international consulting firm and a national conservation non-profit uniquely qualifies her to support SWCAHEC’s business needs. Contact [email protected]

Tehani Waahila
Health Equity Training and Programs Associate

Born and raised on the vibrant Big Island of Hawaii and a member of the Navajo Nation, Tehani’s journey led her to Durango, Colorado, where she pursued a Business Administration degree at Fort Lewis College. Though her academic background is in business, her heart found its true calling in the field of public health. She discovered SWCAHEC shortly after. Her goal is to not only support the growth of this SWCAHEC but also to be a dedicated ally for the 4 Corners region. Tehani seeks to be a catalyst for change, striving to create a more equitable environment for underserved populations. Through her unique perspective, Tehani aims to illuminate the path towards health equity, becoming a beacon of inspiration for those she serves.
Ahéhee’ & Mahalo”

Jessica Sanchez
Elder Health Programs Associate

Jessica is from Santo Domingo Pueblo and a member of the Navajo Nation.  Jessica is a graduate of Fort Lewis College where she studied Public Health and is passionate about work that strengthens public health systems within rural and tribal communities. Through her new role, Jessica will work towards enriching community knowledge about Elder health through meaningful educational programming and community engagement activities.
In her free time, Jessica enjoys being outdoors in the sun—hiking, running, biking and exploring local coffee shops!


Lynn Borup

Executive Director

Tri-County Health Network

San Miguel County, Telluride, CO

Kristen Hartje
Health Educator
Hinsdale County Public Health
Hinsdale County, Lake City, CO

Jennifer Lowell, PhD
Assoc. Professor of Public Health
Fort Lewis College
La Plata County, Durango, CO

Becky Joyce, RN
San Juan County Public Health
San Juan County, Silverton, CO

Tanner Kingery, MPH, Treasurer
Health Educator
Ouray County Public Health
Ouray County, Ouray, CO

Meghan Higman RN, BSN
Education Director
Southwest Health System
Montezuma County, Cortez, CO

Susie Tipton, RN, MSN
Chief Nursing Education Officer
Mercy Regional Medical Center
La Plata County, Durango, CO

Interested in Board Membership at Southwestern Colorado AHEC? Click here to fill out an application.