Caring People, Touching Lives


ASSOCIATION STAFF Colorado Health Care Association & Center for Assisted Living



   President & CEO
Doug Farmer


Doug Farmer is the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Health Care Association and Center for Assisted Living (CHCA/CCAL), effective July 25, 2014. Farmer joins the CHCA/CCAL team with a wealth of health care and policy experience. Farmer led the Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellowship Program, which provides intensive leadership training for non-profit leaders from around the state of Kansas. He also worked on a range of policy issues for the foundation including the Kansas Clean Indoor Air Act, promotion of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion.


Prior experience also included, working in Kansas government in various capacities, beginning in 1996 as an analyst in the Governor's Budget Office. In 2008, he became director of the State Employee Health Benefit Plan, which was then jointly overseen by the Health Care Commission and the Kansas Health Policy Authority (KHPA). He also served as KHPA's deputy director. Before taking the job at KHPA, Doug was deputy secretary at the Kansas Department on Aging and later at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.


    Vice President
     of Operations

      Bonita Jones

Bonita Jones joined the CHCA staff in January, 1990. Prior to her position as VP of Operations, Bonita served as Office Manager and support staff to the Director of Program Administration. In her position, Bonita is responsible for planning CHCA’s ongoing educational programs, the CHCA annual convention, and supervises the Administrative Services Department and assisted living. She came to CHCA from Briarwood Health Care and has worked in long term care since 1980. Bonita graduated from Denver Technical College and Emily Griffith where she obtained an associate’s degree in Business Communication.





 Director of Quality 

 Regulatory Affairs

       Ann Kokish


Ann Kokish brings more than 23 years of diversified experience in long term care to CHCA/CCAL. A successful Nursing Home Administrator she has managed a 198-bed facility, including a 44-bed secured unit and 50-bed sub-acute unit. She has supervised and supported approximately 300 staff members with 15 department heads. She brings to CHCA/CCAL an extensive knowledge of Federal and State Regulations, Medicare and insurance regulations.







     Director of

    Sam DeWitt

Sam handles all media relations and outreach for CHCA, as well as developing and maintaining the CHCA brand for all publications, educational material, email, web presence, and social media. A veteran of the communications industry, Sam received his BA in Journalism from The University of Montana, and has worked in print, radio, television, and online. In 2012, he founded a consulting firm to help small businesses in the Denver area create and maintain a strong social media and online content brand. He served as a legislative aide to Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush at the State Capitol in 2015, and is looking forward to using his legislative experience to further in the interests of the Colorado Health Care Association and its members. He lives in a fortified compound in East Denver.



  Director of Finance

         Josh Fant


Josh Fant is responsible for all accounting functions and local IT support for CHCA. He came to CHCA after 5 years as senior accountant for Myers & Stauffer, LC. At Myers & Stauffer, Josh audited Medicaid cost reports and assisted in the review of other accountant’s work. He obtained his Bachelors of Accountancy from New Mexico State University and his MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver.








  Director of Clinical
  & Quality Services

  Paula Mattison, R.N.

Paula Mattison is the Director of Clinical and Quality Services at CHCA. In this position, she is responsible for monitoring state and federal regulations that affect nursing services and informing the membership. She is also responsible for developing educational programs for nurses and CNAs. She staffs the Nurse Executive Council, the Social Services Conference Group and the Quality Initiatives & Standards Committee. She is a registered nurse and holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management from Metropolitan State College in Denver. Prior to joining CoHCA in February, 1994, she spent five years in long term care management, specializing in staff education. She was a staff development coordinator, a regional training coordinator and primary instructor for the CNA program, involving 10 facilities and teaching over 75 classes. She has worked in the nursing field since 1975.


       Director of
   Graphic Design   

   Donna Hepworth

Born and raised in SLC, UT, Donna moved to Denver in the summer of 2006. She graduated from Utah Career Colleg and earned her degree in Graphic Design. Donna joined the staff of CHCA in 2008 as the Executive Administrative Assistant and was later offered the position of Director of Graphic Design. Donna is responsible for graphic design and web support including educational, Spring Conference and Fall Convention brochures and the annual CHCA/CCAL Resource Directory.






 Administrative Assistant

       Nichole Ybarra

Nichole Ybarra brings over 10 years experience in the customer and guest services field. Her bright personality and professionalism is a great addition to the CHCA team. Nichole’s positive energy and organizational abilities have also been dedicated to the long term care community, having worked in the business office of Alpine Living Center, where she assisted families and residents with the Medicare application process. It will usually be Nichole’s cheerful voice that greets you when you call CHCA.







  Contract Lobbyist     

     John T. Kunkle

John serves as contract lobbyist for the Association.He has worked with the legislature and state government for the past ten years. As a contract lobbyist, he works directly with the President/CEO of CHCA to communicate the Association’s position on various bills and regulations that affect long term care.








 Executive Consultant 

for Government Affairs

       Arlene Miles

Arlene Miles serves as one of two contract lobbyists for the Association. She served as President & CEO for the past 30 years and continues to provide CHCA/ CCAL governmental policy guidance, public policy development and legislative representation.

Contract Lobbyist

   Amber Valdez

Amber Valdez is a named member of the Valdez Associates lobbying firm and has worked with the Colorado General Assembly since 2007. Ms. Valdez has successfully represented over fifteen clients, including national firms, Colorado entities, local governments, small business and non-profit organiza

tions. Her clients express their appreciation for Ms. Valdez’s ability to communicate and keep them informed in this fast-paced and ever-changing political environment and her ability to represent their issues before members of the General Assembly


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