2016 Community Benefit Report CHAI_160088756_2016 Community Benefit Report_FIN - - Page 17

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL COLORADO Inspiring Change Boot Camp Trains Passionate Advocates In 2014, Kay Jenner, Children’s Hospital Colorado’s family and community engagement coordinator, was terrified when her 6-year-old son was hospitalized with shattered bones in his arm and thumb caused by bullying. After spending two years at Children’s Colorado, she learned from her own experience that although school and hospital leaders encourage parents to speak up on behalf of their kids, many parents in her position don’t know how to ensure their voices are effectively heard. After this experience, Kay decided to transform monthly advocacy lunch and learns into a more intensive program, Children’s Advocacy Boot Camp (CABC). CABC is a nine-month leadership development program that teaches the fundamentals of effective advocacy to 20-25 passionate individuals each year. “In addition to learning the different types of advocacy, this class incorporates the most important part of being an advocate— interpersonal mastery, or understanding yourself,” says Kay. “To understand other people, how they make decisions or how they approach change, you have to understand yourself, and most importantly, you have to be able to effectively tell your story.” Each month features a different leadership activity, building skills like storytelling, effective communications, public speaking, fundraising and coalition-building. Participants learn about child health challenges for Colorado kids and the latest issues in early childhood policy. The program also includes personalized coaching sessions, monthly challenges, field trips, a community impact project and many networking opportunities for alumni following graduation. Kay focuses on recruiting members from the surrounding community for the program, particularly in the zip codes neighboring the hospital. Participants range from moms and dads to psychiatry and psychology fellows, in addition to teachers, school health nurses, nonprofit partners, therapists, professional organization members and more. When Dawn Fritz realized her son, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), wasn’t receiving an appropriate education at school, she joined CABC in 2016 to become a better advocate for her son. “It’s sort of funny how nervous I was to speak to my state legislators back then. Now they both know me by name,” says Dawn. “It’s sort of funny how nervous I was to speak to my state legislators back then. Now they both know me by name” Following graduation from the program, Dawn became a leader in a grassroots parent advocacy group, Jeffco Association of ASD, which advocates for appropriate autism education services in Jefferson County. “I’ve learned over the last few years,” she says, “that I have a valuable voice to add to the conversation.” 17