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Team,

On Aug. 12, as part of Public Service Week, Gov. Jared Polis and Department of Personnel & Administration Executive Director Kara Veitch recognized 40 employees — one for 2020 and one for 2021 from each state agency — with a luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion. Employees were honored for regularly demonstrating bold, consistent, and joyous service to the people of Colorado with no unforced errors. CDHS’s honorees represent the very best of the talent, resilience and dedication I have seen across the department. Read their nominations below.

Kim Longe, Administrator, Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimons

When the pandemic hit, it hit our Fitzsimons Veterans Community Living Center pretty hard. Kim had recently come on board as the new nursing home administrator. She was just beginning to build relationships with her teams, had hired a new director of nursing and had several personnel challenges facing her. She did what real leaders do. She identified the most urgent issue facing residents and staff, rallied everyone, including the residents, and worked around the clock to ensure all staff had protective equipment and the necessary training in place.

And while we lost residents, she continued to stand in the gap as a leader and help staff and residents work through their grief. She used her own personal time to model the example it would take to save the lives of residents and protect staff and their families. Kim Longe is more than deserving of this honor. Her own family stood solidly behind her in all she had to do to keep our veterans safe during this crisis.

Shannon Ord, Director of Infection Control and Employee Health, Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan

“In 2020 Shannon led the efforts at Fort Logan to keep staff and patients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shannon worked excessive hours to make sure that safety and testing protocols were put in place, and adhered to, during the pandemic. Fort Logan did a very successful job in minimizing the spread of the COVID-19 virus within the facility due mainly to Shannon’s dedication, professionalism and hard work. In a facility with staff and patients — two distinctly different populations — this was no small task. Congratulations, Shannon!”

Please join me in congratulating Kim and Shannon for their exemplary work and in thanking them for all they do for CDHS, their co-workers and, most importantly, the Coloradans we are privileged to serve. I am proud to work alongside them and each of you.

Michelle

Michelle Barnes
Executive Director

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