Board of Directors

Vince Markovchick, M.D.

Golden, Colorado
President HCAC Foundation

Dr. Vincent Markovchick has more than 40 years experience in Emergency Medicine, holding numerous positions including Director of Emergency Medical Services, Director of Medical Education, Medical Director of the Paramedic Division, Denver Fire Department, Associate Program Director of Denver Affiliated Residency in Emergency Medicine, and staff physician at Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. He currently serves as Professor Emeritus, Department of Emergency Medicine at University of Colorado’s School of Medicine where he also served as Associated Dean for Health Affairs. He received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in 1970. He has received multiple awards and recognitions including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Denver Health Residency in Emergency Medicine, Heroes of Emergency Medicine from American College of Emergency Physicians, the Legacy Award from the Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and 2002 Best Doctors in America List. He was newly elected Vice President to the HCAC foundation’s Board of Directors in 2013.

Thomas Gottlieb, M.D.

Arvada, Colorado
Vice President/Treasurer of HCAC Foundation and Board member of HCAC

Dr. Tom Gottlieb has 48 years experience in health care and was trained as a biochemist at the University of Colorado Boulder and as a physician at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC) in Denver. He worked in the Public Health Service (Indian Health Service), University of Colorado Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Denver Neighborhood Health Center (medical director), and private practice (Internal Medicine) in West Denver. His experiences include directorship of the Lutheran Medical Center Joint Venture (an Accountable Care Organization), a founder and medical director of a primary care group, New West Physicians, and founder and president of Denver Oncology Consortium. He practiced evidence-based practice principles with an emphasis on patient values and patient centered decision making. He is now retired and is devoting his time to introduce and implement universal health care financed by a public single-payer system. He has served as a board member for Health Care for All Colorado Foundation since November 2011 and was newly elected president in 2013.

Rochelle Dworet, M.D. (Shelley Cohen)

Denver, Colorado
Board member and past president of Health Care for All Colorado

Shelley Dworet Cohen has been a staunch advocate and champion for a single payer health care system both in Colorado and nationally. A Pediatrician with almost 40 years of experience in Colorado, both in the private and public sector, Dr. Dworet has worked with Health Care for All Colorado since 2007, as President for 2 years, and with the Foundation Board since 2014.

Shelley has been recognized as a Diplomat by the American Board of Pediatrics, as a Fellow by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and received the John D. Benjamin Award from the Denver Psychoanalytic Society for her attunement to the mental health needs and quality treatment of children (1999).

Prior to attending the University of Chicago in 1968, Dr. Dworet had the unique opportunity to serve as an exchange student with the American Field Service in France. Multiple visits to her medical colleagues and friends provided first-hand experience of the benefits and efficiency of a single payer health care system and sealed her commitment to single payer. She continues to pursue Pediatrics by volunteering with medical students at the Warren Village Clinic and working locums at Academy Park Pediatrics.

Elinor Christiansen, M.D.

Aurora, Colorado
Board member and past president HCAC Foundation, Board member HCAC, and co-founder HCAC

Dr. Christiansen is the past President of the American Medical Women’s Association. In 1955 she earned her MD from Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (now known as MCP-HU). Her diverse medical career has involved a private practice in general practice in Ohio, maternal and child health in the inner city clinics of Denver, CO and School Health for Denver Public Schools, college health at Colorado Women’s College for 2 years followed by 18 years at University of Denver Student Health Service where she was a staff physician and also medical director the last 9 years. She was also part of the clinical faculty in Family Medicine at University of Colorado School of Medicine and Medical Director and staff physician at Columbine Family Health Center.

Donna Smith

Denver, Colorado
President HCAC Foundation

Donna Smith is perhaps best known for her appearance in Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary, “SiCKO,” in which Moore told her story of struggle within the broken U.S. healthcare system. She has been honored by the Associated Press Managing Editors with 15 regional awards from 2004-2006 and recognized by the Inland Press Association's with top honors in 2006 for community-based journalism. Donna has so far spoken in 43 states, the District of Columbia, Australia, and Canada about single-payer, Medicare for all for life healthcare reform and about the dysfunctional U.S. health care system. In July 2007, she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives House Judiciary Committee at the request of Chairman John Conyers, Jr., about medical debt and bankruptcy. In 2009, she was named the national “Woman of Action” by the National Organization for Women (NOW). For five years, Donna lived near Washington, D.C., and worked as a national single-payer health care advocate and community organizer for National Nurses United/California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee. She has been the executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation since January 2013. Donna and her husband Larry now live in Denver, and they have six children and 15 grandchildren. Donna is a three time cancer survivor.

She also appeared on the “Bill Moyers Journal” on PBS in May 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX0iKuKbv4c

Writing numerous blog and Op/Ed pieces – author of her own blog: http://donnasicko.blogspot.com/ and featured blogger on MichaelMoore.com; and Common Dreams.org. Author of more than 300 essays on health reform, September 2007 – present

Robert F. Messman, BSEE, MBA.

Denver, Colorado
Colorado and Business Consultant

Mr. Messman managed treasury operations for several large Denver oil & gas and cable television/theater companies, founded the Treasury Management Association of Colorado and led the taskforce that reorganized Denver’s Department of Revenue. He is semi-retired from his consulting partnership which arranged turn-arounds and refinancings for Colorado small businesses over the last 14 years.

Eldon Van Der Wege

Denver, Colorado
Finance Administrator

Eldon Van Der Wege received a BS in psychology from the University of Colorado and MBA in finance from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado—Boulder. He retired from the State of Colorado with 30 years of service. Most of his career was spent at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment with his last position being Unemployment Insurance Liability Manager. The federal and state unemployment insurance program was created as part of the Social Security Act of 1935.

Eldon Van Der Wege is the author along with Thomas Billroth Gottlieb, MD of U. S. Healthcare Financing Reform: The Consolidation of the Health Insurance Industry. The white paper makes the business case and assessment for the feasibility of a proposed healthcare investment. The investment keeps the stock market stable and meets the compensation requirement of the “Taking Clause” found in the Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment V. The resulting healthcare reform creates healthcare financing and medical delivery efficiency and equality.

Michele Swenson

Michele Swenson

Denver, Colorado
Media Consultant

A former nurse, Michele Swenson has researched and written about issues including health care, wealth inequity, community rights and gun-centered ideologies, as well as producing public interest videos. Her 2005 book Democracy Under Assault: TheoPolitics, Incivility and Violence on the Right is an examination of the fractured church-state divide, assaults on the independent judiciary, resurgent 19th century science, socioeconomic Darwinism, corporatism, and Christian nativism. She has been a member of Health Care for All Colorado since its inception, and wrote Evaluation of Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform Final Recommendations in 2008 for Physicians for a National Health Program.


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