Spirit of the Community Award Winner - 2017

ACHI Spirit of the Community Awards are given in two categories:

The 2017 Spirit of the Community Award was awarded to two outstanding community health leaders that have shown commitment to improving the health and wellness of the communities they serve, making them exemplars of the spirit of their community and ACHI.

Community Champion

Kathy Armijo Etre 

Kathy Armijo Etre

Vice President of Mission
CHRISTUS St. Vincent

With over 30 years of experience in health care, nonprofits and education, Armijo Etre's work takes a system-of-care philosophy that recognizes the siginificance of partnerships to address community needs. She provides leaderships for many of CHRISTUS ST. Vincent's collaborative efforts with other foundations, non-profits and community stakeholders. She developed the High Utilizer Group Services (HUGS) program in 2010 to reduce emergency department readmissions and has resulted in a 35-55 percent decrease in the hospital's ER utilization. Her currents efforts have been driven by the hospital's community health needs assessment and address many determinants of health such as healthy equity, health behaviors and violence. She also holds a masters in social work and a PhD in human and organizational systems.

Leadership Champion

Penrose Jackson
Penrose Jackson

Director of Community Health Improvement
University of Vermont Medical Center

Jackson's dedication to community health improvement dates back to the early 1990's, when she served as the director of the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, VT. Since then, she has been an integral part of implementing programs that advance various aspects of health care such as injury prevention, free health screening, medication assistence, tobacco cessation and much more. Her advocacy and dedication drives her recent work which focuses on addressing affordable housing and has resulted in Beacon Apartment, an affordabe place for people in underserved communities. Another partnership wtih Harbor Place supported her efforts of developing supportive housing for recently dscharged patients who don't have adequent housing. To improve the opioid crisis in Vermont, Jackson also established the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance and integrated the 'Hub & Spoke Model' into the health system. She has a masters in american history and attended the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.