April 30 is Marguerite Salazar day, a special day on which to celebrate the good work of all who serve in the Community Health Center movement. CCHN’s Board of Directors passed a resolution in 2010 honoring Marguerite Salazar, who was departing her position as President and CEO of Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. to become Director of Region VIII for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Marguerite gave outstanding service to Colorado’s Community Health Center Movement for more than 25 years at Valley-Wide, one of the largest rural Community Health Centers in the country. She served as president of CCHN’s Board of Directors and served many years on CCHN’s Public Affairs Committee. She was appointed twice to Colorado’s Medical Services Board, which oversees rules for state health care programs. Marguerite was selected by the National Association of Community Health Centers for the 2009 Aaron L. Brown Memorial Public Service Award, given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the community health field in public policy.
After serving as Region VIII Director for HHS, Marguerite was appointed Colorado Insurance Commissioner by Governor John Hickenlooper, a role in which she worked to bring an inclusive and fair-minded regulatory approach to insurance, including health insurance. In December 2018, Marguerite was appointed by New Mexico Governor-Elect Michelle Lujan Grisham to lead New Mexico’s Regulation and Licensing Department that administers credentials for a long list of professions, regulates local lending institutions, issues building permits and safeguards consumers from securities fraud, among other duties.
We are remarkably fortunate in Colorado to have so many talented, hard-working, and committed individuals like Marguerite working to make health care better and more accessible for all of us.