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May 23, 2001


New executive director for Clinica Tepeyac

North Denverite returns to lead community health clinic at Guadalupe parish

The 15-member Board of Directors for La Clinica Tepeyac has named Johanna Leyba as the north Denver health clinic's new executive director. Leyba succeeds Susan Gallo.

Clinica Tepeyac is a nonprofit health clinic located on the parish grounds of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in northwest Denver.

A Colorado College graduate, Leyba has several years of experience working with and guiding non-profit programs. Previously a non-profit specialist with Jeanine Vanderburg Associates — a grant-writing and consulting firm for nonprofit agencies — she has also served with the Adams County Department for Human Services, where she coordinated a county-wide youth employment program; and with Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, where she oversaw a Latina Girls Development program.

"We're very pleased that Johanna has joined La Clinica's hard-working, caring and talented staff," said Lucille Ruibal, board of directors president. "The board is impressed with her experience, enthusiasm and passion to serve the metro area's growing Latino community."

The position seems a good fit for Leyba, who has longstanding ties to north Denver. A Colorado native, she grew up in and still lives in the area. Over the past several years, she has been very active in the community — helping raise funds for the Denver Public School District's Bilingual Montessori public school and working with other Latinos on education, employment and housing issues.

Currently, Leyba is attending the University of Colorado at Denver, working on a master's degree in urban and regional planning with an emphasis on community development.

"I feel like my life has come full-circle," the 29 year-old Leyba said. "We often see Latinos acquiring knowledge and following their careers out of their community. I'm excited to have been able to gain a wide-range of experience and bring it back to mine.

"It's such a privilege to serve others in the kind of agency I'm joining — one with a clear vision and mission, a dedicated and talented staff, and tremendous community support — all of the elements a non-profit needs to be successful," she added.

Among her initial goals, Leyba said, are to ready and solidify the clinic's internal processes and administrative systems so that the clinic can keep pace with and adequately provide for a growing number of patients. Last year, the clinic served more than 4,000 Latino men, women and children with basic medical care and health education services — its sixth consecutive year of growth.

Staffed primarily with volunteers, La Clinica Tepeyac offers a host of preventive health information, health education classes, community outreach and special programs for youth. Since the clinic opened its doors in April 1995, more than 10,000 uninsured and low-income adults and children have received medical attention and preventive health education.


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