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Board, Staff & Committees

Toddler playing with small fountains

The American Academy of Pediatrics – Colorado Chapter is governed by volunteer officers, a board of directors, advisors and is supported by a part-time executive director and lobbying team.

Executive Committee

Cassana “Cassie” Littler, MD, FAAP – Chapter President
2022-2024
Dr. Littler is a pediatrician with Denver Health. Prior to that, Cassie provided pediatric care to the families and children of Mesa County. Cassie received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Colorado and completed her pediatric residency in Iowa. She served as the AAP CATCH Grant facilitator for the Colorado Chapter from 2011 to 2019. Cassie is a member of the Council on Community Pediatrics, the Section on Obesity and is an active member of the Chapter’s Legislation and Policy Committee.  Cassie enjoys camping, hiking, biking and spending time with her family.

Stacy Parra, MD, FAAP – Chapter Vice President
2022-2024
Dr. Parra is a pediatrician at Pediatrics 5280 in Centennial/Castle Rock. She has a keen interest in prevention, including immunization and smoking cessation. Stacy has been involved in AAP-CO through the Legislation and Policy Committee and the Membership Committee. On behalf of the Chapter, she has testified at the State Capitol, been a media spokesperson, and serves on the Colorado Medical Society Committee on Legislation. Stacy loves to hike, cook, read, and spend time with her husband and dog

Maya Haasz, MD, FAAP -Secretary
2022-2024
Dr. Haasz is a pediatric emergency room physician at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora. Her academic research interest is pediatric firearm safety. Since moving to Colorado two years ago, Maya has been actively involved with the Chapter’s Legislation and Policy Committee and spoke at an AAP-CO organized gun violence prevention rally. When she is not working in the ER, Maya enjoys hiking and camping with her family.

Deborah Archer, MD, FAAP -Treasurer 
2022-2024
Dr. Archer is a former NHSC scholar who has dedicated her career to working with minority and under-served populations. She founded the Community Health Advocacy Program at Brown University Alpert School Of Medicine in Providence RI. Dr. Archer completed her internship at Howard University Hospital and residency at Inova Fairfax in Virginia. Dr. Archer has been active in local leadership with CCHN Health Care Advocate Program and RIHEL’s Advanced Leadership Training Program. Deborah has served on the AAP Colorado Board since 2018. She also has three children who are avid ice hockey and lacrosse players and the joys of her life.

Edward C. (Ted) Maynard, MD, FAAP –  Immediate Past President
2022-2024
Dr. Maynard recently retired after 25 years in primary care at Iron Horse Pediatrics in Colorado Springs. He earned his MD degree at Harvard Medical School and did his pediatric residency at Boston Children’s Hospital. He has served on the AAP Colorado board for the past 12 years, and currently serves as the Chapter’s President. Ted has been a champion on issues including tobacco control, healthcare finance, and congenital CMV infection. Loving retired life, you can find him hiking, skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, or doing anything else that involves the outdoors.

Board

Nichole Feeney, MD, FAAP
2022-2026
Nichole Feeney, MD, FAAP is med/peds/hospice trained. Dr. Feeney completed her residency in Rochester, NY, including serving as a chief resident. From 2005 to 2014, Nichole had her own private practice in rural Tennessee. She now lives on the Western Slope where she continues to practice pediatrics and internal medicine and serves as the medicine department chair for the area hospital. By serving on AAP Colorado’s Board, Dr. Feeney hopes to improve Colorado both for children in general and also for her soon to be four teenagers who have benefited so much from this state.

Brooke Geyer, DO, FAAP
2022-2026
Dr. Geyer is a Pediatric Palliative Care and Pediatric Hospitalist at Children’s Colorado in Colorado Springs. She has a strong interest in increasing access to palliative care and hospice services for children throughout Colorado. She has previous experience testifying at the State Capital in Missouri, where she previously practiced. She has advocated for children’s needs both in Missouri and Colorado at the state level. In addition to palliative care she is passionate about helping children access affordable and high quality preschool and childcare. When not working Brooke enjoys hiking, tending animals on her farm, gardening and traveling.

Amy Goldsein, MD, FAAP
2022-2026
Dr. Goldstein is an early career pediatric hospitalist who recently moved back to Colorado. She was a Boettcher Foundation Scholar and is committed to giving back to the Colorado community. She received her MD from Creighton University and did her pediatric residency in Omaha, NE. She has a passion for student and resident education. She also has a passion for advocating for mental health issues among children. She wants to improve the communication process between hospital admissions and primary pediatricians in order to provide more complete and holistic care for children. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and dog and re-exploring the Colorado outdoors!

Sarah Humphreys, MD, FAAP
2020-2024
Dr. Humphreys is a partner at Sapphire Pediatrics in Denver. She earned her MD degree at the University of Oklahoma and completed her pediatric residency at the University of Maryland. Sarah was an early advocate for the integration of mental health into pediatric practice, and is working to help increase access to mental health services across Colorado. As a member of AAP-CO, she has also been an advocate for childhood immunizations. Sarah enjoys traveling and spending time in the Colorado mountains with her family, as well as reading and kickboxing.

Amanda Jichlinski, MD, FAAP
2020-2024
Dr. Jichlinski is a trilingual early career pediatrician who moved to Colorado in 2018. She is the Medical Director at Kids First Health Care, a non-profit that consists of School Based Health Centers and community clinics in underserved districts. She is interested in the medical and social needs of underserved and minority populations, as well as mentoring young physicians. Dr. Jichlinski has been active on the AAP-CO Legislation and Policy Committee; on behalf of the Chapter, she has authored several Op-Eds and letters of support focused on important pieces of legislation. She most enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.

Meg Kirkley, MD, FAAP
2022-2026
Dr. Kirkley is a neonatologist at Denver Health Medical Center. She is interested in breastfeeding, early childhood nutrition, immunization policy and prevention of preterm birth. She is involved with DEFINE Colorado, a statewide collaborative effort to improve family engagement in the NICU. Meg has previously testified on behalf of AAP-CO in support of reauthorizing the Colorado Immunization Information System and for strengthening non-medical vaccine exemptions. Meg loves to travel, cook, garden, and spend time with her fiancé and four-year-old son.

Rusha Lev, MD, FAAP
2022-2026
Rusha Lev is a pediatrician at Denver Health where she has worked doing mostly outpatient pediatrics for 12 years. She completed medical school at the University of Colorado and pediatric residency at Oakland Children’s Hospital. She has particular interests in Health at Every Size (HAES) and advocacy work, especially around school and creating closer connections between educators and pediatricians. She has been active with AAP Colorado in their work with COVID and return to school and other matters related to mental health and universal pre-K. She is a member of the AAP Councils on School Health and Community Pediatrics and the Section on Obesity. She has 4 wonderful and crazy children and likes to spend time with them outdoors, as well as get out on her own on the trails of Golden, Colorado.

Mary MacLeod-Oguntuase, DO, FAAP
2022-2026
Dr. MacLeod-Oguntuase is a pediatric hospitalist serving northern Colorado. A graduate and former chief resident of Ascension St. John’s pediatric residency program in Detroit, and former active duty pediatrician with the U.S. Air Force, she has a passion for medically under-served pediatric populations, as well as medical education. She has served in pediatric advocacy groups associated with the Michigan AAP chapter, served in various administrative leadership roles at a military clinic, authored pediatric board preparatory curriculum, and has special interests in vaccine hesitancy and pediatric immigrant health. Now completing her MPH with Johns Hopkins University, she enjoys her free time with her husband, family and dogs, preferably outdoors, as well as running marathons and trail races.

David Markenson, MD, MBA, FAAP
2022-2026
Dr. Markenson currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for the American Red Cross. Prior to this role he worked in multiple roles with HealthOne as a physician executive including as CMO of Sky Ridge Medical Center. Dr. Markenson has served as President of the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) and has served on the CMS board. Dr. Markenson has held multiple positions with AAP national committees and continues to advise on Disaster Medicine issues. Dr. Markenson is fellowship trained in both Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and continues to work clinically in both areas. Dr. Markenson hopes to support the AAP chapter’s advocacy efforts by bringing his experience with governmental relations, not-for-profit management, organized medicine and advocacy.

Alfie Meister, MD, FAAP
2020-2024
Dr. Meister is a pediatrician at Every Child Pediatrics in Aurora. She has devoted her career to using medicine as a tool for social justice. Her interests include literacy, breastfeeding, inclusiveness and equity. Alfie has been engaged with the Chapter’s Legislation and Policy Committee and the Pediatric Advocacy Action Team. In addition, Alfie has created a lunch time advocacy series at her clinic. As a single mother, Alfie carries on a family tradition of National Park road trips with her two daughters.

Kelly Miller, MD, FAAP
2020-2024
Dr. Miller has been practicing in Durango for 18 years. Her interests include caring for children with complex medical needs, tele-health, and working in the NICU. In addition, Kelly enjoys working with children adopted both domestically and internationally. She participates with AAP-CO congenital CMV workgroup, and speaks in support of child health policies in her community. Dr. Miller loves being a mom to four children, and draws much experience from her daughter with medical and learning needs and her son adopted from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She loves to play in the outdoors, so takes full advantage of living in the Colorado mountains.

Advisors

Martha Middlemist, MD, FAAP
Dr. Middlemist is a community pediatrician at Pediatrics 5280, where she is a partner.  She graduated from the University of Denver, attended the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and completed her pediatric training at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  Dr. Middlemist has served the AAP Colorado as Treasurer, Vice President, and President.  Dr. Middlemist also now serves the American Academy of Pediatrics as the Chair for District VIII.

Kathryn “Kathi” Wells, MD, FAAP
Dr. Kathryn Wells is a Board Certified Child Abuse Pediatrician and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the CU School of Medicine. She is currently the Executive Director of The Kempe Center and serves as an Outreach Liaison with ECHO Colorado. Dr. Wells is originally from Montana where she went to college at Carroll College in Helena, MT. She then earned her medical degree from Creighton University in Omaha, NE where she also completed a pediatric residency at Creighton/University of NE combined program. She practiced general pediatrics for 5 years in Caldwell, ID before coming to Colorado in 2001.

Staff & Lobby Team

Executive Director
Ellen Brilliant – Ellen has worked for over 20 years in Colorado’s nonprofit and advocacy communities. In 2006, she founded her own consulting firm, Apex Strategies. Ellen joined AAP Colorado as Executive Director in June 2016.

Special Projects Coordinator
Leisha Andersen, MD, MPH, FAAP – Leisha Andersen is a board-certified pediatrician who has redirected her professional efforts toward large-scale, preventative issues impacting pediatric health. She serves as Colorado’s Early Childhood Champion and provides content and educational support for several non-profit organizations. Leisha joined AAP Colorado in 2019.

Lobby Team
Aponte & Busam Public Affairs Consultants

Ruth Aponté, Founding Partner & Political Consultant – Ruth Aponté has been lobbying in Colorado for over 25 years, and is a founding partner of Aponté & Busam. She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Denver. Ms. Aponté has gained the trust and respect of legislators from both sides of the aisle, and consistently secures bipartisan support for client legislation.

Dave DeNovellis, Senior Political Consultant – Before joining Aponté & Busam, Dave served for five years working on state and federal policy issues for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. He has also worked for the Colorado General Assembly’s Legislative Council and staffed the health care, business and legislative leadership committees. He holds degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication from CU Boulder and a Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy from the University of Denver.

  • Legislation and Policy Committee
  • Education
  • Membership and Recruitment
  • Behavioral Health
  • Breastfeeding
  • Climate
  • CMV
  • Family Planning
  • Food Security
  • Gun Violence Prevention
  • Healthcare Acess
  • Immigrant Health
  • Immunization
  • Newborn Screening
  • Tobacco Control

For more information or to get involved, email Ellen Brilliant

Membership

Membership opportunities are available to pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, pediatric surgical specialists, and other pediatric providers. American Academy of Pediatrics – Colorado Chapter (AAP-CO) provides an array of benefits and services to keep you up-to-date and informed and is the only organization that supports you through all four phases of maintenance of certification. As a member, you can be a voice for children and pediatrics.

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