Board of Directors Spotlight: JK Costello
Throughout the year we will be highlighting members of our Board of Directors. This month, we are highlighting Board Vice President JK Costello.
"It is a terrific opportunity to be able to have JK on our board. His passion for our work and forward direction make him a great choice to support our board in achieving their development goals." - CCAHEC Executive Director Lin Browning
JK was kind enough to answer a few questions about himself, his career, and his role on the Board of Directors.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where you’re from, where you live, family info (kids, pets, etc.)?
I am a native Nebraskan and I have lived in Washington Park in Denver for about 5 years. I am the proud uncle of a 7-month-old and when this newsletter arrives, I’ll be the proud human companion of a 10-week-old puppy.
If you could plan a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Big Sky, Montana.
What is one item you cannot live without?
A paper day planner. I’d be lost without it.
What is your favorite hobby?
My other personal interests include rowing, volunteering, reading, playing basketball, snowboarding, and singing. My favorite hobby is probably reading.
Can you tell us about where you work, how long you’ve been working there, what your position is, and a little bit about what you do?
I am a physician/consultant on population health for addictions. I have worked at the Steadman Group, a woman-owned healthcare consulting firm in Denver, for just over 2 years. My clients include health plans, counties, nonprofits, behavioral health organizations, and primary care clinics.
Why did you join the CCAHEC BOD?
I work in both health and education, so I thought this would be a great experience. I am a physician and a public health professional, and I'm also an educator. I work in population health for addictions, helping organizations develop their addiction treatment models. I also taught math and standardized tests to high school kids for a long time. So, the AHEC board allows me to stay in both these worlds, and I am active on the AmeriCorps Steering Committee because that deals a lot with the opioid epidemic at a public health level, which is where I work as well. I like being able to help address addiction through participation in the board.
How long have you been a member of the CCAHEC BOD?
Just over 1 year-- I started in spring 2018.
Tell us about your roles professionally.
I lead a small but growing group of consultants on population health for addiction. There are a few different services I provide. Most notably, I am currently working with many of the jails in Colorado to improve addiction treatment for people with addictions. I am an excellent grant and proposal writer and I like to work with organizations long-term to develop their applications and then help them implement them.
I am quite happy with my job because I will be in this field long-term. I have the flexibility to assess the needs in addiction treatment and recovery and make wide-ranging plans to address those through whatever means fit. That has included legislative advocacy, winning grants, and a lot of education so far. I enjoy public speaking and try to convey the gravity of addiction to people and provide concrete ideas for what they can do.
What is your proudest accomplishment as part of the CCAHEC BOD?
I have participated in activities that bring the board together and gotten to know the staff. I did the staff shadow day, Lin visited my work, I went to the holiday party, stopped by Pat’s work anniversary, and, most recently, hosted a rousing board social at my place. I think boards work better when there is a high level of familiarity and trust.
What are your top three goals for CCAHEC in the coming year?
Board membership and development, which I chair
Improve financial sustainability
Is there anything else you would like our readers know?
I am extremely tall.