2023 Building Healthy Futures Award

Jan 2, 2024 | Stories of Impact, What's New?

It is our pleasure to announce the individuals chosen to receive Healthy Child Care Colorado’s 2023 Building Healthy Futures Awards. These awards provide HCCC an opportunity to recognize our incredible partners engaging in work that aligns with our mission to build safe, supportive, and healthy early childhood settings and systems in Colorado. Please join us in congratulating them on their well-deserved recognition! 



Rebecca Vlasin, EdD
Division Director, Early Childhood Workforce
Colorado Department of Early Childhood


The innovation and leadership Rebecca brings to coordinating and building cross-sector efforts to cultivate Colorado’s early childhood workforce is admirable. She has fostered and built approachable pathways to higher education, as well as contributed to developing leaders and advocates in our field. Her contributions and vision will continue to impact the field for many more years to come.  



Jennifer Sommer Sheppard, LCSW
Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant & Supervisor
Aurora Mental Health & Recovery


Jen’s leadership and dedication to the early childhood mental health field is inspiring and has been so incredibly valuable as we established HCCC’s role as Colorado’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) Network Hub. We are so grateful for her engagement and guidance on the ECMHC Advisory Team, ECMHC State Leadership Team, Whole Child Consultative Roles Conference Steering Committee, and many other workgroups and efforts to support the field. Her ability to practice and demonstrate collaborative leadership and thought partnership has made a tremendous impact.  



Therese Pilonetti, REHS, CP-FS
Educational Settings Subject Matter Expert
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment


Therese’s knowledge and dedication to health and safety in educational settings is incredible. She is such a strong champion and bridge between public health and early care and education. Therese’s collaborative approach and expertise has made significant impacts, especially as we navigate through a global pandemic. Her strong partnership is part of what makes our collective work and pandemic response impactful across the state.