Marguerite Salazar, the president and chief executive officer of the largest rural Community Health Center in the country, was named to the Colorado State University System Board of Governors on Wednesday.
The nine-member board appointed Salazar to the position held by Chad McWhinney of Loveland, who resigned earlier this year.
"Marguerite’s tremendous experience with community outreach will complement Colorado State’s land-grant mission of serving all of Colorado," said Larry Edward Penley, chancellor of the Colorado State University System. "We welcome her to the board."
Board members are typically appointed by the governor, but the board can fill vacancies that occur mid-term.
"Marguerite has been an outstanding community leader and public servant for the state of Colorado and we are delighted to have her serve on the board," said Douglas L. Jones, board chairman. "Marguerite’s leadership and experience will undoubtedly strengthen an already outstanding board and help the Colorado State University System reach new levels of success."
Salazar has spent her career providing primary health care to indigent and underserved populations. Since 1989, she has served as president and CEO of Valley Wide Health Systems Inc., which consists of 19 primary care and dental clinics that serve more than 20 rural counties and 55,000 people.
Previously she owned her own private medical social work service company called Access Social Work Service, managing numerous contracts for hospitals, nursing homes and private clinics. She has also worked as a mental health therapist in the community.
Salazar attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins for several years and obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology and gerontology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Adams State College. She is also a certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse counselor.
Her many community activities have included serving as a member of the Alamosa County Democratic Central Committee, a trustee of the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation and a board member for such organizations as the El Pomar Foundation, the Nature Conservancy of Colorado, the Medical Services Board, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, the Colorado Community Managed Care Network and Colorado Humanities. She currently serves as chairwoman of the Colorado Community Health Network.
She has been listed on Hispanic Magazine’s Latinas of Excellence List and has received the Bernie Valdez Award for Excellence in Health Care. She was named a 2006 Livingston Fellow through the Bonfils Stanton Foundation.