About the Partner Network
The Partner Network of the DECC is the part of our coalition that includes all of the individuals and organizations who are committed to improving the lives of Denver's young children. The role of the DECC Partner Network is to connect the knowledge and experiences of our stakeholders with our mission and goals.
The Partner Network is a key pillar in our organizational structure that is complimentary to the formal governance of our Board. It is through the Partner Network that we are able to intentionally connect the knowledge and experiences of our stakeholders to each other and with our mission and goals through shared purpose and collaborative action.
Sonja O'Leary MD
Denver Health Montbello Family Health Center
The temporary walls in the waiting room at the Denver Health Montbello Family Health Center are covered with brightly colored paper signs. Although these walls will be replaced by the new building in September they are lined with colorful handmade posters discussing everything from the importance of hand washing to identifying infectious diseases in children. Children of all ages are playing on the floor or fidgitting in chairs waiting to be seen by a health care provider. One of these providers is pediatrician Sonja O'Leary M.D.
For Dr. O'Leary the relationship between early childhood education and health is obvious in her practice as well as on the walls of the clinic where she works. In addition to her work as a pediatrician she is also a co-medical director of Reach Out and Read Colorado and a Board Member of the Denver Early Childhood Council. After her residency at the University of Colorado, she began working in pediatric outreach clinics. Over the last 10 years she began to see the need for strong communication between pediatricians and the communities of young children they work with.
As a mother herself, she became interested in the ways childcare providers and early educators could become an access point for health care models such as Medical Home, a concept originally introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics in which patient-centered care is coordinated across all elements of a patient's community. Dr. O'Leary's involvement with Reach Out and Read Colorado embodies this concept as she was able to see the needs of young children through the perspectives of providers and educators as well as from her own medical standpoint. "I wanted to see how we could come together with the same goal- with the goal being that every child thrives physically, intellectually, emotionally." Dr. O'Leary's vision is not limited to her current work, she is also striving for the involvement of future pediatricians in early education and child advocacy. She understands the challenges that pediatricians face in larger communities like Denver when trying to provide resources to families and believes that child advocacy trainings in residency programs would help. The practice of medicine is often about making connections and finding patterns in a patient's history in order to provide effective care. Dr. O'Leary and other doctors like her are essential connections in creating a healthy early childhood community.
Who is Our Partner Network
Our Partner Network is a broad and diverse group of individuals and organizations working to improve the lives of young children and their families.
Members of our Partner Network are supportive of and promote our vision, mission and goals in the early childhood work they do across Denver and the state.
Partner Network members participate in the implementation of our goals through numerous avenues:
- Joining a DECC Committee – Our numerous committees are where our Board members come together with the Partner Network and additional stakeholders to focus on the work of our goals and strategic plan.
- Attending Quarterly DECC Meetings – Our Board of Directors, Partner Network members, committees and additional stakeholders meet together quarterly to share learnings and work on early childhood systems issues.
- Receive the DECC Newsletter – Our DECC Newsletter is a great way to stay connected to our programs, trainings and events, along with current information on early childhood opportunities across Denver, Colorado and the nation.
- Attend DECC Professional Development Trainings – Our DECC trainings are targeted to early care and education (ECE) professionals. These trainings are intended to expand the knowledge of our ECE community, deepen the understanding of child development, improve the quality of child care across Denver, and ultimately increase the school readiness of our children.
- Auraria Early Learning Center
- Colorado Bright Beginnings
- Catholic Charities
- Childcare Licensing - Denver Environmental Health Dept
- Denver Mayor's Office of Education and Children
- Civic Canopy
- Clayton Early Learning
- Colorado Office of Professional Development
- Denver Great Kids Head Start
- Denver Health
- Denver Options
- Denver Public Library
- Denver Public Schools
- Family Flex Early Education Center
- Family Star
- Family Voices
- Florence Crittenton Parent Pathways, ELC
- Hope Center
- Little Friends Learning Centers
- Mile High United Way
- Open Door Childcare
- Qualistar Colorado
- Relationship Roots
- University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus - Colorado WIIN Partners
- Warren Village, Inc.