Government and Community Relations

The Government and Community Relations Department advocates at the local, state and federal government levels on behalf of Denver Health. Their purpose is to help maintain and promote community-wide outreach programs. By identifying issues when they arrive, the department can respond quickly, accurately and appropriately. The overarching goal is to provide a consistent message about Denver Health through internal and external channels.

DHHA Community Health Needs Assessment

Meet Our Team


Jacqueline ZheleznyakJackie Zheleznyak
Director of Government Relations

Jackie came to Denver in 1999 from her home in Honolulu, Hawaii to pursue her undergraduate degree at the University of Denver in International Studies. She graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in 2003. Finding a love of international affairs, she continued her educational career at DU completing her Masters in International Security in 2005 from the Korbel School of International Studies.

Jackie Zheleznyak comes to Denver Health from the State of Colorado where she was worked for the past 7 years. Most recently Jackie worked with the Department of Public Health and Environment from 2008-2012 within the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response as the State Pandemic Preparedness Coordinator. In that role she worked with creating, editing and revising the State Pandemic Influenza plans and Strategic National Stockpile Distribution plans, and well as working with numerous Colorado Counties to provide guidance and technical assistance to ensure their needs were met. Before that she worked as the Homeland Security consultant at the Colorado Department of Education. In that role she worked with all 178 school districts on improving the Crisis and Emergency response plans.

Stephanie Syner Project Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at Denver HealthStephanie Syner, MSW
Project Manager, Diversity and Inclusion

Stephanie Syner has worked in the government sector for over 15 years. Most recently serving as the Senior Outreach Director for Congresswoman Diana DeGette for 6 years. In this role, Stephanie worked with constituents, organizations, and community leaders from every sector to build more connected, informed, and stronger communities.

Outside of the public sector, her professional career has included consulting and campaigning in diverse communities that are most vulnerable to political or legislative change. Other areas of expertise include legislative relations, public policy, and policy analysis.

In 2017 she completed the Latino Leadership Institute Fellowship at the University of Denver. Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Florida and Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Denver. Stephanie proudly sits on the board of Playworks Denver Chapter.




Community Engagement

  • In the fall of 2017, Denver voters overwhelmingly approved our request for funding of $75 million for the Outpatient Medical Center (OMC) as part of the City’s General Obligation Bond. Community Relations organized Denver Health senior staff and key employee stakeholders to canvas Denver throughout the year to reinforce our mission and vision of caring for vulnerable patient populations. The three registered neighborhood associations closest to the main campus endorsed the OMC with board approved resolutions from Historic Baker, La Alma Lincoln Park and Golden Triangle Creative District. More than 2,000 unique audience members and voters engaged us in discussions of how we can improve healthcare for all. In first quarter 2018, Denver Health construction began executing the construction plan at the former administration building of 660 Bannock Street.
  • As Denver Public Schools’ first medical partner of CareerConnect – Medical Pathways we completed three years of customized program modules for 9th grade students that participated during the school year in monthly hands-on learning of medical applications in radiology-ultrasound, microbiology lab, sheep pluck and eyeball dissections, and paramedic ambulance and CPR/intubation training exercises. Nearly 350 students attended half-day immersive learning sessions on the Denver Health campus led by our employees. Subsequent program development of FACES for the Future and Paramedic Division’s Explorers Post 1025.
  • Denver Health Community Relations and Denver CARES employees were active participants at monthly board meetings and committees that included keeping the Golden Triangle Creative District (GTCD) clean, safe and enjoyable by its residents, visitors and business community. When our employees demonstrate our commitment to the neighborhoods we live and work in, we strengthen our mission to serve all people. Employees participated throughout the year by attending and supporting National Night Out and other public events, organized block clean-ups, and clothing drives for Denver CARES patients. Denver Health is considered a valued stakeholder and contributor to the GTCD and other registered neighborhood organizations near our family and school based health centers.
  • Denver Health received the Metro Vision Award from the Denver Regional Council of Governments, recognizing Denver health’s youth programs CareerConnect, MC2 and Explorers Post 1025 that expose youth to careers in medicine through hands-on and academic applications.
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Council was represented by 25 employees from across the enterprise that worked in small groups to improve inclusion training modules, draft a charter for diversity and inclusion and support a Lean A-3 rapid improvement event identified under our American Hospital Association #123 Pledge to Act to Eliminate Health Care Disparities.
  • 20th Anniversary of Denver Health and Hospital Authority: Government and Community Relations teamed up with other departments to host an evening reception in early November in celebration of 20 years as an authority. Historical milestones, memorabilia, books and recognition awards were presented to a few individuals that contributed to DHHA’s successes at the beginning.
community relations