The Universal Preschool (UPK) Colorado family application portal is open! Get more info here.

Dr. Kathryn Wells Receives 2022 Ray E. Helfer, MD, Award

Hide Featured Image
true

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Julia Anderson, Colorado Department of Early Childhood

EMAIL: julia.anderson@state.co.us  


Dr. Kathryn Wells Receives 2022 Ray E. Helfer, MD, Award
 

DENVER (November 17, 2022) – Dr. Kathryn “Kathi” Wells, the Executive Director of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect and the Section Head for Child Abuse and Neglect in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has been named the 2022 Ray E. Helfer, MD, Award honoree. Dr. Wells received the award at a reception at the History Colorado Center during the joint Children’s Trust Fund Alliance and Prevent Child Abuse America national membership meeting on Nov. 15.
 

The award, sponsored by the Alliance and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Child Abuse, is named for Dr. Ray E. Helfer who is considered to be the “father of children’s trust and prevention funds.” Established in 1992, the award is presented each year to a distinguished pediatrician for his or her contribution to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
 

Dr. Wells, who has been a member of the Dr. Helfer Society and co-chair for the Education Committee since 2018, was nominated for this award by Kendra Dunn, Director, Division of Community and Family Support, Colorado Department of Early Childhood (Colorado Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund).
 

“Dr. Wells currently serves on our Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund Board and has served two previous terms,” Dunn said. “We are fortunate to have a pediatrician with her commitment, passion and skill dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect in Colorado.”
 

Dr. Wells is a Past President of the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and also serves on the Colorado Court Improvement Program, the Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force Children’s Subcommittee, and the State Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force where she co-chairs the Substance Exposed Newborns Steering Committee. She helped form the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and currently serves as an advisor. 
 

“We are proud to join with our national and state partners in recognizing Dr. Wells, whose work has made a positive difference in the lives of children and families, and to honor her many contributions,” said Ellen Brilliant, Executive Director of the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “She has carried on the important work begun by Dr. Helfer and his colleagues years ago.”
 

Dr. Wells has led clinical research on drug issues related to children, and received a grant from ACYF’s Children’s Bureau to develop a model program to better identify and serve substance-exposed newborns and their families. She also received a grant from the HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Healthy Tomorrows Program to develop a medical home for children in foster care in Denver County through the Connections for Kids Clinic at Denver Health. 
 

"Dr. Wells has offered critical vision and leadership for the field and for families — especially around the complex ways families are impacted by substance use,” said Jade Woodard, Executive Director of Illuminate Colorado. “Her contributions over the years have led to concrete improvements in policies, practices, and most importantly, in families' lives."
 

Originally from Great Falls, Mont., Dr. Wells earned her undergraduate degree from Carroll College in Helena. She earned her MD from Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Neb. After practicing general pediatrics in Idaho, she pursued fellowship training in Denver. In 2009, Dr. Wells became one of the inaugural class of Diplomats of the American Board of Pediatrics in Child Abuse and Neglect Pediatrics. In her spare time, Dr. Wells enjoys anything related to the outdoors including cycling and hiking.
 

Dr. Kathryn Wells stands with Jade Woodard, Executive Director of Illuminate (left) and Kendra Dunn, Director, Division of Community and Family Support, Colorado Department of Early Childhood, Colorado Child Abuse Prevention Trust Fund (left) after receiving the 2022 Ray E. Helfer, MD, Award

###

The Colorado Department of Early Childhood ensures the delivery of a comprehensive, community-informed, data-driven, high-quality and equitable early childhood system that supports the care, education and well-being of all Colorado’s young children, their families and early childhood professionals in all settings.

Learn more about the Colorado Department of Early Childhood at cdec.colorado.gov.