News from Gonder Public Relations

Join Adams County League of Women Voters April 22 to Learn About Growing Home

Learn how Growing Home is supporting Adams County families Monday April 22 at 11:30 a.m. at Community Reach Center, 11285 Highline Drive in Northglenn. Karen Fox Elwell, chief executive officer at Growing Home, will speak to the Adams County League of Women Voters. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Growing Home was established 20 years ago as the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Adams County. Its founder, Kathleen Drozda, realized that Adams County was not aware of the extent of suburban homelessness and had few methods of accommodating that need.

Growing Home is nonprofit serving families in Adams County.

Growing Home CEO Karen Fox Elwell will describe how this Adams County nonprofit helps low income families to thrive.

In addition to the Canopy (temporary housing) program, which provides 14 beds, Growing Home has added a food pantry, rental and energy assistance, and a two-generation approach to breaking the cycle of poverty through a home-visitation program and classes designed to mitigate adverse childhood experiences. Most recently, Growing Home has added a community organizer to identify, recruit, and support community members who are advocating for justice in the areas of housing, food, and education.

Growing Home is dedicated to creating a thriving and equitable Adams County one family at a time. Its participant-centered approach to strengthening familiesnurturing children and connecting community fills a critical gap for families and children who are experiencing immediate and long-term barriers to stability and success. Through evidenced-based programs, Growing Home improves outcomes for children, their parents and their community. Our model makes it a leader in the two-generation approach to poverty alleviation and community equity.

The League of Women Voters of Adams County is part of a national network–nonpartisan, grassroots, and multi-issue—that is a recognized force in the shaping of public policy. The League promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in local, state and national government.

For more information on meetings, visit or call Pat at 303-452-3030.


Learn How the League of Women Voters Defends Democracy Monday, March 11

The League of Women Voters is fighting to reduce the influence of Dark Money in Politics and efforts to suppress voting by US citizens. Come Monday, March 11 at 6:30 pm. to hear speakers from the Adams County League of Women Voters describe how the League is Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy. The meeting–at the Community Reach Center, 11285 Highline Drive in Northglenn — is free and open to the public.

democracy, voters, women

The League of Women Voters fights to protect voting rights and democracy.

In recent years, several states have made it harder for US citizens to vote, including North Dakota which now requires voters to have street addresses while many First Americans on reservations typically do not have street addresses. The League of Women Voters of North Carolina is suing their state over its gerrymandered districts that ensure lopsided representation by one party while political party registrations are almost equal.  Since the US Supreme Court decided in Citizens United that corporate money equals speech, millions in special interest money has poured into elections, tilting the balance away from citizens and towards the interests of corporations and unions. The League of Women Voters supports campaign finance reform that requires transparency so voters know who is contributing to political campaigns.

“Elections should be about the voters not big money interests,” says the LWV of the United States ( “It’s time to limit SuperPACs and secret donors to protect representative democracy.”

The League of Women Voters of Adams County, Colorado is part of a national network–nonpartisan, grassroots, and multi-issue—that is a recognized force in the shaping of public policy. The League promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in local, state and national government.

For more information on March 11, visit  or call Pat at 303-452-3030.



Adams County League of Women Voters Celebrates 60 Years

From educating voters to studying issues, the Adams County League of Women Voters (LWV) has been contributing to the public dialogue in Westminster, Northglenn and beyond for more than 60 years. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that takes positions on issues after careful study, but never endorses candidates.

In general election years, the Adams LWV co-sponsors candidate forums with community partners, For the 2016 general election, League volunteers registered voters and distributed information about registration deadlines at events, community centers and at Front Range Community College.

The local league began in 1956 when Westminster was ready to write its first home rule charter. The provisional Westminster League of Women Voters
achieved full status after completing a “Know Your City” study. By 1960, the Westminster League had attracted members from Northglenn, Thornton and beyond. The group completed a “Know Your County study” and published a book for citizens in 1961, transitioning to the Adams County LWV. The local League is celebrating this anniversary throughout the 2016-17 program year.

League of Women Voters gives voter education

The League of Women Voters has been providing voter education and positions on issues in Adams County for the past 60 years.

Over the years, the Adams LWV has sponsored forums on public policy issues. For example, it has sponsored panel discussions featuring Adams County Commissioners yearly from 2014-2016. Commissioners gave an update on negotiations with Denver over development around DIA and expansion of Adams County offices serving citizens.

“The League of Women Voters” is proud to be non-partisan,” said Adams County Commissioner Eva Henry. “I can count on them to bring concerns to me on policies that have been well-researched. I have confidence that the information they give will have no political agenda attached.”

The LWV takes positions on public policy issues only after careful study and debate.
The LWV strives for consensus on positions—not just a majority vote, but a substantial majority of those voting. The positions are used to inform a cadre of primarily volunteer lobbyists at the state legislature and in Washington, DC.

Some policy issues begin at the national level, such as campaign finance reform and amending the US Constitution. Others are statewide, including a study on fracking and a ground-breaking change in League recommendations regarding mental health policy.

Adams County LWV member Jean Fredlund, a retired nurse with experience in psychiatric care, served on the LWV of Colorado (LWVCO) Mental Health Task Force. The new position incorporates behavioral health (addiction) with mental health. The Behavioral Health Position was adopted by the LWVCO, which took it to the national LWV Convention where all other states adopted the position by concurrence. A key provision states: “The League supports access to affordable, quality in-and out-patient behavioral health care, including needed medications and supportive services, for all people.”

The local league also hears speakers on interesting topics including human trafficking, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and affordable housing.

The Adams County LWV meets twice a month, September though May the second Monday from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. and the 4th Monday at 11:30 am – 12:30 am at Community Reach Center, 11285 High Line Drive, Northglenn, in the Hawaii Room.

For more information, visit: or email Pat Lewis at


9 Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees are Featured on Women’s Equality Day- Gonder Public Relations

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Chair Betty Heid explains to 9News why Madeline Albright and eight other  women made a lasting impact on Colorado and beyond.

9 News CO Women’s Hall of Fame

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame + Denver Library Host Exhibit & Event Series – Gonder Public Relations

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame and the Denver Public Library are celebrating the lives and stories of 152 Hall of Fame inductees at a four-month exhibit and event series that continues through June 30, 2016. The exhibit is open during library hours seven days a week at the Denver Public Library Main Branch, Seventh floor, 10 West 14thAvenue Parkway. This exhibit features photos and information about the extraordinary women inducted into the Hall since its founding in 1985.

Remaining events in the Hall’s DPL series:

Women of Color Leading; Colorado Women's Hall of Fame

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame inductee Sister Alicia Cuaron will speak at the Women of Color Leading event.

Saturday, May 14, 2016,  10am – 2pm     “Women of Color Leading”

This interactive program highlights the significant leadership contributions and different pathways that women of color have taken.  The program is designed to engage a multicultural, multigenerational conversation on opportunities for the emerging leader in the global age.  Six inductees will provide keystone advice and strategies that integrate with the values of their culture.  They are Sr. Alicia Cuarón, Ding-Wen Hsu, Lauren Casteel, Arlene Vigil Kramer, Ramona Martinez and Polly Baca.  Networking and a guided tour of the Celebrating Colorado Women exhibit will follow the program.

Sponsor organizations:  AARP, Multicultural Outreach and City of Denver Office on Women and Families. Partner organizations are:  Adelante Mujer, American G.I. Forum of Colorado, Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Latino Leadership Institute and The Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 5-7:30pm “Advocacy and Influence”: How to Make Change Happen – Have an idea or passion that needs a kick-start?  Four Hall inductees, including former elected officials  Mary Lou Makepeace and Ramona Martinez and international adoption agency founder Lily Nie and La Leche League co-founder Mary Ann Kerwin will share insights on how they advanced their causes. The audience will be asked to share what change they want to influence and panelists will discuss the key strategies on how to create collaboration as well as what it takes, how to gain confidence and take the first step. Networking after the panel will allow people to meet the inductees.

The programs are free and open to the public, but seating is limited and an RSVP is required at For more information, call 303.271.3599 or visit

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Inducts 10 March 16

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame ( will induct 10 extraordinary women at a gala dinner Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at the Denver Marriott City Center, 1701 California St.

Contemporary inductees include: Anna Jo Haynes, civil rights, child and family advocate, bringing to Denver the national Head Start program, Denver, CO; Arlene Vigil Kramer, educator and trailblazer for bilingual education, Monument, CO; Lydia Peña SL, educator, author and community leader, championing education for girls in Ghana and Afghanistan, Denver, CO;.

Other contemporary inductees are: Sandra I. Rothenberg, Appellate Court judge and pioneer in sex discrimination litigation, Denver, CO; Shari Shink, attorney and founder of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center for abused and neglected children, Denver, CO; Judith Wagner, business leader who cofounded both the Women’s Bank and Colorado Women’s Foundation, and catalyst for the Center for Women’s Health Research, Cherry Hills, CO.

Historic inductees are: Anne Evans, cultural leader who established the Denver Art Museum, Denver Civic Center, Central City Opera House, Denver, CO; Minnie Harding, women’s advocate who established a scholarship and loan fund in 1902 allowing thousands of women to attend college, Canon City, CO; Laura Ann Hershey, internationally recognized author and advocate for the disabled and LGBT community, Littleton, CO; Elizabeth Pellet, first woman minority leader in Colorado State Legislature, Rico, CO.



Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Seeks Remarkable Women

DENVER – The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is seeking nominations of outstanding women for the Class of 2016. Members of the hall include singer Judy Collins, former Israeli Prime Minster Golda Meir, dancer and choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson and space scientist Jo Ann Cram Joselyn.

The deadline is August 1, 2015. Visit for information and to download a nomination form.

Since 1985, the Hall has inducted 142 contemporary and historic women. They are women connected to Colorado who represent remarkable achievements in medicine, business, philanthropy, politics, education, engineering, activism and other fields. Each woman is a pioneer in her own right, having made a significant and enduring contribution to her profession and to the advancement of women and society.

The Hall inducts women in even numbered years from nominations submitted by the public. The selection committee is an independent panel of community members from around the state. Nominees are evaluated based on these criteria:

The woman must have strong ties to Colorado and have:

  • Made a significant and enduring contribution to her field
  • Advanced the status of women
  • Helped open new frontiers for women and for society
  • Inspired others by her example

Inductees for 2016 will be announced November 2015.

Other notable Hall inductees are: Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, legendary golfer Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, Titanic heroine Margaret “Molly” Brown, former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, pioneer Baby Doe Tabor, philanthropist Susan Anschutz-Rodgers, and actress and Tony Award namesake Antoinette Perry. Inductees include former Colorado First Lady Dottie Lamm, U.S. Ambassador Swanee Hunt, former State Supreme Court Justice Mary J Mullarkey and Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel. Tor view all of the Hall’s inductees, visit

About the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame was created to recognize, honor and preserve the contributions of trail-blazing Colorado women. Both historical and contemporary women have shared foresight, vision and accomplishment, but lacked a forum for recognition. Since 1985, the Hall has inducted 142 extraordinary women. To view all inductees, visit the website: Stay in touch via Facebook:


‘Passion’ Defines the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Denver Post

“The ecologist, architect, humanist and aviatrix may hold divergent interests, but the passion pervasive in their contributions to society binds them together as the 2014 Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame inductees,”


writes Denver Post reporter Kristen Leigh Painter.

“We think it is important to recognize women from Colorado who have not only made a statewide impact, but a national and worldwide impact,” said Betty Heid, chairwoman of the hall’s board of directors.

Click here to read the full article:

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame inducts 10 March 20

 The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame will induct ten extraordinary women at a gala dinner at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20 at the Marriott City Center, 1701 California St. Honorary chair of the event is construction pioneer and Rockies co-owner Linda Alvarado, who is in both the Colorado and National Women’s Halls of Fame.

Contemporary inductees for 2014 are:


·         Christine Arguello, first Hispanic appointed to Federal District Court (right) and first Colorado Hispanic promoted to partner at a major law firm;

·         Lauren Casteel, one of the first African American women to head a Colorado foundation who developed a nationally recognized inclusiveness project to help non-profits be more inclusive of under-represented groups;

·         Penny Hamilton, Ph.D.; pilot and aviation educator who co-holds world and national aviation speed records with her husband;

·         Kristina Johnson, Ph.D.,internationally acknowledged expert in optics and crystal display technology who holds 129 US and international patents;

·         Joanne Maguire,first woman to lead Lockheed Martin Space Systems and only female to receive the International von Karman Wings Award for accomplishments in space technology;

·         Diana Wall, Ph.D.;soil ecologist and environmental scientist who has a valley in Antarctica and a soil microarthropod named after her.

Historical inductees are:

·         Morley Cowles Ballantine, award-winning publisher of the Durango Herald who through editorial positions and philanthropy campaigned for equal pay for women, protection from workplace harassment and the right to choose;

·         Julia Archibald Holmes, women’s rights campaigner and firstrecorded woman to climb Pike’s Peak who wore controversial “reform” bloomers and took stands for women’s equality that were published in the Eastern U.S.

·         Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, visionary architect who promoted environmentally responsible design through the Wright Ingraham Institute and who designed innovative, energy-efficient buildings in Colorado Springs;

·         Helen Ring Robinson, first female Colorado State Senator who worked to pass bills to establish a minimum wage for women, protection for abused children and support for better treatment of the mentally ill.

To RSVP for the gala dinner and induction, visit

Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Announces its 2014 Inductees

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Class of 2014 includes a space systems executive, the Durango Herald publisher, the first woman state senator and more.

Diana Wall at Colorado State University

Contemporary inductees are: Christine Arguello, U.S. District Court Judge; Lauren Casteel, first African American woman to head a Colorado foundation; Penny Hamilton, Ph.D; pilot, aviation educator; Kristina Johnson, Ph.D., internationally acknowledged expert in optics and crystal display technology; Joanne Maguire, aerospace executive who led the development of the Mars Rover; and Diana Wall, Ph.D.; environmental scientist who has a valley in Antarctica named after her (Shown in her CO State Univ. lab at right).

Historical inductees are: (Elizabeth) Morley Cowles Ballantine, Durango Herald publisher, businesswoman and philanthropist; Julia Archibald Holmes, pioneer and women’s rights advocate; Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, architect and businesswoman who designed AIA-award winning buildings in Colorado Springs; and Helen Ring Robinson, first female Colorado State Senator.

“These extraordinary women have made significant contributions to their fields or blazed trails in society,  says Elizabeth Heid, chair of the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. “They will join the other 132 remarkable women who have shared vision, ideals and accomplishment to become inductees into the Hall of Fame.”

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame was founded in 1985 to inspire others by celebrating and sharing the enduring contributions of Colorado’s extraordinary women. The Hall serves as a leading resource of exciting, dynamic stories of women who have achieved greatness in their fields or acted as agents of change for girls and women in society.  To view photos and profiles of current inductees, visit

Gonder Public Relations Celebrates 25 years Making a Difference 

Gonder Public Relations is celebrating 25 years of providing public relations and marketing services that win elections, increase client visibility and motivate behavior change.  The Denver PR firm offers a range of services from comprehensive public relations and marketing campaigns to media training, communications audits, branding and crisis communications plans. Portfolio, case studies and blogs on PR strategy and health matters are available on this website.

To commemorate this milestone, Gonder PR is providing pro bono PR services to Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame where Peggy Gonder, APR is a board member.

AAOS and Touch of Life Technologies Partner on New Shoulder Simulator 

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has partnered with Touch of Life Technologies (ToLTech) to develop a virtual reality-based shoulder simulator to train and evaluate orthopaedic residents in surgical proficiency in shoulder arthroscopy.

This is the second arthroscopic surgical simulator developed by AAOS and ToLTech. The first, introduced in 2008, was a knee arthroscopy surgery simulator.  Expanding this platform provides a total learning environment for orthopaedics that makes surgical training more accessible, less costly and safer than many traditional training approaches. The AAOS is committed to expanding its educational initiatives to include training enhancements offered by innovative technology.

The shoulder simulator is ToLTech’s newest product release from the company’s expanding ArthroSim™ platform. It provides a precise and accurate hands-on experience using models from an actual human body. The device combines 3D graphics with robotic capabilities that simulate the “touch and feel” of a surgical procedure and human tissue without the risk of operating on a real patient or the limits of practicing on a cadaver, which only can be used once for surgical education.

The popularity of ToLTech’s knee arthroscopy simulator fueled a demand from orthopaedic educators to develop a similar device for procedures related to the shoulder.  Following the same path the AAOS used to develop the knee arthroscopy curriculum with ToLTech, the AAOS appointed a project team to develop a curriculum for shoulder surgery skill development that could be installed as an extension of ToLTech’s proven arthroscopy platform.

“We have developed a training sequence that includes 36 different objectively measured tasks for diagnostic arthroscopy of the shoulder for our initial curriculum,” says Andrew Green, MD, who leads the AAOS Project Team that includes Michael Pearl, MD, Matthew Saltzman, MD and Scott Trenhaile, MD.

“We created a program that enables orthopedic surgeons to train on virtual patients in both the beach chair and lateral decubitus positions,” Green added.  “In the future, we expect to create training programs in specific shoulder procedures, similar to the extension work underway for the knee.”

Arthroscopic shoulder procedures are among the most common surgeries performed today in the US. In fact, up to 500,000 rotator cuff repairs are performed annually in the nation.

“We see this simulator technology setting a new standard in medical education and training,” says Karl Reinig, Ph.D., director of simulation for Touch of Life Technologies (ToLTech). “Over time, working with cadavers can be more costly and the simulator’s advanced computer technology enables assessment that is not easy to carry out on cadavers.”

Colorado Hall of Fame Seeks Remarkable Women

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is seeking nominations of outstanding women for the Class of 2014.  Members of the hall include singer Judy Collins, former Israeli Prime Minster Golda Meir, dancer and choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson and space scientist Jo Ann Cram Joselyn.

The deadline is August 23, 2013. Visit nominate2013 for information and to download a nomination form.

Since 1985, the Hall has inducted 132 living and historic women. They are women connected to Colorado who represent remarkable achievements in politics, medicine, business, philanthropy, education, engineering, activism and other fields. Each woman is a pioneer in her own right, having made a significant and enduring contribution to her profession and to the advancement of women and society.

The Hall inducts women every even numbered year. Inductees are selected from nominations submitted by the public.  The selection committee is an independent panel of community members from around the state. Nominees are evaluated based on the following criteria:

The woman must have ties to Colorado and have:

·      Made a significant and enduring contribution to her field

·      Advanced the status of women

·      Helped open new frontiers for women and for society

·      Inspired others by her example

Inductees for 2014 will be announced November 2013.

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame was founded in 1985 to recognize and preserve the accomplishments of women, past and present, with connections to Colorado.

GPR Helps States With Communications About Education

Peggy Gonder has been helping  educators in three states to communicate major education initiatives under the  sponsorship of the National Governors Association.   She is currently working with the Kentucky Department of Education on Competency-based Education, preparing documents for a statewide summit and surveying stakeholders about their knowledge and attitudes about CBE – a system that helps more students succeed by increasing flexibility of ways to learn.

Earlier this year, Gonder worked with statewide education groups in Colorado to develop coordinated messaging on Educator Effectiveness – which includes improvements and support for evaluating teachers and principals. Gonder has also worked with the State of North Carolina, surveying educators on their major education reforms to determine what communications systems are working well and what new tools are needed.

The National Governors Association provides  grants to states enacting policy reforms to supply consultants and other services.

Gonder Public Relations principal  Peggy Gonder has been working in education-related communications for more than 25 years.

Touch of Life Technologies Releases Ground-Breaking Interactive Human Anatomy Atlas with 3D Views from Multiple Perspectives to Train Physicians and Other Healthcare Professionals

Touch of Life Technologies ( has released a powerful upgrade to its VH Dissector™interactive anatomy atlas, creating the first-ever medical education software where users can view detailed anatomy as three dimensional renderings and in all three, principal axis, cross-sectional views. The platform contains more than 2,000 anatomical structures with curriculum options for medical, dental, physician assistant, physical therapy, nursing and general undergraduate anatomy students. It also serves as a comprehensive clinical reference for practicing professionals.

Both the original VH Dissector™ and the new VH Dissector™ 5 are based on data from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project®. With the VH Dissector, users can virtually dissect anatomical structures and substructures with each click of a mouse. The original VH Dissector enabled users to view the whole human body or magnified regions as 3D renderings and also investigate transverse (horizontal) cross-sections at millimeter intervals throughout the body.

The VH Dissector 5 dramatically extends the user’s ability to investigate internal human anatomy and relationships by stepping through cross-sections along all three principal axes (transverse, coronal and sagittal) in millimeter intervals. Coronal cross-sections(vertical cross-sections from shoulder to shoulder), like the transverse, provide a quick appreciation for the right/left symmetrical structures of the body. Conversely, sagittal cross-sections (vertical cross-sections from nose to spine) provide a special view for our asymmetric or unpaired body parts.

By simply centering an anatomical structure or point of interest in the crosshairs, that structure is immediately brought to center in all three cross-sectional views (transverse, coronal and sagittal) and precisely located in the three dimensional view. As a bonus with the integrated nature of the data, the cross-sections can also be viewed in the 3D renderings to produce the effect of 3D structures protruding from the 2D cross-sections.

“Students will be able to appreciate three dimensional relationships and understand cross-sections more efficiently by controlling the cutting planes as they observe the transitions between 2D and 3D images,” said Vic Spitzer, Ph.D., CEO of Touch of Life Technologies and an anatomy professor who was a principal investigator on the Visible Human Project.  “The integration of the images and the planes deepens their understanding of anatomy and how structures relate to each other.”

The powerful VH Dissector platform enables students and clinicians to rapidly and interactively investigate the entire human body through virtual dissection (or assembly) of body regions or systems while viewing the process as it appears in the cadaver lab or in surgery (3D) and as it appears in clinical imaging (2D) – all from the desktop and all under their control.

“I have used the VH Dissector in teaching gross anatomy for several years,” said Larry Rizzolo, professor at Yale University Medical School.  “As an instructor, I like the built in flexibility to recommend premade lessons or design my own lesson plans to guide students. The interactive nature of the software and correlated cross-sectional views enable students to ask and resolve their own questions, as they come up.  Consequently, they more quickly grasp anatomical relationships in the human body, which in turn helps to retain the information.  The addition of the coronal and sagittal views greatly enhances the VH Dissector as a learning and reference tool in medical school, clinical rotations and beyond.”

The software is available for purchase by faculty, students, libraries and professionals online at www.toltech.netand through direct sales.

About ToLTech

Touch of Life Technologies is a medical education company that develops and sells interactive software and medical procedure simulators. ToLTech products provide a virtual learning environment combining state-of-the-art interactive technology with real anatomy from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project® as well as higher resolution images. In business more than a decade, Touch of Life Technologies collaborates with professional medical societies, educators and practicing professionals to create and test next-generation tools to educate and train a wide range of healthcare professionals and students. For more information, visit www.toltech.netor call 720-859-4140.

Together Colorado Faith Leaders Applaud Supreme Court Decision To Ensure Health Security to Coloradans; Express Concern on Medicaid Expansion Limit

 Faith leaders from Together Colorado and the PICO National Network expressed much gratitude with the Supreme Court decision to uphold the individual mandate and the many benefits of the Affordable Care Act to vulnerable families and communities.  Today we can be thankful that insurance companies will no longer be able to deny payment for healthcare to their members after they get sick.

“As people of faith we have our own God-given mandate to bring healing to the sick,” said the Rev. Bill Calhoun, Together Colorado leader and former moderator of Denver Presbytery. “This weekend we’ll be letting people in our congregations know that today’s decision sustains the many benefits and protections in the Affordable Care Act; however, we are concerned for those that won’t have full access to the benefits as states have the choice to opt-out of providing expanded Medicaid benefits.”Twenty-six states sued over expanding Medicaid benefits, which could deprive many low-income individuals of the health care they are counting on.

Today’s Supreme Court decision upholds all of the core components of the Affordable Care Act (1) extension of coverage to 30 million or more uninsured Americans, (2) prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against people because they are sick, (3) requiring individuals to purchase insurance, with subsidies, and (4) promoting innovation to deliver better health care at lower cost in Medicare and Medicaid.

In fact, one of these Affordable Care Act innovation grants is coming to Aurora Colorado.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation awarded a three-year, $14.3 million grant to deliver better healthcare at lower cost in four cities, including Aurora.  Together Colorado, along with the Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN), Aurora Health Access and the Aurora Mental Health Center will be working to identify residents of North Aurora who are frequent visitors to the Emergency Room. Using a clinical and community care team, MCPN will provide these individuals with intensive follow up. This care will include mental health care from Aurora Mental Health and community support through Together Colorado.

Together Colorado and The PICO National Network (People Improving Communities through Organizing) strongly urges each state in the nation to now move ahead with establishing health-care exchanges where people and businesses can comparison shop for health plans and find out which tax credits they can use to help pay for a plan of their choice. There is no excuse for any state to deprive small businesses and individuals from this bipartisan, common-sense solution to the rising cost of health insurance.

More than 100 million people have already benefitted from the Affordable Care Act since it was implemented in 2010. People have paid less for prescription drugs through Medicare, received free preventative services, and remained insured instead of losing coverage due to lifetime limits as a direct result of the law.  In Colorado, more than 40,000 young adults under age 26 have gained access to health insurance.  And nearly 300,000 children with pre-existing conditions can never be denied coverage.

Touch of Life Technologies’ New Cystoscopy and Bladder Injection Simulator Offers Urologists Training on Use of BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA) as Treatment for Urinary Incontinence in Adults with Neurological Conditions 

Touch of Life Technologies (ToLTech) has developed a virtual reality-based cystoscopy simulator to train and evaluate urologists on the procedure of injecting BOTOX® (onabotulinumtoxinA) into the detrusor muscle of the bladder to treat leakage of urine (incontinence) in adults with overactive bladder due to neurologic condition. Candidates would include adults with conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury (SCI)–who still have leakage or experience too many side effects after trying an anticholinergic medication.1 BOTOX® was approved in August of 2011 by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this indication.

“The cystoscopy and injection trainer manipulates image data to simulate the look and feel of a human bladder so that the physician/user actually ‘feels’ the resistance to the needle as it penetrates the detrusor muscle of the bladder wall,” said Vic Spitzer, CEO of ToLTech. “The bladder is the proper volume and is inflated to the appropriate wall tension that would exist in candidates for this procedure. The simulator provides urologists with a realistic and accurate training method to help them become experienced at injecting BOTOX® into the bladder.”

Newest Medical Procedure Simulator

The cystoscopy trainer­ is the latest in a series of anatomically detailed, high-end medical procedure simulators from ToLTech.  The simulator was developed to support global health care company Allergan’s commitment to educate and train urologists on the proper technique for injecting BOTOX® to treat incontinence in adults with overactive bladder due to neurologic condition as a second-line treatment when anticholinergic medications have failed or were intolerable.  The simulator and injection procedures comply with the instructions for use outlined in the product label approved by the FDA for this BOTOX® indication.

“Allergan’s commitment to bringing forth novel treatment options for urologists and their patients extends to providing comprehensive physician education and hands-on training,” said Lori Lyons, Allergan Senior Director of Marketing, Urology. “We are pleased to have the ToLTech training simulator as a part of Allergan’s overall training platform as it provides urologists with a technologically-advanced method to gain experience with injecting BOTOX® into the detrusor muscle of the bladder as a treatment for refractory urinary incontinence in adults with overactive bladder due to an underlying neurological condition.”

ToLTech’s interactive products are based on photographic images from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project® and similar higher resolution images. The sensation of feeling is provided by Geomagic (formerly Sensable Technologies) Phantom®, a highly-developed force-feedback device interacting with these high-resolution images using custom-developed ToLTech algorithms. The simulator is designed to be lightweight for portability and incorporates an all-in-one computer with the ToLTech interface to the clinical cystoscope.

About ToLTech

Touch of Life Technologies is a medical education company that develops and sells interactive software and medical procedure simulators. ToLTech products provide a virtual learning environment combining state-of-the-art interactive technology with real anatomy from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project® as well as higher resolution images. In business more than a decade, Touch of Life Technologies ( collaborates with professional medical societies, educators and practicing professionals to create and test next-generation tools to educate and train a wide range of healthcare professionals and students. For more information, visit or call 720-859-4140.

BOTOX® Indication1:

BOTOX® is a prescription medicine that is injected into the bladder muscle and used to treat leakage of urine (incontinence) in adults 18 years and older with overactive bladder due to neurologic disease who still have leakage or experience too many side effects after trying an anticholinergic medication.

For Important Safety Information on BOTOX, click here 

Safety Issues and Delays Tangle Negotiations Between The United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) and its Local 700 with Garda Cash Logistics

Significant safety issues related to the armored trucks they drive and transport procedures have resulted in extended negotiations between the United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) International Union and its Local 700 and the transport workers’ employer, Garda Cash Logistics Inc.  While efforts have been underway for nearly a year, virtually no progress has been made due to the company’s delay tactics and resistance to resolving the issues in good faith.  Ten months after elections, employees are working without a contract and are considering a work action if conditions do not improve soon.

The UGSOA International Union represents the driver/guards working in the Stratford, Connecticut area, whose delivery routes encompass the surrounding northeast states of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for Canada-based Garda Cash Logistics.

“Since the June 2011 certification of the group of employees, the Union has been diligently working to secure a fair contract for its local 700 members,” says Desiree Sullivan, UGSOA International President.  “The Union believes that Garda is not bargaining in good faith and has many Unfair Labor Practices are pending in Region 34.”

Coupled with the labor practice charges, and in spite of Garda’s denial of any reported safety issues, inspections from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA), and the Department of Transportation, (DOT), have resulted in $18,000.00 in fines and the removal of five (5) trucks from the road in December 2011.

“These employees work for an average of $12.00 an hour for 50 plus hours a week with no overtime pay,” states Ms. Sullivan.  “They can’t afford benefits because they don’t make enough money to enroll in the Company’s plan, and they are subjected to the threat of becoming victims of felonious assault on a regular basis while working.  They can’t even be assured that Garda will provide safe trucks to drive.  That’s unacceptable.”

The employees are currently in the process of scheduling a General Membership Meeting with the intent of discussing a possible upcoming work action.

“We see no positive outcome here,” says Mike Castertano, UGSOA Local 700 President. “We’ll do what we must to make a difference for these guys.”

Touch of Life Technologies Announces A Major International Sale of Its Medical Education Products  

Touch of Life Technologies (, a Colorado medical education and research company, has sold its interactive software products to the 19 campuses of Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM). The sale includes the foundational VH Dissector program and complementary instructional software for use in its programs preparing students for medical, nursing and allied health professions at campuses throughout Mexico.

Based on data from the US National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project®, the VH Dissector is a complete interactive atlas of gross anatomy presenting more than 2,000 structures through integrated 3D and cross sectional views.  Educators use the VH Dissector in combination with the relevant software tools developed for medical and dental students, medical residents, and students studying for careers in physical therapy, nursing and other health fields.

  “The VH Dissector will help address the need to train more medical and healthcare providers throughout Mexico and Latin America by providing real experience in human anatomy in a virtual environment,” said Touch of Life Technologies CEO Vic Spitzer, Ph.D.  “Faculty and students can view anatomical structures in various relationships and from angles that advance understanding and streamline learning.”

Facilitating this substantial sale of Touch of Life Technologies’ medical education software was e-Technology Solutions, Corp., a company that for 20 years has provided electronic databases and informational solutions to its customers in Mexico and Latin America. In 2007 e-Technologies launched e-Tech Simulation, which uses simulation as a training method.

 “As a provider of information products to academic and scientific institutions in the Caribbean, Central and South America, our partnership with Touch of Life Technologies provides valuable and unique resources to the organizations that we serve,” said Jairo Leiva, president of e-Technology Solutions.

 About Touch of Life Technologies

 Touch of Life Technologies is a medical education company that develops and sells interactive software and medical procedure simulators.  Touch of Life Technologies products provide a virtual learning environment combining state-of-the-art interactive technology with real anatomy from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project® as well as higher resolution images.  In business more than a decade, Touch of Life Technologies collaborates with professional medical societies, educators and practicing professionals to create and test next-generation tools to educate and train a wide range of healthcare professionals and students.  For more information, visit www.toltech.netor call 720-859-4140.

 About e-Technologies Solutions

 e-Technologies Solutions Corp. is a Florida-based company with core competence in e-content, e-learning & innovation technologies in the e-Libraries Industry. The company promotes creative solutions in the academic and corporate market. Recently e-Technologies Solutions Corp launched a division that uses simulation as a method to train apprentices and improve the work of experienced staff. e-Tech Simulation develops and manufactures simulators in the fields of  shipping, construction, mining, forestry, transportation, welding and many others. eTech also represents companies recognized internationally for their simulation products. To learn more, please visit www.etechwebsite.comand www.etechsimulation.comor call 561-697-3222.

Colorado Expert Comments on Rise of Autism Rates

Autism rates have skyrocketed in the United States – from 1 in 10,000 just 10 years ago to 1 in 91 today.  For boys ages 6-11, the number is 1 in 63. Four out of five children diagnosed with autism are males.

What is the cause of this growth?

“Studies indicate that the cause of neurobehavioral disorders like autism and Asperger’s syndrome are the result of the environment influencing genetic expression or epigenetics,” said Dr. Tamara Eslich, owner of Brain Balance Achievement Center of Golden, who has been working with children with neurobehavioral disorders for more than 10 years.

Dr. Eslich began studying with Dr. Robert Melillo, an internationally known doctor, researcher and expert on childhood neurological disorders.  She learned that students with autism, AD/HD, dyslexia and other neurological disorders shared a common problem – a functional disconnection between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

More than 2,000 children with neurobehavioral disorders have been helped at Brain Balance Achievement Centers, a nationwide, research-based supplemental learning program founded by Dr. Melillo.  The Brain Balance Program® offers a comprehensive, individualized program that integrates physical, sensory, motor and academic exercises along with dietary change.  The goal is to build bridges between the two sides of the brain correcting a fundamental imbalance that results in a “communication breakdown” and a range of negative symptoms and behaviors.  Brain Balance conducts an extremely comprehensive evaluation of more than 1200 functions to identify the child’s functional weakness.

“There is no brain damage in these children,” Dr. Eslich explains. “One side of the brain matured faster than the other; therefore the brain cannot work as a whole.”

Dr. Tamara Eslich completed a fellowship in chiropractic pediatrics and entered private practice in 1998. She now operates a Brain Balance Achievement Center in Golden with her husband, Eric, a sensory motor coach at the center.

About Brain Balance™ Centers:For more than ten years, the Brain Balance Program® has helped thousands of children become more focused, improve their academic performance and enhance their communication and social interaction skills.  The Brain Balance Program® is an integrated approach that has helped children afflicted with such neurobehavioral disorders as AD/HD, dyslexia, autism and other learning disabilities.  Brain Balance™ Centers do not rely on drugs, medical procedures or psychotherapy. For more information, call Colorado’s only Brain Balance Achievement Center at 303-278-1780 or visit

ExpandOSTM packaging reduces damage for fragile products

A new high performance packaging material is cutting breakage and labor costs for shippers of fragile products, including semi-conductors, medical equipment, lighting fixtures, dinnerware and office supplies. The paperboard pyramids from ExpandOS™ ( are 100% recyclable and made from post-industrial waste paper, which has earned ExpandOS™ the endorsement of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (

“Here at Ten Strawberry Street, we ship ceramic dinnerware to some of the largest retailers in the nation,” said Gregg Sciez, distribution manager. “Reducing breakage was important to keep our customers happy. Since switching to ExpandOS, our breakage rate was cut in half. Our employees enjoy the ergonomic design of the machines and our customers are delighted we are not using petroleum-based peanuts and bubble wrap or wadded kraft paper that would end up in landfills or offer a lack of protection.”

ExpandOS, which stands for “Expand On-Site”, is delivered to shippers in pre-cut bundles of thin paperboard that contain 38 “fingers” designed to cling together using all three sides of the pyramid.  A machine called the Expander™ cuts each row apart and folds them into highly-engineered interlocking and protective pyramids that fall by gravity into packing boxes, dramatically reducing packing time compared to foam-in-place and other options. Each Expander can produce up to 1,000 cubic feet of material in a typical shift.

The patented ExpandOS system, invented by FoldedPak™, has been engineered to provide maximum protection. The pyramids are settled during packing to protect the product, absorb shock and eliminate migration during shipment. The coated paperboard can be stamped with the customer’s logo.

A California-based lighting fixture manufacturer switched to ExpandOS from chemical foam, which was expensive, labor-intensive and not environmentally friendly. During a four-week test with 2,500 outbound packages, there was zero reported damage.  Packing time fell one-third, from 60 to 40 seconds per box. Cost of packing material fell from $1.58 to $1.34 per box. For the full case study, visit

“ExpandOS has a very low carbon footprint when compared to otherpackaging materials,” said Jeff Boothman, president of the company.  “The product is made from 100% post-industrial waste. Carbon is only generated through energy used to die cut sheets of ExpandOS pyramids.”

Each 1,000 pounds of post industrial waste ExpandOS uses averts the need to re-pulp the paper, saving 888 lb of CO2 that would otherwise be produced in the re-pulping process.That’s the equivalent of taking 3.9 cars off the road for a week

For more information and to see a video demonstration of the product, visit or call 303-329-8477.

Louisiana Communicates about Teacher Compensation and Effectiveness

Gonder Public Relations partnered with BG Communications to develop key messages and a communications plan in collaboration with education leaders in the State of Louisiana. The goal of the communications campaign is to encourage school boards, districts, schools, educators and parents to learn more about the teacher compensation and effectiveness framework and participate in reform efforts to enhance teacher effectiveness and improve student achievement.

Flood Alert System receives first major upgrade in 30 years

The National Hydrologic Warning Council (NHWC) has released ALERT2™, a new standard for transmitting data designed to significantly improve accuracy and performance in systems and software used for early detection of floods and other water hazards around the world.

ALERT, which stands for Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time, uses remote sensors to transmit environmental data via radio to receiving base station computers. The National Weather Service developed this standard in California in the 1970s. Communities now rely upon ALERT systems extensively across the U.S. and around the world as an affordable way to enhance local flood warnings. The United Nations-recognized ALERT standard is also used in automated systems for stormwater quality monitoring, energy production, reservoir operations and dam safety.

ALERT systems are popular for real-time environmental data collection because of their  reliability and low cost. The original protocol had no error detection. “ALERT message handling can overload during high intensity events, such as extremely heavy rainfall associated with hurricanes and flash floods, when you need the information most,” said NHWC President Kevin Stewart. ALERT2™ retains the cost and reliability benefits of legacy ALERT systems, while providing data 10 times faster with higher accuracy and precision.

The open standard protocol has been deployed in Denver, CO, as well as in Overland Park, KS, and Kansas City, MO. “Our performance assessments have shown significant improvement in the quality of the data, including less data loss,” said Ilse Gayl, chair of the ALERT2™ Technical Work Group of the NHWC Standards and Guidance Committee. The recommended upgrade path is to make initial changes to repeater sites and then replace individual gauge sites over time; the first two systems have taken this path.

The ALERT2™ Final Draft Version 1.0 standard documentation is available for public comment on the NHWC website at Feedback is requested and needed. The comment period will remain open until Feb. 28, 2011.

The National Hydrologic Warning Council is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to help officials keep communities safe and manage water resources effectively. The 9th Biennial NHWC Training Conference and Exposition–the only national conference focused on hydrologic warning–will be May 9-12, 2011 at the Hilton San Diego at Mission Bay in San Diego, CA.  Information on the conference, Hydrologic Warning for a Changing World,  is available at the NHWC website.

Learn how to engage audiences on education reform

Compensation Innovations is hosting a free webinar March 31 at noon MT with tips and strategies on engaging key leaders and organizations to shape a successful reform initiative.  Peggy Gonder is one of 3 panelists, describing her communications work with Denver Public Schools and the Denver Classroom Teachers Assn. The other panelists are Julia Koppich, Ph.D, and Lynn Nordgren of Minneapolis.  Koppich specializes in public-sector labor relations and education policy analysis. Nordgren is president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers  (MFT) and is an education management consultant. To register for “Don’t Be Sorry Later! Engaging the Right People for Educator Compensation Reform,” visit

Colorado DAR selects Gonder PR to create new web site 

The Colorado State Society of Daughters of the American Revoultion (DAR) has selected Gonder PR to create a new web site that showcases the many services provided to veterans, teachers and other citizens by their members. The Colorado DAR has been in existence more than 100 years and has more than 40 chapters throughout the state.

The state society selected Gonder PR to create a more engaging contemporary site as part of State Regent Charlotte Hubb’s project to increase awareness of the good workds Colorado DAR provides in the state. Colorado DAR offers college scholarships, sponsors essay contests on citizenship for elementary and high school students and offers speakers on a number of historic topics. The mission of the DAR is to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.

Executives learn how PR can grow market share, crisis and media tips

Gonder PR recently conducted a three hour seminar on how public relations can increase market share and preserve a company’s reputation for several executives of the Elmore Companies, who operate service and manufacturing businesses in the Midwest. Through case studies, a mock interview and other interactive techniques, the executives learned how to apply PR principles to advance their business goals.

Research Probes Attitudes on Teacher Compensation in Florida

Gonder Public Relations is partnering with BG Communications to conduct focus groups and interviews with Florida teachers, administrators and parents.  The goal is to increase teacher effectiveness and increase student growth through alternative compensation and evaluation. The Florida Department of Education will use the results and our recommendations in revising compensation and communicating about their deliberations.

General Services Administration Selects GonderPR For Media Training   

Gonder Public Relations is helping staff members of the General Services Administration with media training and messaging. The  sessions include tips on working with the media, an overview of social media and ideas for developing relationships. We can customize training for 1-2 people or a roomfull with coaching, a handbook, videotaping and feedback.

Physician Health Partners Selects GonderPR For Crisis Planning

Gonder Public Relations has been retained by Physician Health Partners (PHP) to develop a crisis communications plan. Such plans identify situations that might generate media interest, the leaders and partners to be involved in the response, policies and procedures as well as messaging about the organization and the specific situation.

Physician Health Partners manages services for groups of doctors and, through its Correctional Health Partners division, it manages services for three government agencies to help them provide high-quality, cost-effective healthcare for their patients. PHP represents three independent practice associations ( IPAs) of physicians and specialists in metro Denver, managing delivery of care for nearly 800 physicians.

Correctional Health Partners (CHP) coordinates the healthcare provided for incarcerated adults and youth outside of state correctional facilities as well as outside care for the psychiatric patients at Fort Logan Mental Health Institute.

Gonder & Associates is Now Gonder PR

Gonder & Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that has been serving clients for more than 20 years, has rebranded itself as Gonder Public Relations. “While we have provided both public relations and marketing to clients, our new name reflects our core business, which is public relations consulting and services,” said agency owner Peggy Gonder, APR.