Board of directors
Dr. Leon Kelly, president: Leon is a board-certified forensic pathologist and the coroner, chief medical examiner and deputy medical director of El Paso County. His statewide work as a medical expert has included service on the Child Fatality Prevention System State Review Team, and he co-founded the county’s Child Fatality Review Team to help lead local suicide prevention efforts. Leon also teaches at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
Jill Whitley, treasurer: Jill is a partner with Gould, Whitley & Marshall, and has practiced law in Colorado Springs since 1985. She has a BSW from the University of Kansas and earned her JD from Washington University in St. Louis. She is former Program Chair and Section Chair of the El Paso County Bar Association Probate Section and a former Ecumenical Social Ministries board member.
Julie Papa, secretary: Julie is a mother of three and an attorney with Papa Law PLLC, where she concentrates her practice on estate planning, estate administration and business. She holds BSFS and JD degrees from Georgetown University and has served as parliamentarian of the board of the National Charity League Colorado Springs Chapter. Julie has also volunteered with Care and Share Food Bank, Junior Achievement and other local nonprofits.
Kathy Brandt: Kathy Brandt holds a BA in English and M.A. in education, and taught writing at the University of Colorado. She is the author with her son, Max Maddox, of the award-winning memoir Walks on the Margins, in which they narrate their battle with mental illness after Max was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1999. She is a vocal advocate for those with mental illness and their families.
Andrew Cooper: Andrew, a Colorado Springs Fire Department lieutenant, is currently CSFD’s Community Officer in the Community and Public Health Division. He has been a paramedic for 20 years and a CSFD firefighter for the last 15 years. Andrew supervises the Community Response Teams (CRT), which offer mobile mental health response, and collaborates with community partners around youth suicide prevention, overdose prevention and lethal means access.
Taline (Ty) Meredith: Ty is the chief executive officer for Peak View Behavioral Health. She has over 18 years’ experience in hospital operations, business development, social services and mental health, and holds an MBA. Ty has previously served as vice chair on the board of directors at Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Partnership and currently volunteers as a leader for the Boy Scouts of America. She believes strongly in providing needed quality mental health programs for Colorado residents and advocating for community access to care.
Billie Ratliff: Billie is the director of behavioral health at UCHealth Memorial Hospital. A licensed clinical social worker, Billie has worked in the behavioral health realm for 37 years. In 2010, Billie helped restructure Memorial’s model for delivery of best-practice care to behavioral health patients in an acute medical setting. She is active on numerous committees related to helping people with behavioral health disorders.
Tyra Sandoval: Tyra has lived in Colorado Springs since 1986. She’s the mother of four and a licensed real estate broker with RE/Max Properties, Inc. Prior to her real estate career, she was a fundraiser with Pikes Peak Hospice and The Alzheimer’s Association. Tyra’s been involved with local nonprofits including Newborn Hope, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Early Childhood Connections, the Children’s Literacy Center, Habitat for Humanity, the Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 PTO Board, and the Junior League of Colorado Springs.
Michele Shade: Michele is the director of emergency services for Penrose-St. Francis hospitals, leading two local EDs with an annual visit volume of approximately 90,000. She also oversees the hospitals’ Psychiatric Emergency Triage teams. A nurse for 20-plus years with 15 years’ experience in hospital operations, Michele holds a Master of Science in leadership degree in addition to her Bachelor of Science in nursing.
Laura Teachout: Laura recently returned to Colorado, where she had attended law school in the 1990s. She has lived with depression for nearly 25 years. A member of the Governor's Behavioral Health Task Force, she also serves as a Connections Support Group facilitator and In Our Own Voice presenter. Laura is passionate about destigmatizing mental illness and giving voice to those facing its challenges.
Susan Wheelan: Susan Wheelan, MBA, is director of El Paso County Public Health. In 3½ years as the agency’s deputy director, Susan oversaw Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, securing funding to implement youth suicide and youth substance use prevention efforts. A graduate of the Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, she has worked in public health for two decades.