March 6 is Gigi Darricades Day, named in 2019 by CCHN’s Board of Directors in honor of Gigi Darricades, who served as Valley-Wide Health Systems’ President and CEO for eight years of outstanding service. We are humbled and grateful as we reflect on everything Gigi did for the Community Health Center movement.
Gigi served on the Colorado Community Health Network Board of Directors from 2011 to 2019, holding the office of Secretary beginning in 2017, and serving as the Chair of the Public Affairs Committee for two years and Chair of the Strategic Workforce Committee for four years. Gigi made many lasting contributions to the CHC movement, to Alamosa and the San Luis Valley, to the Arkansas River Valley, to the state of Colorado, and to the Nation as a whole. In 2018, Gigi was honored for those contributions with the CHAMPS 2018 Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award Winner, which paid tribute to her dedication to solving the problems of health, poverty, and human rights.
In all of the time that we knew her, Gigi showed incredible commitment to quality and to continuous quality improvement, an amazing knowledge of health care and the health care environment, and is admired for her dedication to the CHC mission, as well as her commitment to health care for all. She earned the admiration and respect of her colleagues and staff for her dedication, professionalism, leadership, enthusiasm, fabulous sense of humor, and a legal mind with a big heart.
For all of these reasons, CCHN’s Board of Directors honored the invaluable contributions Gigi has made to the CHC movement and to the state of Colorado by declaring March 6 to be Gigi Darricades Day. Today, and on March 6 for many years to come, may we pause and reflect on everything we have learned from Gigi, and in doing so feel reenergized in our commitment to the Community Health Center vision.
Gigi passed away on April 22, 2020, after a five-year courageous journey with an incurable cancer. She is missed!