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About Us

Benefits in Action is a nonprofit organization located in Lakewood, Colorado that serves individuals throughout the state. We strive to increase understanding, access, and utilization of healthcare resources. Our team of navigators works with individuals to help them recognize the health-related benefits they qualify for, apply to those benefits, and utilize them as effectively as possible. We are passionate about the importance of increasing healthcare benefit literacy among the public. Accordingly, we organize and hold educational sessions in public facilities aimed to increase individual understanding and self-efficacy in navigating the healthcare system.

Our Story

Benefits in Action was founded by Kim Powers, Jane Barnes and Debbie Showalter in 2015. From previous work in the nonprofit arena focusing on low-income older adults, we realized that, even with all current nonprofits and organizations in Colorado that serve this population, there are still many Coloradans that are in need of benefit assistance.


The founders applied and were accepted for fiscal sponsorship by the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center (CNDC) in November 2015. Additionally, Benefits in Action was accepted as a Certified Application Assistance Site (CAAS) in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Jefferson and Broomfield Counties, as a SHIP (Medicare) Site for Adams, Denver, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Otero, Prowers, Kiowa, Baca, Bent, and Crowley counties, and as an Enrollment Center for Connect for Health Colorado.  These are key steps for the long-term success of the organization.

Benefits in Action has grown exponentially since our opening in November of 2015. In 2019, Benefits in Action served more than 2800 individuals by providing navigation and application assistance for Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, Connect for Health Colorado, and more. Additionally, we launched N’ Balance, an evidence-informed program designed to reduce the fear and risk of falling. We piloted The Academy, a leadership program for older adults designed to discover solutions to gaps in community services.



Benefits in Action is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting our diverse community with a focus on the elderly and underserved to improve their understanding, access, and utilization of food- and health-related benefits to enhance food security, health, and well-being.


To be the trusted community organization for comprehensive food and health-related benefit application assistance and program navigation.


  • Compassion

  • Accountability

  • Respect

  • Honesty

  • Innovation

  • Perseverance

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Jane Barnes

Executive Director


Jane has more than 20 years of experience in the health care field, first as a developer and implementer of community-based programs and then in government affairs. Jane has been recognized for her innovative and collaborative program and project development. Throughout her career, Jane has facilitated and trained numerous community groups, leading to unique programs designed to meet community needs. One such program is the 10 year old + Centura Health Links program linking at risk Coloradans with public and private benefits for which they may be eligible and enables this population to live healthier, more productive lives.

Board of Directors

Dr. Michael Straight, President                             Christine Yun-Sauer           

Internal Medicine and Emergency Room Physician    Attorney

Foothills Family Medicine                                              Denver, CO


Heather Piernik, Board Member                            Michelle Lapierre                      

Director, Utilization Management & Care                    Executive Consultant/Strategist

Coordination                                                                   Capstone CX

Physician Health Partners                                           


Laura Wachter, Board Member

Deputy Director, Department of Safety

City and County of Denver

Aaron Sanburg, Secretary/ Treasurer

Regional Banking Branch Manager

Wells Fargo

Jane Barnes, Ex-Officio

Executive Director

Benefits in Action

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