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 constituents 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.
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 a Consumer Assistance 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 works together with other community organizations to form collaborative groups. These groups include Mental Health is Golden, Jeffco ProBono Mental Health Program, Council to End Hunger in Lakewood, and Jeffco Food for Life.
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
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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.
Director of Programs
Laura has twenty-five years of experience leading change and community improvement. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with corporate experience including IBM, Xerox and Lexmark. She has experience interacting with executive level leadership developing solutions to complex problems. She is an entrepreneur having run her own successful consulting organization helping build organizational leadership capacity. She has started and guided nonprofit organizations which work to improve life circumstances for those at risk and marginalized in society.
Board of Directors
Dr. Michael Straight, President
Internal Medicine and Emergency Room Physician
Foothills Family Medicine
Heather Piernik, Board Member
Director, Utilization Management & Care
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
Michelle Lapierre, Board Member
Executive Consultant/ Sales and Marketing
Jane Barnes, Ex-Officio
Benefits in Action