Susan Birch, MBA, BSN, RN

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  • 2002 Alumni
    Susan Birch

Executive Director

Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

Denver, CO

As Executive Director, Sue Birch oversees the operations and strategic direction of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. The Department has a budget of more than $6 billion and is the single state agency administering Colorado Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus Program. Birch was appointed the executive director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing by Governor Hickenlooper in January 2011. Birch directs the Department’s efforts to improve the health of all Coloradans, Medicaid and CHP+ clients, and increase access to care and contain costs. Under Birch’s leadership, the Department has been awarded grants and performance bonuses – the highest bonus of any state in 2012 - as recognition for its innovation and modernization of eligibility and enrollment systems by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Director Birch is leading the implementation of federal and state health care reform and working with stakeholders to redesign the long-term services and supports system.


Birch was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She was instrumental in expanding programs, developing strategic partnerships and strengthening operations. The agency moved into a nurse-led model of integrated community health services including primary care, home and hospice care, public health and aging services.


Prior to moving to Northwest Colorado, Birch served at Georgetown University Hospital and in a variety of progressive nursing roles with Kaiser Permanente in Colorado. She completed an appointment to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellowship and the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship.


Birch earned a nursing degree and a master’s degree in Business Administration, both from the University of Colorado.