Our Staff

Leadership Team

Whitney Gustin Connor
Executive Director

Ms. Gustin Connor joined Kids First in April 2019. Previously, Ms. Gustin Connor served as a Senior Program Officer in Health at the Rose Community Foundation. In this role, Ms. Gustin Connor directed grant-making efforts for nonprofit organizations working to improve Colorado’s health care system. Prior to serving at the Rose Community Foundation, Ms. Gustin Connor worked as a consultant with Cape Cod Healthcare’s school-based health center program in Massachusetts. In addition, she has experience as a nonpartisan policy analyst with the Colorado General Assembly and a planning/grants specialist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado.

Amanda Jichlinski, MD
Medical Director

Dr. Amanda Jichlinski is a general pediatrician. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and completed her residency training at Children’s
National Health System in Washington, DC. Fluent in English, Spanish, and French, Dr. Jichlinski is
passionate about reducing health disparities and serving minority and immigrant patients. An advocate
for children’s health, she serves as a board member of the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP) through which she engages in legislative policy impacting the health of children. In
her free time, Dr. Jichlinski enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.

Jonathan Lurie
Director of Administration and Finance

Mr. Lurie joined Kids First Health Care in February 2020. Mr. Lurie leads all internal, nonclinical operations at Kids First and manages the agency’s finances. Prior to joining Kids First, Mr. Lurie served as the Director of Finance and Planning at Mile High Youth Corps, where he developed effective systems for managing financial and administrative processes. Mr. Lurie has many years of experience in financial analytics and operations management, including 10 years at the University of Colorado.


Catherine Schurger
Assistant Medical Director, CPNP

Catherine is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and has worked with Kids First Health Care since 2011. In her current role Catherine, helps oversee clinic projects, grants and operations. Prior to Kids First, she worked for 12 years as a pediatric and NICU nurse including 3 years spent working as a travel nurse, working in various hospitals throughout the US. Additionally, she has spent time in Costa Rica learning Spanish, which she now uses daily with her patients and families. Originally from Tennessee, Catherine and her husband now call Colorado home with their two children, dog, frog and fish.

Maria Zubia
Director of Community Outreach

Ms. Zubia has been an integral member of Kids First Health Care team since 2001. She is responsible for providing community engagement and outreach activities. She also provides community resource and referral information to families and staff as needed in addition to a myriad of other projects that help Kids First Health Care reach out to potential patients and partners. Ms. Zubia is passionate about community health. She has over 30 years of experience in community navigation and management.  She has a certificate as a Community Health Worker from the Community College of Denver and has had coursework at CSU in Education.

Cammy Manning
Director of School Nursing Services
Adams County School District 14

Ms. Manning has worked for Kids First Health Care in Commerce City since 2001. She is a Licensed Registered Nurse and currently serves as the Director of School Nursing Services for Adams 14 School District. She oversees the nursing team which serves all students in Adams 14 schools, including preschool and transition programs. Ms. Manning also serves as a Child Care Health Consultant for Little Giants Learning Center and the Commerce City Recreation Center.  She truly enjoys working with the children, students and families in Commerce City.


Mary Rae Pacheco, RN, BSN, MHS, NCSN
Director of School Nursing Services
Westminster Public Schools

Ms. Pacheco is a Colorado native and graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Regis University and a master’s degree in health sciences from Nova SE University.  She just celebrated her 20th anniversary with Kid’s First Health Care.  Ms. Pacheco has worked as a school nurse consultant for Kids First contracting to Adams County School District 14 (1998-2005) and Westminster Public Schools (2005-present).  She has been the Director of School Nursing Services since 2003.  Ms. Pacheco became a National Certified School Nurse in 2011.

Kayla Ortiz
Manager of Quality, Compliance, and Revenue

Ms. Ortiz joined Kids First Health Care in January 2019. Ms. Ortiz’s work is focused on analyzing data and processes to maximize revenue and increase financial stability. She also monitors and ensures compliance with national and state regulations and commercial contracts. She has more than 10 years of experience in the health care industry, with a varied background in hospitals, facilities, primary care, specialties, non-profits, health care insurance, waiver services, and case management.

Breanna Deidel
Manager of Fundraising and Communications

Breanna Deidel brings more than 16 years of public relations and corporate communications experience to the Kids First Health Care team. Breanna started her career in the private sector working for a Denver-based public relations agency before she made the switch to education, where she served Adams 14 for five years as a grants and communications specialist. She then started her own public relations consulting business where she continued to serve Adams 14 in a variety of capacities, most recently as the director of communications.

Breanna is passionate about leveraging her expertise to build relationships and create opportunities for children and families in underserved communities. In her free time, Breanna enjoys spending time with her husband and their two children. Breanna received her bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations, and minor in sociology from Metropolitan State University of Denver.


Vickie Ta-Hernandez
Administrative Assistant

Ms. Ta-Hernandez joined Kids First Health Care in July 2016. She has over 25 years of experience as an Administrative Assistant with the State of Colorado and other non-profit organizations. She graduated from Mansfield Business School in 1989.  In addition to her regular administrative duties, she is also currently responsible for HR and payroll.  When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.