Healthy Archuleta features Community Learning and Leadership Circle member Kirsten Derr


Photo courtesy Food System/Food Equity Coalition
Kirsten Derr

By Rose Chavez | Food System/Food Equity Coalition

The Archuleta County Nutrition Security and Health Equity Assessment which kicked off this past December 2021 continues its ongoing work to engage the community through a Community Learning and Leadership Circle (CLLC) that meets on a weekly basis. 

The CLLC is made up of a group of diverse Archuleta County community members who are committed to contributing to the design of the assessment during this first phase of the project, which will conclude at the end of June. 

CLLC members engage in learning through module presentations facilitated by Healthy Archuleta and partner organizations about the concepts of nutrition security and health equity. 

On a weekly basis, the CLLC members identify/work on questions as a result of their participation in these learning sessions. These questions are then used to help inform the assessment as it relates to 1) primary/preventive health care access and utilization (coverage, timeliness, workforce and services) and 2) bolstering our community-based food system (food production, food transformation, marketing and distribution, getting and preparing food, eating nutritious foods, food safety, food waste prevention, and resource recovery). 

A community-based participatory approach will be used to capture people’s voices and lived experiences related to access to food and primary/preventive health care in Archuleta County. Additionally, both food and health care organizations will have the opportunity to share information as it relates to primary/preventative health care and food efforts. 

Healthy Archuleta is sharing individual profiles of CLLC community members who are serving their community in this capacity. This week we are featuring CLLC member and community leader Kirsten Derr:

 1. Health is the new wealth. What does that mean for you and your family’s health in Archuleta County? “Eating and being healthy requires conscious effort. I want my friends, family, neighbors and community to experience the richness of a healthy lifestyle with improved tools, access and education to make it so.”

2. What are your ties to Archuleta County? “We have lived in Archuleta County for one year now, but we are familiar with the area as my dad grew up in Del Norte where we have a family ranch that has been in the family since 1908. My husband, daughter and I moved here from Albuquerque to be closer to family and the ranch. I enjoy working as a Dr. of optometry at Mountain Eye Care where I see patients a few days a week. I have heard so many stories about the area my entire life and we are thrilled that we now have the opportunity to live here and experience the beauty of the area first hand.”

3. What do you see as your role on the CLLC for the Nutrition Security and Health Equity Assessment? “I hope to serve as a voice for education, improving communication with health providers, identifying barriers and seeking potential solutions to improving nutrition security and health equity.”

4. What is your vision for a healthy Archuleta? “Improved access to more nutritional foods, education on growing and preparing healthy foods and better communication and access with health care providers are all an important part of my Vision for a healthy Archuleta.”

5. What do you think is critical about the dynamics of learning and leading on the CLLC for this assessment? “I feel it is so important that I embrace the knowledge I am acquiring with an open mind and heart to better serve the needs of the community. I am eager to listen to what the committee members, community members and current leaders have already learned and hope to take that to a higher level. Being sensitive and perceptive to the people of Archuleta County will enable all of us to experience Nutritional Security and Health Equity which will lead to a stronger community and richer life experiences.”

For more information about the health assessment, please contact us at or call (401) 371-3227. To donate to support the work of Healthy Archuleta, please visit our website,