Ken Cole, MPA, is currently a consultant with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Mental Health Program, based in Boulder, Colorado. Ken consults with state behavioral health agencies, health foundations, and psychiatric hospitals and provides systems assessment and improvement strategies. He has provided consultation to Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, South Dakota, and Oregon.
Prior to joining WICHE, Ken served as Deputy Director and Interim Director for the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health. In 2012-13, with Colorado’s Mental Health Commissioner, he led the development of a $22 million Governor’s initiative (funded by the Colorado Legislature) to strengthen Colorado’s mental health care. As part of this initiative, Ken led the development of an innovative jail-based restoration to competency program in the Denver metropolitan area.
His work with the Office of Behavioral Health included leadership and supervision of Colorado’s two state psychiatric hospitals and the Colorado public behavioral healthcare system. Ken is a trained Lean process improvement facilitator and he is actively engaged in applying Lean tools to improve the delivery of behavioral health services. Ken led the implementation of Lean process improvement methodologies at the Colorado state psychiatric hospitals.
Prior to joining the Office of Behavioral Health, Ken served for several years as a nonpartisan senior policy and budget analyst for the Colorado General Assembly. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics and Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.