Senator Irene Aguilar, MD – Biography
A first generation U.S. resident whose parents worked farm and factory jobs, Sen. Irene Aguilar has excelled academically, graduating as valedictorian of her high school, and earning a full scholarship to Washington University. Sen. Aguilar received a medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and has since filled numerous health care roles in addition to her 21 years as Primary Care Physician at Denver Health Westside Family Health Center, where she served and advocated for some of our city’s most vulnerable people.
Sen. Aguilar serves on the Minority Health Advisory Committee at the Colorado Department of Health and has served on the Long-Term Care Advisory Committee with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. She has been an instructor and supervisor of Residents, Nurse Practitioners and Medical Students at Denver Health and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and she coordinated a program to increase cancer screening among low income and minority women.
Sen. Aguilar’s experiences encompass advocacy at the Capitol as a member of the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council, and of the Colorado House Task Force on Health Care for Vulnerable Populations. She has also served on the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners and the Health Benefits Advisory Board of the Colorado Division of Insurance.
“I was co-chair of the Vulnerable Populations Task Force for the 208 Commission on Health Care Reform, and subsequently became an advocate for Universal Health Care,” says Sen. Aguilar. In 2008 she became president of Health Care for All Colorado, a volunteer-based organization that lobbies for overcoming inefficiencies and disparities of U.S. health care access.
States Sen. Aguilar, “In 2009 I worked with Sen. Joyce Foster and Rep. John Kefalas to write and lobby for the Colorado Guaranteed Health Care Act, a bill that would have established a Commission to develop a statewide plan for health care that utilized single payer financing.” The bill moved through two committees and came up one vote short in the House. Also in 2009, Sen. Aguilar worked with Rep. Jean Labuda on a project to encourage the Governor to appoint people with disabilities to state boards that made decisions relevant to their lives.
“In watching the struggles of my patients trying to improve their health I realized that there are many things which impact their lives that I cannot address from my doctor’s office. I hope to utilize this position to help improve the lives of everyday people in Denver so that their children, and their children’s children can live the American Dream like I have,” states Sen. Aguilar.
Sen. Aguilar serves on the Health and Human Services; Business, Labor, and Technology; and Local Government and Energy committees.
Sen. Irene Aguilar is married to Dr. Thomas W. Bost and has three children, one of whom has developmental disabilities.