Mental Health Center of Denver
Velvia "Vel" Garner, Retired
A registered nurse, Ms. Garner has dedicated much of her career to helping young adults.
Upon moving from Texas to Colorado , Garner was an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Nursing.
In the early 1980's, she became the director of health and psychological services for the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.
gained valuable experience treating high-risk youth with special needs.
knowledge of healthcare to restructure that department's medical system by forming a coalition of nurse practitioners to promote and maintain good health and to provide emergency and routine physical, mental and dental health care.
In 1987, Garner
was appointed by Colorado Governor Roy Romer to sit as vice chair of the adult Parole Board, a position she
held for five years.
In this time, Garner
instilled in parolees and parole officers the importance of working together to ensure success for all parties.
returned to the Division of Youth Corrections in 1992.
In 1993, Garner was named director of Gilliam Youth Services Center.
In 2001 she was appointed to serve as associate director of the Division of Youth Corrections and in 2005 she retired.
Over the past 30 years, Garner
has contributed articles on nursing, healthcare, and multicultural awareness to numerous magazines and books.
has been married to her
husband Edward for 43 years.
They have three adult children, and two grandsons, which Garner claims, are her
pride and joy.
In addition to serving on the Mental Health Center of Denver board of directors, she sits on a board for Positive Connections, a faith-based organization that assists young women who must perform educational or community service as part of their court sentences.
Garner is also the clerk of council for the United Church of Montbello, an ecumenical congregation.
She is a member of her church choir, loves to sing, cook, play golf, travel, walk, and read.
For 11 years, Garner
has participated in a book club called Circle of Sisters
She is president of the Denver Chapter of Just Good Friends (JGF), a national organization.
Denver-based chapter of JGF
is called the Mile High Mountain Mammas.
Garner was appointed to the MHCD board by Denver Mayor Federico Pena in 1989 and has served as chair of the board as well as on most of the board committees.