Donor Spotlight: Kate Brown
A Must Have Program: Advisory Board Member Advocates for Women's Health and Sex DifferencesDevin Lynn Mar 8, 2021
“I wondered how many other patients that doctor had seen who now didn’t think they had to worry about heart disease.”
“One critical component of the Ludeman Center’s mission is the community education piece. I know my body better than anyone else, and if the community is educated, they can work with their physicians rather than be passive receptors of medical information,” said Kate. Since 2017, she has been an Advisory Board member, a key supporter of the Annual Community Event and the mission of the Ludeman Center, demonstrating her commitment to both research and community.
“When I first had lunch with Nan Eklund, who was Chair of the Advisory Board at the time, and Judy Regensteiner, I was surprised to hear about the lack of research in women’s health and sex differences. I didn’t know this had been the state of medical research for so long,” said Kate. “This is an underlying reality in medicine that people don’t know about — that sex differences weren’t extensively studied until 1994. Because of this, there is a sense that the status quo is okay, but to me that is ludicrous.” That initial conversation prompted Kate to give back to the Center both through philanthropy and as a member of the Advisory Board. “So often we hear frustrating news, and we think ‘it shouldn’t be this way,’ but in this instance, the Ludeman Center had a path forward to actually change women’s health,” said Kate.
Fourteen years ago, Kate founded Boulder Organic Foods and has grown the organization into a national brand. It started by accident following her daughter’s tonsillectomy. “I went to the store to find some soup for my daughter when I realized that there were so many ingredients in the soups that didn’t even look like food,” said Kate. With some additional research and connections with Whole Foods, Boulder Organic Foods was born.
In the field of food manufacturing, there are few female founders. This has inspired her to be an active mentor by reaching out to students at the University of Colorado to serve as a much-needed resource for aspiring leaders. Kate said, “As one of the few women founders in food manufacturing, it has been interesting to learn the landscape and find my place.” To her this demonstrated the importance of mentorship, a part of the mission at the Ludeman Center that resonated with Kate. “Mentorship was one of the first things that captured me about the Ludeman Center. I really think that mentorship is central to helping develop all industries.”
Expanding a Critical Service to the Community
As a member of the Ludeman Center’s Advisory Board, Kate is integral in helping the Ludeman Center move forward in achieving its goals. She hopes that the Ludeman Center will continue to grow, reaching more people in the community and funding additional research. “The more voices we can get talking about women’s health, the better. Let’s get more research funded. Let’s spotlight more scientists to get attention on the important topic of women’s health. Let’s get more education out to our community so they can get healthier,” said Kate.“My general feeling about the Ludeman Center is that I’m so glad that it started. This is not a nice to have. This is crucial. We cannot ignore women’s health any longer. We cannot allow this disparity to be the unknown foundation of our medical system. We have to do this work, expand the Ludeman Center and bring women’s health into the light so people can learn about it.”