In addition to her parents, Ms. Gilmer is survived by her brother, Christopher.
Ms. Gilmer, a competitive swimmer as a child, began to develop health problems in high school. She had surgery on her jaw and a rotator cuff, her father said in an interview, and she also developed signs of depression.
A star student, she graduated with enough advanced placement credits to skip a year of college at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She studied psychology and economics, and she graduated summa cum laude in 2005.
She decided to continue her education, at the University of Colorado’s law school, to keep her student health insurance — “a cruel joke,” she said in a 2020 interview with Dr. Montori. She focused on health law and human rights, training herself to be both a policy expert and an activist; she later called her blog Health as a Human Right.
She received her degree in 2008 and moved to Texas, where she worked for the state government and a number of health care nonprofits. She returned to Denver in 2012 to open her own practice.
By then her health was beginning to decline. Her existing conditions worsened and new ones appeared, exacerbated by a 2010 accident in which she was hit by a car. She found it hard to work a full day, and eventually most of her advocacy was virtual, including via social media.
For all her mastery of the intricacies of health care policy, Ms. Gilmer said what the system needed most was more compassion.
“We can do that at the big grand levels of instituting trauma-informed care as the way to practice,” she said in the interview with Dr. Montori. “And we can do that at the small micro levels of just saying: ‘How are you today? I’m here to listen. I’m glad you’re here.’”
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.