A letter from Kathy Howell

It is a great honor to serve as the Chief Nursing Executive for UCHealth and Chief Nursing Officer for University of Colorado Hospital. Every day I observe nurses throughout UCHealth in the role of partners and key strategists in creating an environment of life-long learning, teaching and collaborating with interprofessional teams to carry out our mission of improving lives.

Communities across Colorado rely on UCHealth and UCHealth nurses to be health care leaders, providing exemplary person-centered care. Our nurses have a genuine focus on patients and their families. I am proud of the advancements our nurses make in nursing practice and care delivery across the system, from the patient’s bedside to the clinic office, to the board room.

Clinical nursing practice is supported across UCHealth by the UEXCEL program, the Nursing Clinical Practice and Credentialing Model. This model supports nurses in advancing their careers through professional-development opportunities while continuing to provide direct patient care, thus upholding our belief that clinical excellence is our highest priority. Leaders are cultivated and mentored through customized education and development events, cohort-based development programs, and the Leadership Academy.

Collectively, UCHealth nurses are dedicated to improving lives through excellence in patient care, embracing innovation and using research and evidence-based practice to propel nurses as leaders in health care.

Katherine Howell, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC

Your nursing career at UCHealth

Make Extraordinary Possible.

At UCHealth, we’re looking for professionals who are talented, inspired and eager to meet challenges.

For those individuals called to join our award-winning nursing staff, we want you to find more than just a career here. We want you to make extraordinary possible.

UCHealth Nursing Professional Practice Model

Nursing professional practice is anchored by the mission, vision and values of UCHealth and person-centered care. Nurses pursue excellence by leading evidence-based practices across the care continuum, delivering compassionate care through integrity and interprofessional collaboration.

Nursing at UCHealth hospitals

Broomfield Hospital
Noreen Bernard
CNO: Noreen Bernard, EdD,

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Erin Brix, BSN, RN, Charge Nurse – Preoperative/PACU. Erin identified an opportunity to improve practices and reduce costs for the entire UCHealth system while improving the preoperative nasal decolonization swab process used to prevent surgical site infections (SSI). Not only is the new swab and process more comfortable for patients, it has provided cost savings of approximately $100,000 for all of UCHealth.
  • Sarah Fahs, RN, Charge Nurse – Medical Surgical Unit. Sarah consistently demonstrates high work ethics and standards. She is a steadfast nurse, solidly committed to the best quality outcomes of all of the patients on the Medical Surgical Unit.
Grandview Hospital

Director of Nursing: Courtney Hoffbauer, DNP, RN-BC, NE-BC

Hospital Recognition

  • Joint Commission Disease Specific Total Hip & Knee Replacement
  • DNV Accreditation: Stroke-Ready Hospital

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Implementation of Robotically-Assisted Orthopedic Surgery Partial & Total Knee Mako program.
  • Jessica Clute BSN, RN-ONC, Inpatient Unit Nurse Manager & Carol Mantilla BSN, RN-ONC, Orthopedic Nurse Navigator. Presentation accepted at National Association for Orthopedic Nursing Conference: Enhancing patient knowledge: A standardized discharge class for total joint replacement (May 22-25, 2021).
  • Nicole Harding, MSN, RN – Case Management. As a case manager who supports long-term placement patients, Nicole was recognized for consistently helping her unit colleagues by working clinical nursing shifts on the floor, including night shifts.
Greeley Hospital
Tammy Piccone
CNO: Tammy Piccone, MSN,

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Toni Moses, MS, BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, CNML – Emergency Department. Toni helped implement the 5-step Discharge Process in the Emergency Department (ED). Incorporating this educational and methodical discharge format ensures each patient is provided with detailed information regarding their stay, their care, and necessary follow up. This process includes thorough review of the reason for the patient visit, role of the ED, tests conducted and results, safety to be discharged, and next steps outlined for the patient. The ED won the award for most improved patient experience results in fiscal year 2021.
  • Hannah Pfeifer, MBA, BSN, RN, Charge Nurse – Emergency Department. Hannah recognized a need in the ED to educate RNs on how to board inpatients as the number of boarding patients increased over the last year with a lack of inpatient resources to board these patients. Hannah pulled together information from the nurses on what specifically they needed education, direction from the lead hospitalist, and quality measures to educate the nurses on proper interventions and nursing care on inpatients. Hannah also worked with the ED team to expand the Pediatric Observation (flex/overflow) unit to better board inpatients with the correct supplies and technology to accommodate this population. We saw an increase in RN understanding, more complete care for patients boarding in the ED, and a decrease in patient falls after the education.
  • Wendy Overcash, RN, BSN, Clinical Nurse – Emergency Department. 2021 DAISY Award winner.
Highlands Ranch Hospital
Cathleen Ehrenfeucht, CNO at Highlands Ranch Hospital
CNO: Cathleen Ehrenfeucht,

Hospital Recognition

  • The Joint Commission’s Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers.
  • Inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit led by neurologists who are board certified in neurology and epilepsy to help diagnose and construct the best treatment plans.
  • Level III Trauma Center.

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Melody Stendahl, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse – ICU / DAISY Award winner. Melody received the DAISY Award for her extraordinary care of a patient who required intubation. The patient had recently lost her mother and stated that Melody’s reassuring presence helped her feel safe and supported during this difficult time.
  • Megan Reffel, BSN, RNC-NIC, CLC, Charge Nurse – NICU. Megan was recognized in the 1st Annual UCHealth Nursing Research Fellowship Completion Ceremony on June 9, 2021 for her research work titled “Nurse Perceptions of Neonatal Collapse on Postpartum Units.”
Longs Peak Hospital
Noreen Bernard
CNO: Noreen Bernard, EdD,

Hospital Recognition

  • AHA Primary Stroke Certified 2018.
  • ACEP Accredited Geriatric Emergency Department 2018.
  • Level III trauma center 2017.
  • Low Acuity Bariatric Center of Excellence 2021.

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Heidi Bradley, MSN, RN, CENP, CNML, C-EFM, Director of Nursing/Critical Care, Acute Care, Birth Center, Respiratory Services, Wound Care. Heidi was a nominated for the 2020 Colorado Nightingale Award for nursing leadership and innovation in the support of breastfeeding mothers.
  • Kaitlyn Fast, RN, PCCN, Registered Nurse, Intensive Care Unit / 2021 DAISY Award. Kaitlyn received the DAISY award for demonstrating gratitude to her patients by thanking them at the end of each shift for allowing her to care for them. Families feel honored to be cared for by Kaitlyn.
  • Jenifer James, BSN, RN, IBCLC, Registered Nurse, Birth Center / 2020 DAISY Award. Jenifer was recognized for the extraordinary care she gives laboring and postpartum patients by creating a unique and meaningful birth experience for them. Jenifer builds relationships with her patients and their families to learn what is important to them and incorporates their needs into their care.
  • Jeanine Snyder, BSN, RN, CCRN, Registered Nurse, Post-Anesthesia Care Unit / 2021 Colorado Hospital Super Hero Award. With a strong background in critical care nursing, Jeanine stepped up to assist the hospital intensive care unit caring for the hospital’s sickest patients. She quickly became a reliable clinical resource among the group and an extraordinary colleague.
Medical Center of the Rockies
Jessie Willard
CNO: Jessie Willard, MSN,

Hospital Recognition

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet® designated: 2010, 2016, 2021.
  • Primary Stroke Center certification by The Joint Commission and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
  • American College of Surgeons (ACS) Level II Trauma Center 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019.
  • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get with The Guidelines-Stroke GOLD PLUS Quality Award with Honor Roll 2020 and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.
  • Beacon Award for Excellence (Silver level) 2009, 2011, 2014, 2017 for the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
  • Cardiac Surgery Unit Advanced Life Support (CSU-ALS) Center of Excellence.
  • Get with the Guidelines STEMI Receiving Center.
  • Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) member since 2018.
  • US News & World Report High Performing hospital.
  • US News & World Report ranks Medical Center of the Rockies as the #2 hospital in Colorado in 2021.

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Carrie Bennett, BSN, RN, PCCN – Surgical Progressive Care Unit / 2023 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for Transformational Leadership. Carrie influentially led a key stakeholder group of SPCU clinical nurses in developing a collaborative nurse-patient process to address transfer awareness, enhancing optimal patient and family communication regarding transitions of care. Prior to transfer, clinical nurses review various elements of what patients can expect during and following the transfer to the new unit. Within 48 hours of transfer, a SPCU clinical nurse visits the patient to assess their transfer anxiety. This crucially supportive transitions of care process not only reduced transfer anxiety but it also created a psychologically safe and positive patient-centered environment for patients and families. Prior to Carrie’s transitions of care project, 82% of patients reported some level of transfer anxiety. Following Carrie’s transitions of care project, 67% of patients reported no transfer anxiety. This outcome speaks volumes to improving the patient experience, and involving patients in their care as they transfer from one department to the next.
  • Hannah Scott, BSN, RN – Medical Intensive Care Unit / 2023 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for Exemplary Professional Practice. Hannah was an integral part of the Cardiac PCU becoming a Medical ICU, recognizing a supply gap which would have been a hurdle for the nurses as the unit started caring for more critical care patients. Hannah met with nurses from the two other ICUs to discuss their supply needs, and worked closely with our central supply team to make sure every addition to the stock was beneficial. She ensured Respiratory Therapy’s product needs were met as well. Hannah collaborated with pharmacy to implement medication availability changes due to the increased ICU patient population. Not only did she institute medication changes but she also worked closely with facilities to ensure the necessary space reconfigurations were done safely. Hannah’s ability to clearly communicate the unit’s needs facilitated a successful medication and supply room upgrade. The nurses now have the appropriate supplies and medications necessary to care for a diverse population of PCU and ICU patients without having to retrieve them from a neighboring unit.
  • Maggie Hinz, BSN, RN-BC – MCR Float Pool / 2023 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for New Knowledge, Innovations and Improvements. Maggie completed a quality improvement project addressing a staff knowledge gap in safely handling and mobilizing patients. Maggie attended the safe patient handling and mobility course and identified an opportunity to enhance hands on equipment training for staff. She revamped the Core Skills 1 class mobility station, adding a comprehensive overview of equipment set up, usage, and safe handling practices for Hoyer lifts, Sara steady lifts, Hover mats, and Sage turning systems. Staff then are given opportunities to use the equipment, set up slings, and move ‘patients’ in this hands on training portion. Maggie’s project demonstrated significant increases in staff awareness and comfortability in the mobility equipment, resulting in a 50% increase in comfortability with usage and 70% increase in the awareness of equipment available for use. These invaluable changes are now permanent Core Skills 1 curriculum additions for future staff positively impacting optimal staff safety.
  • Elizabeth Justus, RN, RN-BC – Trauma Surgical Unit / 2023 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for Structural Empowerment. Elizabeth pioneered the Core Preceptor Model in the North Region, piloting the model on the Trauma Surgical Unit. Her focus has been to onboard new staff and assist the nursing educator and nurse manager with this process. In the core preceptor program pilot, Elizabeth oriented 4 new graduate nurses to the Trauma Surgical Unit, ultimately reducing orientation by 3 weeks with zero need for extended orientation time, thus reducing costs to UCHealth. This equates to the savings of twelve nursing shifts amongst the orientees, including approximately 145 hours of preceptor pay. One hundred percent of the new graduate nurses on trauma surgical working with a core preceptor have reported a positive impact on their work, speaking volumes to the work Elizabeth has done to prepare our new graduate nurses to provide exceptional patient care. Elizabeth’s innovative efforts with the core preceptorship program has provided new graduates a safe space to learn, ask questions, and develop critical thinking skills, thus providing safe and competent patient care.
  • Bonnie Brummer, BSN, RN, CCRN – SAC/PACU / 2023 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for Empirical Outcomes. Bonnie championed standardizing nurse handoff between the pre-op and operating room nurses. Leveraging current evidence to promote optimal safe practices, Bonnie developed and educated all staff on an in-person Quick 6 hand off. After gathering individual case data for six weeks, quick 6 handoff participation was >95%. Bonnie provides weekly updates on handoff participation and follows up with nurses to understand barriers if a handoff was missed. Nurse to nurse handoff is now a standard practice between the pre-op and OR teams. These contributions have dramatically reduced missing elements that are required for a patient to safely have surgery. Bonnie has positively influenced the unit culture with the Quick 6 face to face handoff, as evidenced by sustained engagement from both the pre-op and OR in this best practice for four months. This culture change ultimately has led to better patient outcomes and a safer perioperative experience for all patients.
  • Candice Haupt, BSN, RN, CCRN – Surgical Progressive Care Unit / 2023 MCR Magnet Nurse Leader Award. Candice is the epitome of what it means to be a Transformational Leader. She goes above and beyond to ensure her team feels recognized, heard, and valued. Candice believes the most important role she has is to build relationships based on mutual trust and respect with each member of her team. With this foundation in place, Candice emphasizes autonomous decision making with her team. She trusts and supports them to use their clinical judgement, empowering them to practice at the top of their scope. Candice challenges her team to constantly grow in their professional development and clinical expertise. Candice has created a team culture of problem-solving, learning, collaboration, and exceptional practice. Candice demonstrates exemplary professional practice through her ongoing dedication to ensure her team is prepared to safely care for the vast patient populations the SPCU serves, including pediatrics, progressive care and ICU patients. She also meets monthly with the trauma medical director and Hospitalist inpatient liaison for optimal bidirectional communication, which has achieved successful physician and nurse working relationships. These are just two examples of how Candice exemplifies and leverages interdisciplinary collaboration to ensure teams deliver excellent, safe and high quality care. Recently, Candice advocated for her team to create an optimally safe environment when they cared for an aggressive and threatening patient. She immediately placed the unit on lockdown and worked with risk, legal and senior administration to put a plan in place to keep staff safe. She consistently role modeled our values and her compassion while advocating for her team’s needs. After this event, Candice was instrumental in identifying visitor restriction gaps in current unit lockdown policy and engaged stakeholders in a solution. Candice is always solution-oriented and has a passion to improve the nursing practice environment.
Memorial Hospital
Tamara Dunseth Rosenbaum, Chief Nursing Officer
CNO: Tamera Dunseth Rosenbaum,
Courtney Hoffbauer, Associate Chief Nursing Officer
ACNO: Courtney S. Hoffbauer,
Mark Mayes
VP of Operations and ACNO:
Mark Mayes, MHA, BSN, RN, CEN

Hospital Recognition

MHC: Memorial Hospital Central / MHN: Memorial Hospital North

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet® Designated: 2023.
  • ACC National Distinction of Excellence HeartCARE Center.
  • ACC Chest Pain with Primary PCI and Resuscitation Accreditation; MHC.
  • ACC Chest Pain with Primary PCI and Resuscitation Accreditation; MHN.
  • ACC Electrophysiology Accreditation.
  • ACC Transcatheter Valve Certification.
  • Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) at MHC and MHN in Adult Transthoracic Echocardiography.
  • Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) at MHC and MHN in Vascular Extracranial Cerebrovascular Testing, Peripheral Arterial Testing, Peripheral Venous Testing.
  • Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) at MHC and MHN in Nuclear/PET: Myocardial Perfusion Imaging.
  • Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) at MHC in Nuclear/PET: Positron Emission Tomography.
  • Best Regional Hospitals in U.S. / US News & World Report 2020-21.
  • MHC The only designated Level I Trauma Center in Southern Colorado.
  • MHN Level II Trauma Center.
  • MHC The only Comprehensive Stroke center in Southern Colorado.
  • MHN Primary Stroke Center.
  • MHC 5N Renal AMSRN PRISM Awardee.
  • Outstanding Achievement Award for the Oncology service line, American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.
  • Rehab Patient Care Unit (RPCU) Awarded “Top Performer.”
  • Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG): Memorial’s Cancer Medicine and Oncology Clinical Trials team have been recognized as being in the top 1 percent for accruing to SWOG oncology research trials.

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Lisa Simmons, BSN, RN, CCRN, Memorial Central Campus Intensive Care Unit/ 2021 Clinical Excellence Award for Exemplary Professional Practice. Lisa is a leader in the ICU and widely regarded as a role model by both critical and acute care nurses.  Lisa is being nominated for the work that she’s done to build the Critical Care Outreach (CCOR) Nurse into the respected position that it is today.  The role was developed due to the high census and higher acuity of patients that were being held outside of ICU waiting for an ICU bed.  Lisa had been a charge nurse in the ICU and was eager to be the first to fill that role.  Very quickly she was put in contact with the Virtual Health Center so that she could establish a relationship and build a communication structure whereby the CCOR nurse would round on the patients in the hospital who were at highest risk for deterioration based on surveillance done by Epic.  The CCOR nurses will also communicate to the VHC which patients need to be on a ‘watch list’. Shortly after the role began the pandemic begun.  Lisa was instrumental in rounding on all of the COVID patients and having, what turned out to be with many, the last conversations with them.  There’s no data that we can collect that would capture the value that her calm, expert presence meant.  Lisa developed the code response for our COVID patients and had it approved through incident command.  She used the Centers for Disease Control guidelines as her reference. Lisa is the definition of exemplary professional practice.
  • Codi Wingo, BSN, RN, CEN, Memorial Central Campus Emergency Department/FY2022 DAISY Award. Codi was nominated for the DAISY award by a patient’s family for the care and support she provided to not only the patient but the entire family unit. The patient’s mother stated that Codi’s care and attention was extraordinary on what turned out to be the worst day of her life. Codi was involved in the patient’s care in the Emergency Department but her attention quickly turned to the patient’s family; ensuring their safety and well-being during a critical time. Codi was noted to be compassionate and skilled in her care delivery and made a lasting impact on this family.
Pikes Peak Regional Hospital
Michael Rodriguez
CNO: Michael Rodriguez,

Hospital Recognition

  • Critical Access Hospital.
  • CDPHE designated Level IV Trauma Center.
  • DNV designated Acute Stroke Ready Facility.
Poudre Valley Hospital
Ashley Bruning
CNO: Ashley Bruning, MHA,

Hospital Recognition

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet® Designated: 2000, 2004, 2009, 2014, 2018, 2023.
  • Primary Stroke Center certification by The Joint Commission and American Heart Association / American Stroke Association.
  • American Heart Association / American Stroke Association Get with The Guidelines-Stroke GOLD PLUS Quality Award with Honor Roll Elite 2020 and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll.
  • Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) member since 2018.
  • American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network (ACS BSCN) Accreditation Program – Bariatric Center of Excellence. Re-designated in 2015.
  • Patient Centered Medical Home, Level 3 – Family Medicine Center, National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
  • Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals 2020.
  • Watson Health Top 100 Hospitals (Teaching Hospitals) 2021.
  • US News & World Report High Performing hospital.
  • US News & World Report ranks Poudre Valley Hospital as the #4 hospital in Colorado.

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Zach Karn, BSN, RN – Cardiac Unit / 2023 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for Transformational Leadership. Zach works as a Permanent Charge nurse on the Cardiac Unit. One of his many contributions to the unit has been elevating the nurses and all staff’s spirits during these last few years. Zach and most challenging days better. There is a sense of family fun on the unit when Zach is working. Then there is his reputation as a subject matter expert. Zach is a resource regarding cardiac topics, often sought out by others in the hospital. He is a self-described EKG nerd, even having his own EKG tattooed on his ankle. Zach’s UEXCEL project was to implement a process that would support nurses with the evidence-based practice of turning patients every two hours with the outcome of decreasing the number of pressure injuries. He was able to resource door alarm timers for patients at risk. By using the visual timer since early 2020 there has not been a documented HAPI on the Cardiac Unit quarterly NDNQI prevalence data!
  • Patsy Grant, BSN, RN, RN-BC, CVRN – Professional Development / 2023 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for Structural Empowerment. Patsy is a Clinical Educator that supports the Medical Oncology Unit. Patsy has revolutionized the education processes for the Medical Oncology Unit by disseminating a Professional Development letter each week. This has given the staff very clear and defined expectations of new policies and procedures, classes, education requirements, and conferences. It is Patsy’s creativity that has made the biggest change in education. She utilizes new and different strategies to make learning fun, exciting and a little competitive. Patsy has made impactful contributions on several successful initiatives for the Medical Oncology Unit. This collaboration included; the general inpatient hospice, the no fall initiative, discharge optimization rounds, and the shift change initiative and could not have been done without her. These initiatives are essential to an ever-changing landscape in the nursing field. It changes the culture by preparing staff to seek out best and evolving nursing practices for patient care. Because of her dedication, work ethic and excellence the GIP Hospice initiative has gone hospital wide and will soon be system wide.
  • Jodi Kinder, RN, CPEN – Emergency Department / 2023 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for Exemplary Professional Practice. With over 30 years of nursing experience, Jodi brings her wealth of knowledge and years of critical care experience not only to the patient bedside but shares it daily with the team she works with. Jodi has a background in Adult ICU, Neonatal ICU, Pediatric Transport, Flight, and Emergency Department Nursing. In a Regional Rapid Improvement Event on Culture in the ED’s, Jodi was asked to be the Lead Preceptor RN and has implemented changes that impact all nurses not just the new nurse. PVH ED has the highest nursing retention rate in the UCHealth system and we contribute much of this to the work of Jodi. Jodi serves on our Pediatric Quality Committee and has been recruited to serve as the nurse peer review member on the Pediatric Critical Care Morbidity and Mortality Review Committee.
  • Brandi Kee, MSN, RN, CNOR – Perioperative Support / 2023 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for New Knowledge, Innovation & Improvements. In her role as clinical safety specialist for perioperative services, Brandi has been an ardent supporter and invaluable resource and has championed several initiatives that have directly impacted the service lines. As ERAS gets rolled out from service line to service line, Brandi works with the teams across the continuum to educate and implement new work processes. When it was needed to develop a same-day total joint program, Brandi was one of the first people called upon to modify current order sets and educate to the process. She facilitated meetings with key stakeholders to assess and develop what would be needed to initiate the same-day total joint program. The same day discharge program has grown this past year with nearly 30 same-day discharges per month. This benefits the hospital for improved bed access and patients benefit from this program as it allows them to start their recovery at home.
  • Melinda Tafoya, BSN, RN, SCRN – Neuro/Spine Support / 2023 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for Empirical Outcomes. Melinda spearheaded the nursing validated swallow screen for the north region, which was implemented in the fall of 2022. She was a primary contributor in the build of the ULearn module across the system to complete prior to go-live. She also oversaw the Epic build of the tool to ensure it supported nursing workflows and improved practice for any RN’s performing the swallow screen. Regional compliance improved with the most notable improvement at Melinda’s home base PVH with an increase from 75% in 2021 to 80% in 2022. Melinda’s expertise in building Epic documentation screens and maintaining order sets has also contributed maintenance of Core Measures compliance at or above the expected 90% from Joint Commission, American Heart Association, and American Stroke Association.
  • Annie Hellickson, MSN, RN – Surgical Unit / 2023 PVH Magnet Nurse Leader Award. Annie is described as going above and beyond for her team, this enables her team to go above and beyond for every single patient – no matter how challenging. Annie gives clear and concise direction of important aspects of Neuro leadership to the permanent charge nurses, and then always follows back up with each nurse to ensure there are no lingering questions or themes left unanswered. She has been involved with the unit’s UBC, but Annie never takes over the reins. She is excellent at creating an autonomous atmosphere for the committee leaders, yet is always available for discussion and guidance if needed. As the manager, Annie completes patient and family rounding and supports the Neurology Unit leadership team to resolve concerns as they arise as well. She works to support an optimal patient experience in a very difficult patient population with many patients experiencing confusion and life altering events. Evidence-based care has been implemented to support quality care of the dementia patient population. Annie has provided new resources and arranged for expert support for the nurses and patients. Outcomes from the Neurology Unit have improved in the last two years: but perhaps the most outstanding outcome that is a direct result of Annie’s leadership is that the Neurology Unit has a combined 300+ years of clinical nursing experience. This level of tenure within a nursing team is something that only a magnet nurse leader could maintain.
University of Colorado Hospital
Kathy Howell
CNO: Kathy Howell, MBA,
Jennifer Rodgers
ACNO: Jennifer Rodgers,

Hospital Recognition

  • #1 US News and World Report in Colorado.
  • American College of Cardiology (ACC) Accreditation Services™ Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI 2018.
  • American College of Surgeons (ACS) Level I Trauma Center.
  • American Heart Association (AHA) “Get with the Guidelines” Gold Plus Recognition 2018.
  • American Heart Association (AHA) Comprehensive Stroke Center.
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet® Designated: 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2020.
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Prize® Recipient: 2004.
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Nurse of the Year Award® Recipients: 2011, 2013, 2016.
  • American Burn Association (ABA) Verified Burn Center.
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) Beacon Award of Excellence: Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit 2015
  • Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. Baby Friendly® designation 2018.
  • Colorado Perinatal Care Council (CPCC) Level III NICU.
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited Post Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Program.
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center.
  • The Joint Commission (TJC) Certifications:
    • Inpatient Diabetes Advanced Certification.
    • Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification.
    • Ventricular Assist Device Certification.
    • Palliative Care Advanced Certification.
  • Vizient Ambulatory Care Quality and Accountability Award 2018.

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Lauren Bayless BSN, RN, CNOR – Operating Room / 2021 UCH Magnet Nurse of the Year Award for Exemplary Professional Practice. As an active member of the UCH Perioperative CAUTI quality group, Lauren was instrumental in changing the standard of practice surrounding placement of indwelling urinary catheters (IUCs) in the operating room via the use of a nurse driven protocol. She created education around this new protocol and trained OR staff on the standardization of perioperative catheterization utilizing guidance of governmental and professional organizations. Because of her participation in this group and valuable insight as an OR nurse, the OR realized an IUC placement reduction rate of 19% and in cases less than 4 hours, there was a 24% reduction.
  • Emi Grant, BSN, RN, CPPS – Pharmacy / 2021 UCH Magnet Nurse of the Year Award for New Knowledge Innovations and Improvements. Emi has demonstrated exceptional contributions in leading system-wide standardization as it relates to smart pump technology. Her commitment to establishing standardization to achieve new heights of quality, efficiency, and effectiveness have involved designing and implementing innovative ways to use technology and workflow improvements to enhance nursing practice. Emi was instrumental in leading numerous system-wide smart pump standardization projects including Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) / epidural standardization- which led to a 50% decrease in pump programming errors and a 79% decrease in errors that reached the patient. During the pandemic, Emi managed the smart pump team to standardize alternative smart pump workflows to support the frontline. This work included creating a protocol for prioritizing pump usage if faced with a pump shortage, a guide for running IV infusions via gravity and for calculating IV drip rates, and an analysis of alternate IV tubing options to support drug preservation efforts.
  • Kate Poppert, RN, BSN-BMT Infusion Clinic / 2021 DAISY Honoree Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Kate created an “Isolation Relief Program” for cancer patients that spend more than 10 consecutive days in the hospital without a caregiver. Each patient has access to laundry services, meal ordering, and personal care items. The care items available have been chosen by other survivors and caregivers to help make the inpatient stay and ongoing cancer journey as tolerable as possible. During the COVID-19 pandemic, visitor restrictions were enforced, and this program was able to provide physical and emotional support to our patients while they were separated from their loved ones.
Yampa Valley Medical Center
Kelly Gallegos
CNO: Kelly Gallegos, BSN, RN

Hospital Recognition

  • CMS 5-star rating in 2021
  • ED certified as Level III Trauma Center 2018 (recertified 2019)
  • Top 20 Rural & Community Hospitals 2019, 2021
  • Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals 2019, 2020, 2021
  • 100 Great Community Hospitals 2018, 2019

Contributions of Professional Nursing

  • Michelle Bazile, RN, Med/Surg Resource Nurse and Orthopedic Nurse NavigatorJulie Friese, RN, Med/Surg and ICUMary Oamek, RN, Med/Surg and ICU; and Dan Tydeman, RN, OR, moved to Level III in UEXCEL, UCHealth’s Focus on Nursing EXcellence in Clinical Practice, Education and Evidence-Based Practice, and Leadership program, taking an active role in contributing to the improved patient outcomes, education and management (2021).
  • Liz Graham, RN, a labor and delivery nurse and lactation specialist at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, is passionate about her role in supporting women’s health. She was recognized in November 2020 with a Daisy Award for the outstanding care she delivers to patients.
  • The Joint Commission recognized a collaborative effort by nurses, physicians, infection prevention, pharmacy, lab and environment services teams on the patient care unit at YVMC for their multi-disciplinary approach and implementation of streamlined processes in the reduction of hospital-onset C. diff. (September 2020)

UCHealth 2022 Nursing Quick Facts

UCHealth 2022 Nursing Quick Facts data

Video: UCHealth Nurses Week 2023

We honor UCHealth nurses’ skilled focus and determination. We’re proud of the work they’ve done to innovate and their continued pursuit for excellence in how we care for people.


UCHealth 2022 Nursing
Year in Review

UCHealth 2021 Nursing
Year in Review

UCHealth 2020 Nursing
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Nursing Practice and Credentialing Model

Nurse residencies at UCHealth

Careers at UCHealth

ANCC Magnet Recognition Program

Colorado Board of Nursing