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, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

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, NE-BC, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM

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, MS, RN

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, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

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, RN

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

  • LuCinda Lucero, MSN, RN, CCRN, TCRN – Surgical Intensive Care Unit / 2022 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for Transformational Leadership. LuCinda truly exemplifies what it means to be a Transformational Leader. Over the past year, LuCinda has been an influential leader and role model in re-organizing the unit preceptor program, creating and teaching a neuro class for new critical care hires and mentoring colleagues studying for their Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification. LuCinda’s reorganization of the precepting process provided preceptor and preceptee pairing consistency. Through LuCinda’s transformational leadership skills, she identified and implemented compatible preceptor-preceptee pairings. This more robust and thorough orientation process has brought satisfaction for the new hires and the established clinical staff while positively influencing team morale. LuCinda effectively uses her leadership abilities and roles models by example. She empowers others and supports them personally and professionally. She remained inspirational and influential with a continued focus on leading the unit with positivity and an ongoing willingness to grow our nurses.
  • Erica Screnci, BSN, RN – Resource Pool / 2022 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for Structural Empowerment. Erica is a role model for Structural Empowerment, supporting and playing an integral role in professional governance within the float department through the Unit Based Council (UBC). She is also the chair of the Coordinating Council which supports the chairs of each UBC within MCR. In this role, she has demonstrated her leadership and commitment to clinical staff in making decisions impacting their units and patient care. Erica has led the Coordinating Council for the last two years, and has re-envisioned what this council can be for 2022 to bring it back to life! She is a star preceptor for our team. She has grown her preceptor practice over the years and honed in on the best ways to teach new nurses and is recognized for this. She takes preceptee feedback to better herself and her knowledge sharing with others. This self-awareness practice supports professional nursing development. Because she precepts very well, she has shown her dedication to the growth of nursing through new nurses and promotes a great image of nursing at UCHealth.
  • ChyAnn Koepp, BSN, RN, CEN – Emergency Department / 2022 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for Exemplary Professional Practice. ChyAnn’s contributions span across many different spectrums. ChyAnn role models nursing autonomy, functioning at the highest level of her scope of practice. She participates in the Trauma Video Review Committee and the hospital Mortality Committee. She provides feedback on potential process improvements and identifies gaps in education. Additionally, ChyAnn supported the annual skills training, assisting 94% of regional Emergency Department (ED) clinical staff to complete the training over several months. ChyAnn oversees the trauma class for new nurses and is creating a course geared towards more experienced trauma nurses. These efforts have impacted the department significantly in relation to staff satisfaction, knowledge, retention and improved patient outcomes. Her assistance with educating staff aids in increased knowledge and confidence with critical patients. The classes she created and the critical care program she facilitates positively influence staff retention. Most importantly, the education she assisted with and the process improvements she streamlined directly affect optimal patient outcomes.
  • Miranda Squire, MSN, RN-BC – Resource Pool / 2022 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for New Knowledge, Innovation & Improvements. Miranda completed a project directly impacting staff safety when interacting with escalating patients requiring a Code Gray response. She evaluated current resources and processes, how they were being used, and whether they were effective for the response needed. Miranda received CNO support and created a new algorithm with buy in from departmental stakeholders and leadership. As a result, the Code Gray/ Behavioral Emergency Response Team (BERT) was created and education was provided to staff members. Due to the implementation of the Code Gray changes, new Tiers have been developed that are announced overhead when a Code Gray occurs. This alerts all staff to what is happening and how to respond. Roles have been delineated for all respondents so expectations are set before they arrive to the event location. A debriefing tool was developed for follow up of all involved parties, and the Code Gray Committee reviews each incident for improvement opportunities.
  • John Gerstenberger, BSN, RN, CVRN – Cardiac Unit / 2022 MCR Magnet Nurse Award for Empirical Outcomes. John, as a member of both the hospital and system Falls Committee, leveraged the Power BI dashboard data to not only narrow down when most patient falls occur but also the activities patients are doing prior to the fall event. He identified patients were falling a majority of the time between 1000-1700 while exiting the bed or chair to ambulate or use the restroom. This timing also correlated to when most patient admissions and discharges occurred on the Cardiac unit. As a result of this data evaluation, John created an educational presentation focusing on the importance of bed and chair alarm usage. One essential piece of education John included was the significance of using the standby alarm functionality, which automatically re-activates the alarm upon patient return to the bed or chair. This ongoing education provided optimal patient safety through increased fall intervention awareness and decreased unassisted patient falls. John has also been chair and co-chair of our Clinical Leadership Group, has been involved with the CAUTI committee as well as the Skin Committee. John was also promoted via UEXCEL to level III clinical RN through his project on safety view monitors for high fall risk patients.
  • Teresa Jensen, BSN, RN, CCRN, CPAN – SAC/PACU / Magnet Nurse Leader. Throughout the pandemic, Teresa has demonstrated strength and growth stemming from consistent effort and exceptional leadership. Teresa found ways to best utilize the wide variety of skills throughout the unit to ensure staff would maintain employment status and pay. She supported the crucial needs of the Intensive Care Units within the first week due to her swift critical thinking, collaborative practice skills and exceptional leadership. During the peak of COVID-19 and the following surges, she worked with staff in the immediate and surrounding areas on a daily basis to reevaluate how to best utilize resources. Teresa sets a strong example for the unit by holding several prevalent certifications. She has continued to meet the requirements to maintain her CCRN (Critical Care Registered Nurse) certification as well as holding both CAPA (Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia) and CPAN (Certified Perianesthesia Nurse) certifications. She encourages her staff to further their professional education by becoming CAPA and CPAN certified and actively works with staff to accommodate school schedules. She empowers her charge nurses to grow, to challenge themselves and trusts their leadership. She has given the charge nurses autonomy in making staffing decisions and departmental operational needs. These actions trickle throughout the department to all staff to empower the unit as a whole.
Memorial Hospital
Tamara Dunseth Rosenbaum, Chief Nursing Officer
CNO: Tamera Dunseth Rosenbaum, DNP, RN, NE-BC
Courtney Hoffbauer, Associate Chief Nursing Officer
ACNO: Courtney S. Hoffbauer, DNP, RN, NE-BC, RN-BC
Mark Mayes
VP of Operations and ACNO: Mark Mayes, MHA, BSN, RN, CEN

Hospital Recognition

MHC: Memorial Hospital Central / MHN: Memorial Hospital North

  • 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, MSN, RN, CCRN

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, BSN, CNOR

Hospital Recognition

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet® Designated: 2000, 2004, 2009, 2014, 2018.
  • 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

  • Lindsay Kidd, BSN, RN – Orthopedic Unit / 2022 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for Transformational Leadership. Lindsay not only continues to be a strong nurse on the Orthopedics unit, but has excelled as a leader demonstrated in a variety of ways: through remaining engaged in the shared leadership by leading the Orthopedic Unit Based Council, through her dedicated involvement in the Coordinating Council, as the PVH Skin Committee chair, her role has permanent charge nurse, and most significantly her UEXCEL project. Lindsay demonstrated Transformational Leadership through a patient quality and safety initiative to reduce Hospital Acquired Pressure Injuries (HAPI’S) on PVH’s Orthopedic unit. She led a team of nurses through a Lean process improvement approach and reduced the rolling 12 month HAPI rate on the Orthopedic Unit from 2.24 (per 1,000 patient days) in February 2021 to 0.9 in January 2022, largely surpassing the initial goal of 1.24.
  • Lynn Neal, BSN, RN – Neurology Unit / 2022 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for Structural Empowerment. Lynn role models courage, confidence and an uncanny ability to lead through some of the most challenging shifts and still have her humor at the end the day. Her peers recognize her as being one of the best at working with challenging patients and supporting new graduate nurses. She manages the unit quality data and assists in development of action plans for quality improvement. This past year Lynn mentored a peer on how to manage and understand quality data and utilize the data to drive practice. Additionally, Lynn has a strong presence in the community as a Registered Nurse, through her work with Donor Alliance and being the representative for Poudre Valley Hospital’s donor alliance program. Every April, Lynn assists with Donate Life activities when she helps set up and host information tables, and internally provides educational rounding with staff. And Lynn also serves as the Resource RN for a children’s dance studio.
  • Isabel Scoblic, BSN, RN – SAC/PACU/ODSC / 2022 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for Exemplary Professional Practice. Isabel has become an inspiring leader. She creates a type of positive energy when you work alongside her. Isabel is the chair of the Bereavement Committee; when a patient loses a precious child, and needs surgical intervention there is a multi-step process that involves the chaplain, social service, three hopeful hearts and of course intense and precise documentation. Isabel participated in the development of the process to assure that no other PACU RN has a question as to how to care properly and respectfully for this special patient. Isabel is the current chair of the Pre op/ PACU Unit based council and recently started to share the American Society of Paranesthesia Nursing (ASPAN) standards with her colleagues. She displays the standard in a fun and interesting way and posts it at the nurse’s station counter for staff to review. It has opened up many conversations during huddles.
  • Jennifer Golyer, BSN, RN-BC – CGSP / 2022 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for New Knowledge, Innovation & Improvements. Jen has been instrumental in the GI lab rolling out several new therapeutic procedures for the treatment of achalasia and reflux. The procedures (POEMs –per oral endoscopic myotomy and TIFs- transoral incicionless fundoplication) are currently being prepped in the Pre-Op (SAC) area, are performed in the OR, by the GI lab staff, and recovered in the PACU, so she has had to collaborate with the OR, SAC, and PACU staff. A TIF is an advanced endoscopic procedure without surgery and PVH is the only hospital in the north region to perform this procedure. Jen used evidence-based research to help develop consents, pre-op order sets, post op order sets, discharge instructions, staff guidelines, and staff education. Jen had to collaborate with and educate the OR staff, SAC and PACU staff on the pre-op order sets, post op order sets, and discharge instructions. In the beginning, all TIF patients needed to be admitted for 24-hour observation, but because of Jen’s thoroughness in teaching and having order sets and guidelines, many TIF patients have been able to go home same day, therefore preventing hospital stay. Jen has also put together an emergency cart for these procedures that is taken to the OR each time these procedures are done.
  • Katrina Lawrence, BSN, RN – Clinical Quality / 2022 PVH Magnet Nurse Award for Empirical Outcomes. As a Quality Analytics Data Specialist RN, working alongside the Stroke Coordinator team, she helps drive a very robust stroke program in the northern Colorado Region. In this work, she utilizes the masses of data collected and tracked within the stroke program to implement and promote best practice that spans across service lines and clinical staff. This work also facilitates the stroke program to meet the many regulatory requirements that accompany Joint Commission stroke certification. The unique skillset that Katrina brings to the stroke team provides literally limitless data and information. Katrina offers a gift in linking piles of information to practice in a way that makes sense and improves patient care. The information gleaned from the work that Katrina does directly guides practice improvement strategies that the stroke program pursues and puts into practice for clinical staff. Then she does it all over again once those changes have been in place to determine effectiveness.
  • Lauren Walters, BA, BSN, RN, CNRN – Progressive Care Unit / Magnet Nurse Leader. Since her first day as the progressive care unit (PCU) manager, Lauren has made an extreme difference, she utilizes her experience to support staff, patients, and family members. Her support can be witnessed when she checks in with the charge nurse before every shift. Lauren’s goal is to help in any way she can and is incredibly well-rounded and a perfect fit for the complex progressive care unit manager. She can see the potential in staff and find growth opportunities tailored to that person’s strengths. As a transformational leader, Lauren has been witnessed asking questions that empowers a person to think to critically to improve their own practice and patient outcomes. Lauren has a calming manner and presence that allows staff to come to her with an open-door policy, work-related or not. Lauren exemplified this when the critical care departments across northern Colorado were experiencing strain related to high patient volume. To accommodate, the unit grew in capacity to allow for 18 PCU level-of-care patients. During this time, Lauren was able to facilitate this unexpected growth to support staff and patient safety.
University Hospital
Kathy HowellCNO: Kathy Howell, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BCJennifer RodgersACNO: Jennifer Rodgers, DNP, ACNP-BC, FAANP

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 2022

We honor UCHealth nurses’ skilled focus, determination and willingness to continue their crucial work through the COVID-19 pandemic. 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
Year in Review


Nursing Practice and Credentialing Model

Nurse residencies at UCHealth

Careers at UCHealth

ANCC Magnet Recognition Program

Colorado Board of Nursing