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Professional Development team members

There is now a nationwide focus on inter-professional team projects that involve evidence-based practices and benchmarking. Professional Development not only mentors staff to improve research and evidence-based practice, but also participates in multi-site projects with other institutions and professional organizations. Clinical staff are encouraged to become familiar with national initiatives published by specialty groups and institutes.

The Professional Development department, within the Patient Services Division, supports nurses and other health care professionals in research and evidence-based activities.

Who are the interprofessional research resources in Professional Development?

  • Vice President of Professional Development & Practice. The vice president provides oversight for research activity conducted in conjunction with the Patient Services Division and the Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council. The vice president serves on committees external to the department, acting as liaison to the larger health sciences research enterprise of the University of Colorado Denver.
    JoAnn DelMonte, MSN, RN-BC, NEA-BC, Vice President – Professional Development & Practice
  • Research nurse scientists. The research nurse scientists are doctorally-prepared clinical nurse experts who help staff to define and develop projects and negotiate institutional requirements for conducting research. The research nurse scientists coordinate support services needed for individual project completion.
    Cara Spencer, PhD, RN, FNP-BC
    Martha Grubaugh,
    Maureen Varty, PhD, RN
    Karen Hessler, PhD, FNP-C
  • Project coordinator. The project coordinator provides specific data collection and management services on request. To access the services of the coordinator, you must contact the research nurse scientists or director with an outline of your needs.
    Lauren Hale

Research nurse scientists

Cara Spencer, PhD
Cara Spencer, PhD,
Maureen Varty, PhD
Maureen Varty, PhD, RN
Karen Hessler PhD
Karen Hessler, PhD,
Martha Grubaugh,
Martha Grubaugh,

UCHealth REBP Council

Patient Services Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council


The purpose of the UCHealth Research and Evidence Based Practice (REBP) Council is to cultivate an evidence-based nursing culture that translates best evidence into practice by promoting and supporting innovative research, evidence-based practice (EBP), Quality Improvement (QI), and Program Evaluation, with the goal of optimizing outcomes.

Educational offerings

UCHealth EBP Boot Camp

UCHealth EBP Seminars