From MA to FNP, Rockrimmon Primary Care has always been her home
Teena Wright has graduated from MA to RN to FNP.
Wright began her career in health care in 2010 as a medical assistant at a family practice in Colorado Springs. Today, she’s still at the same clinic – now named UCHealth Primary Care – Rockrimmon, where she recently began seeing patients on her own as an advanced practice provider.
Some of those are patients “who have seen me grow up,” Wright says, and she’s honored to have a continued and more involved part in their care. UCHealth acquired the clinic – formerly known as Strode Family Practice to neighborhood residents – in 2014.
“Teena came with the practice, and she continued to develop and grow and went to school to be a nurse,” said Susan Baker, manager of clinic operations at Rockrimmon. “We are so happy she will be an NP here at the same clinic that she has been at since she started her medical journey.”
Wright said she can’t imagine herself anywhere else.
“I love developing relationships with patients. I know their background and what they do – you don’t get that in a hospital setting,” she said. “When I was working in a hospital during clinicals, I knew it wasn’t for me – I had to come back home.”
In addition to focusing on her education, Wright has put a priority on helping her colleagues and improving patient care.
She was part of a team that developed the MA Academy – a series of classes in which new MAs can undergo skill checks so they can be confident and well-trained for their new jobs at UCHealth clinics. “It makes integration into a clinic really smooth and streamlines the whole training process for the southern region,” Wright said. The medical assistants come to their new jobs ready to work and without a lot of on-site training necessary.
And when the pandemic upended health care operations in 2020, Wright took it upon herself oversee infection-prevention protocols at Rockrimmon clinic. The clinic also was among one of the first in UCHealth to integrate curbside care services after COVID hit. “We integrated a process where patients can pull up, and they can be taken care of from their car. Many of our patients prefer it,” she said. Some of the services offered include flu vaccinations or AIC tests to measure blood sugar levels.
Baker added that Wright has continued to see patients in the office for INR tests – blood tests that monitor anticoagulant medications – rather than have them navigate Memorial Hospital Central or Memorial Hospital North for the tests.
“These office visits allowed patients to stay in a familiar place to get continued care instead of seeking care at another location. As these patients are older it is hard for them to navigate around the hospital,” Baker said. “Patients were highly grateful for the service Teena was able to provide. Because she has known these patients since being a medical assistant and RN, it has only furthered the trust and care for the patients that we continue to see.”
Dr. Lloyd Strode says he’s not surprised at all by Wright’s career growth. “I knew right off the bat she was really smart,” said Strode, who has worked with Wright since her first day on the job. “I encouraged her to go on to be an NP, and I’m very proud of her. She does care deeply about the patients.”
Wright said she is grateful to everyone at the clinic. “We’re like family. UCHealth has supported me every step of the way. It’s hard to find that type of support, especially in today’s world.”