Toni Moses

Aug. 2, 2021
Toni Moses, center, receives her COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 17, 2020 at UCHealth. Greeley Hospital from Urgent Care Technician Kevin Fordred while holding hands with Nursing House Supervisor Angela Farrington. Photo by Kati Blocker, UCHealth

ED nurse cares for patients through cancer battle

About three months before COVID-19 required nurses to wear more personal protective equipment, Toni Moses was already working every day in a mask and scrub hat.

A nurse for 34 years, she works nights as a charge nurse in UCHealth Greeley Hospital’s emergency department. Moses was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer shortly before the pandemic arrived. Through chemotherapy treatments, she continued to work full-time.

“Toni is an inspiration to our GH ED team,” Nurse Manager Emily Garner said. “Her strength and positivity are exemplary. She goes above and beyond for our team and our patients, even in the midst of a personal struggle.”

When Moses wasn’t feeling well and needed to stay home, her colleagues traded days off. They also stepped in to help limit her time around COVID-19 patients. The cancer treatments weakened her immune system, putting her at especially high risk if she were to catch the virus.

“I love the team I work with, and I love what I do, so it felt good to come to work,” Moses said. “It’s been a tough year with COVID-19, but it’s brought out a lot of good in people.”

Shortly after the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was approved, Moses became the first person at Greeley Hospital to receive it. Her strength and compassion got the attention of Gov. Jared Polis, who invited Moses to his State of the State speech on Feb. 17 in Denver, where he honored her and other Colorado health care heroes.

Reflecting on 2020, she said it was challenging for everyone when the pandemic first arrived, particularly given so many unknowns about the virus.

“As the year progressed, it just became hopeful,” Moses said. “I hope that I inspired some people by being able to work through what I was working through.”

Meanwhile, Moses is furthering her career as a nurse through UCHealth’s UEXCEL program, focusing on streamlining the discharge process while ensuring patients leave educated and best-prepared to go home.

She said she’s proud she was able to continue working while receiving cancer treatment, and that she couldn’t have done it without her work family, her husband and son, and her health care team.

“Everything is a gift, and I just try to look at life that way,” she said.


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About the author

Robert Allen loves meeting new people and learning their stories, and he's continually inspired by the patients, staff and providers he meets at UCHealth.

A journalist for 12 years, he joined UCHealth after reporting and editing at the Detroit Free Press. He is the author of Fading Ads of Detroit, a book exploring connections between classic Detroit brands — from Carhartt to Mac-O-Lac Paints to the Detroit Tigers — found on ghost signs and the personal histories of Detroit residents. He previously reported for the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Summit Daily News and Montrose Daily Press.

His outdoor adventures include scrambling summits, hunting powder stashes via snowboard and taking a three-week winter rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. The Oklahoma State University graduate lives in Fort Collins with his wife, Rachel, and their obstinate pug, Darla.