Safety First

We have many programs in place for the safety of our patients, visitors and staff. You each take great care of our patients and keep them from harm. It’s our job to do the same for you. While we can’t prevent every bad thing from happening, there is a lot we can do to minimize the risks of working in healthcare in an urban setting.

The high-risk patient program has helped to prevent injury to our staff from patients and their family members over the last couple of years. There are many other factors that can make our staff feel unsafe or uncomfortable, and we are working to address those that we can.

  • Along with a dedicated security guard in the ED, there is an off-duty police officer during peak times.
  • Our security officers are available to escort staff to their vehicles at any time.
  • We are in the process of having lights replaced in the parking lots.
  • An additional 24 security cameras will be installed on campus, many in the parking lots.
  • Workplace violence training has been offered in many areas and will continue.

Unfortunately, we as an organization also need to recognize that our hospital, patients or staff could be targeted by those who intend to do us harm or even by terrorists. The Emergency Management Committee works to help prevent or manage a variety of possible scenarios and regularly holds drills to train for response. An active shooter drill is planned for Feb. 28 – March 1 that will involve several units.

Take steps to keep yourself safe. You can find some tips on The Landing. As always, we ask our associates to be vigilant. We join with the Department of Homeland Security to suggest that if you “See Something, Say Something.” Click here for a video on the topic. Please report anything you see that feels “off” or seems out of the ordinary. I encourage you to report even if it turns out to be nothing. 

Weekly Contest

I hope you’ve been enjoying the weekly contests. We’ve tried to come up with some fun trivia and useful prizes. We’re also trying to encourage people to read the newsletter more regularly.

For the question about the roots of Valentine’s Day and the meaning of Lupercalia, we were ready to give out 10 prizes. Only five new people responded, though, so all five get the Café/Coffee Cart gift cards: Ismelda Banuelos, Room Service; Patricia Duran, Telemetry; Christina Jason, West Pines; Melissa Kroll, Room Service and Chrissy Leroux, Patient Safety.

Lupercalia was an ancient Roman fertility festival celebrated on Feb. 15, for those who are still wondering. Pope Gelasius declared it a Christian feast day in honor of St. Valentine in the fifth century, to be celebrated on Feb. 14.

Here is another chance to win – this time we’ll give out two Lutheran Way vests if you can answer this question: One of Lutheran’s buildings was named after Walter K. Koch. He was president of what local company?

Send your answers by Thursday, Feb. 23, to to be entered in the drawing. Lutheran associates only, please. Managers, directors, senior leaders and previous winners aren’t eligible.

Have a great week,

Fabulous Five – The Lutheran Way

As a part of The Lutheran Way roll-out, we launched the On-the-Spot Recognition Card Program – use these cards to recognize your colleagues that demonstrate the service behavior or for when anyone goes Above and Beyond “The Lutheran Way.”

We are excited to announce our first set of Fabulous Five Monthly Winners:

  1. Sharon Burke, West Pines – I Act Safely and I Promote Teamwork
  2. Maria Fiorini, West Pines – I Act Safely and I Promote Teamwork
  3. Jeremy Cadwell, West Pines – I Communicate Effectively
  4. Sawyer Rone, Ortho – I Promote Teamwork
  5. James Owens, West Pines – I Promote Teamwork

Please contact Sarah Ellis in Communications and Marketing ( to choose your prize!

We want you to recognize each other! Fill out the On-the-Spot Recognition cards for anyone you see representing one of our service behaviors. And hand it to that person. Everyone who receives these cards should turn them into their supervisor.

Again, thank you for all you do The Lutheran Way!  Together we inspire hope and healing by providing personalized, compassionate care with professional excellence and innovation.

Don’t Let Joint Pain Slow You Down

If you have debilitating hip or knee pain that hasn’t responded to medications or physical therapy, you may be a candidate for joint replacement surgery. At Lutheran Medical Center, we offer a comprehensive joint replacement program that will help you prepare for the procedure and get you back on your feet faster than you might think.

Getting Ready

Patients who know what surgery entails and what to expect do much better overall, says Ian Weber, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Lutheran. “Once we’ve decided that surgery is the best option, we discuss exactly what happens during the procedure and how we control pain and help facilitate a rapid recovery,” he says.

The education continues at Lutheran’s “Joint Camp,” a two-hour seminar held at the hospital. An orthopedic nurse and a rehabilitation specialist present information on pre-admission procedures and how to prepare the home for recovery.

“Our goal is to send patients directly home upon discharge,” says Kendra Casson, RN, Director of Care Management. “Patients heal the fastest at home, and that is truly where they desire to recover. We believe the best way to support our patents is a collaborative approach. We work closely with our patients, their families, our physician partners, the care team at Lutheran Medical Center and the community in order to coordinate the needed support systems and resources to set our patients up for success upon discharge.”

Lutheran also cares for patients who require joint replacement as a result of a fracture sustained by a fall or other injury.

“Our goal in these cases is to complete the surgery within 24 hours after patients arrive in the emergency room,” says orthopedic hospitalist Michelle Henderson, MD. “After that, they go through the same rehabilitation process as elective patients, although they may need to go to a skilled nursing facility before returning home.”

Experience Matters

Joint replacement is never a one-size-fits-all procedure. Surgical approach, type of implant and the recovery plan are carefully customized based on the patient’s condition.

Dr. Weber notes that these decisions depend on surgical experience, as well. “It’s important for the surgeon to choose an approach that he or she is comfortable with and has done repeatedly,” he says.

Pain control is key to a fast recovery. The surgical team uses multiple forms of pain control during and immediately after the procedure to minimize the need for narcotic medications.

Patients are usually on their feet and walking with support within hours after surgery to help prevent blood clots and stiffness, and most are able to leave the hospital in 24 to 36 hours.

Life-Changing Event

The long-term effects of joint replacement are life-changing. “Patients love being back on their feet, but they realize some of the biggest benefits when they go to bed,” Dr. Weber says. “That grinding pain that used to keep them up is gone, and they often report that they’re sleeping better than they have in years.”

Get Back to Your Life

Stiff and painful joints can rob you of your normal life. Whether joint pain is keeping you from everyday comfort or a more active lifestyle, our staff can get you to where you want to be. Lutheran offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options that are safe and private. Thanks to advanced technology, and surgical and rehab techniques, most total hip and knee replacements require a hospital stay of fewer than two days. Learn more at

Valentine’s Week Contest

For Valentine’s Week, let’s ask a question about LOVE.

There are dozens of myths surrounding what we celebrate as Valentine’s Day, going back for centuries. Most of the historical references to Saint Valentine are related to martyrdom and in fact, there are unanswered questions about who was Saint Valentine. At least three are listed, one of them a woman.

Perhaps it’s true that the writer Chaucer invented the celebration of love in the 14th Century. It has been both a religious feast day to honor saints and a day to celebrate romantic love. And, it hasn’t always been celebrated in February.

In modern times, we celebrate with cards, candy, flowers, romantic dinners and more. By some estimates, people in the United States spend nearly $20 billion on Valentine’s Day and some 6 million couples become engaged to marry!

The roots of Valentine’s Day go back to at least the 5th Century and something called Lupercalia. For a chance at a $5 gift card for the café or coffee cart, tell us what Lupercalia was.

Send your answers by Thursday, Feb. 16, to to be entered in the drawing. There will be 10 winners. Lutheran associates only, please. Managers, directors, senior leaders and previous winners aren’t eligible.

Last week’s contest was pretty easy if you know anything about Bridges Health and Wellness and the great integrative therapies they provide. Winners of the passes to a Saturday yoga class were both in PT – Kaye Basedow and Jeri Schmelzel. Congratulations and enjoy your class!

Have a great week,

Grateful Patient Reunites with Staff That Saved Her Life

Last week, staff and physicians from Mom/Baby, ICU, Surgery and more had a chance to experience the great outcome that they helped provide to a local family. Angela and her family wanted to come back and thank everyone for their care and compassion during her stay.

Here is her story:

When Angela had her baby girl in July, she began hemorrhaging badly during the C-section, and ended up needing more than 20 gallons of blood to survive.

After her first-hand experience, Angela has given of her time with Bonfils Blood Center to encourage blood donation. She and her family continued to be gracious with their time this week, returning to thank Dr. Rachel Stacey and many others on our Lutheran team who worked tirelessly to save her life and help baby Olivia begin hers. It was a great privilege to see their smiling faces again!

This story was posted on the Lutheran Medical Center Facebook and Twitter.

The Surprising Secret to a Happier, Healthier Pregnancy

Your jeans size, your appetite, turning the spare bedroom into a nursery—lots of things change during pregnancy. But one thing remains the same: Physical activity pays dividends for your health.

A new study confirms that moving more and sitting less reduces the risk for pregnancy complications like high blood pressure. Other recent findings show that staying active can lift your mood and ward off fatigue when you’re expecting.

Doctors recommend pregnant women aim for the same 30 minutes of daily moderate activity that all adults need. Check in with yours about a suitable program.

Safe Ways to Move for 2

Pregnancy does alter your body in ways that affect movement. Your ligaments relax, causing back and pelvic pain. The extra weight in front changes your center of gravity, stresses your joints and makes your heart and muscles work harder.

But don’t let these facts confine you to the couch. After all, exercise doesn’t have to be intense or complicated. Simply spending less time reclining can pay off in better health. Try:

■  Taking walks around the block or at the park or mall.

■  Getting up from your chair, whether you’re working or watching TV, at least once an hour to walk around.

■  Adding low-impact workouts, such as cycling, swimming or aerobics. Or sign up for prenatal yoga—look for details in Classes & Events under Bridges Health & Wellness.

Avoid These Activities

While almost everybody can keep moving during pregnancy, there are a few workouts moms-to-be should avoid. These include:

■  Sports with a high risk of falling or impact

■  Scuba diving

■  Moves that involve lying on your stomach or flat on your back after the first trimester

Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workouts. And stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath or nauseous.

Innovate@Lutheran Kicks Off Education Series

More than 30 people gathered in the Innovation Center on Feb. 3 for the first Innovate@Lutheran education series.

The room was hopping!

The theme of this month’s education event was creativity and how to think creatively in a group setting.

The team had fun with building airplanes and competing against each other!

Stay tuned for more info on how to participate in next month’s event, at noon on March 3.

We Welcome Your Ideas! Plus the Weekly Contest

As a part of The Lutheran Way roll-out we launched an “Idea Board” to gain associate feedback on innovative ways to improve the culture at Lutheran Medical Center. We were thrilled at the tremendous amount of constructive feedback and tangible ideas you shared. Thank you!

I want you to know we hear you and we are working to evaluate, prioritize and possibly implement some of these ideas as soon as possible. The most popular request was to increase food availability – especially on the weekends. We are currently brainstorming the most effective and efficient way to address this request and are working from a host of ideas.

Stay tuned for more information on this solution as well as other ideas that we are able to bring to fruition from your wonderful feedback.  If you have ideas you would like to submit you can email them to

Again, thank you for all you do in The Lutheran Way! Together we inspire hope and healing by providing personalized, compassionate care with professional excellence and innovation. 

Weekly contest

Do you enjoy yoga? How about a free Saturday class right here at work? We will give away two passes to the first associates who can name at least three other services provided by our own Bridges Health and Wellness. Send your answers to Lutheran associates only, please. Managers, directors, senior leaders and previous winners aren’t eligible.


Did you find the old TB tent on campus? You may be surprised to learn that you likely drive past it every day! Congratulations to Chris DeMay, Cardiac Rehab, and Stacey Oeltjenbruns, Periop Services! They had the answer to last week’s question and now they both have a classy Lutheran running shirt.

Have a great week,

High School Basketball Players Give to LMC Cancer Patients

Basketball players from Dakota Ridge and Columbine High School paid a visit to Lutheran Cancer Services in advance of their “Fight Together” Breast Cancer Awareness basketball game on Jan. 27.

The students visited with patients in the Infusion Center, gave gift bags to both patients and support staff, and more importantly, shared a smile.  Students learned about many other cancers and realized the importance of supporting those going through any type of illness.

Our patients appreciated the gifts and enjoyed sharing stories of their high school days with the students. Every group of students that visits the patients leaves with a new appreciation of what “going through treatment” really looks like.  We hope they carry that with them as they meet others battling cancer.

This is one of many ways our local high school students support the Cancer Centers of Colorado at Lutheran!


You are the Lutheran Way! Plus the Weekly Contest…

Thanks to all those who have attended (or facilitated) the training sessions and have shared ideas for creating excellence for our patients, their families and ourselves by applying The Lutheran Way to all that we do.

If you haven’t yet been in a session that included the latest video – it is amazing! The story is of our people, by our people and I think it exemplifies everything that Lutheran is about – defining our unique culture.  You’ll have other opportunities to see it, and now you can view it on the Lutheran Landing or on the Lutheran YouTube channel.

Weekly contest

Let’s look at a little Lutheran history again this week. Most of you know by now that our hospital started out as a sanitarium for tuberculosis patients early in the last century. Patients lived year-round in the Tucker Tents, which allowed the fresh, dry Colorado air in to help treat their disease. They paid $35 a month if they took care of their own tent and $40 if staff maintained it for them. Compare that to today’s rents!!

Did you know that one of the original 29 tents is still on our campus? If you can find it and send a photo of where it stands today to, you could win a men’s or ladies running shirt with the Lutheran logo. (sizes are limited). There will be three winners this time. Again, Lutheran associates only, please. Managers, directors and senior leaders aren’t eligible to win.

Congratulations to last week’s contest winners, who received $5 gift cards to the Café:

Jennifer Arellano, Room Service Call Center; Stephanie Casey, EVS; Lori Hackbarth, Occ Health; Robin Hartman, Hospice; Catherine Hittner, West Pines; Jennifer House, Quality; Deneen Tangsrud, ICU, and Kristen Zandee, West Pines.

The correct answers:

  • What year was the 20th Amendment passed, setting the date of presidential inauguration to Jan. 20 (unless it falls on a Sunday)? Passed in 1932, ratified in 1933 (either answer was accepted)
  • Which U.S. president was the first to be inaugurated on a Jan. 20? Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1937.

Have a great week,