Project Valentine

Early in the morning of Tuesday, February 14—Valentine’s Day—a representative from Project Valentine stepped through the doors of the GSMC Cancer Centers of Colorado (CCC) building. The volunteer coordinator, a breast cancer survivor, was there to deliver Valentine’s Day gift bags to patients currently undergoing infusion treatments to help make life for our patients a “little sweeter.”

The Valentine’s Day gift bags included such items as water bottles, stuffed animals, coloring books and other items to help patients feel more comfortable both during treatment and in their daily lives. Patty Harper, RN, OCN; and Jennifer Anthony, RN, OCN (both pictured here); helped pass out bags to patients throughout the day.

Project Valentine’s founder, Colleen Anderson, was diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer in 2002. While undergoing a chemotherapy session on Valentine’s Day, she received a gift bag from her friends—a gesture that inspired her to make a positive difference in her community of fellow cancer patients.

Every year, the project’s generous volunteers and contributors lovingly assemble and hand-deliver care packages to men, women and children across the Denver metro area. This year, the project delivered over 500 bags to patients across 18 infusion centers, including Good Sam’s CCC.

Please visit the Project Valentine homepage to learn more or get involved:

I am Good Samaritan

Do you remember the story of the good Samaritan?

During times of controversy, diversity and turmoil, the good Samaritan chose to do the right thing. He went above and beyond what was asked. This story is the foundation of our hospital; we are the Good Samaritan—we need to use our heart, mind, hands and feet, and soul to go above and beyond as well!

This year we will reinforce what it means to be a Good Samaritan, focusing each quarter on the different tools we use to take care of ourselves, our peers, our patients and our community.

  • Quarter 1: iCare—working with our hearts
  • Quarter 2: iUnderstand—working with our minds
  • Quarter 3: iDo—working with our hands and feet
  • Quarter 4: iAm—working with our soul

During the first quarter, we will be focusing on using our hearts. As such, you are invited to take the challenge!
Use 1-3 words to answer one of the following questions:

“What makes me a Good Samaritan?”


 “What I love about being a Good Samaritan”

Write your answer on a white 8×11 sheet of paper (horizontally oriented), snap a photo of yourself or your team member (one person per photo, please!).

Upload this photo to the U drive, and don’t forget to include your name and department in the photo title!

 U:\EGSMC ALL FOLDERS\EGSMC Patient Experience\I am Good Samaritan

Birthday Bash Brings Smiles

Late last month, Tracy George, a C.N.A. on GSMC’s Med/Surg Pav. 1 unit, had an amazing idea. A TBI patient under her care since the beginning of the year had come to a point where he was requiring a sitter almost 24 hours a day due to feeling bored and needing something to occupy his time.

Tracy, who had great rapport with this patient, knew his birthday was coming up and that he was a bit anxious and down in spirit because he had hoped to be discharged and celebrate his birthday at home in Oklahoma. With this in mind, Tracy wanted to create a special birthday celebration that would “bring a smile to this young man’s face,” and so she reached out to Jan Hubert, the Executive Director of the GSMC Foundation.

Jan, delighted with this idea, provided the funds to do something special for the patient. Tracy, with the help of Windie Her, GSMC Patient Experience Manager, purchased a cake and a tablet PC for the patient with the hope of helping him feel more comfortable and at ease during his stay.

The patient was delighted to receive the tablet PC because it allowed him to enjoy his favorite hobby—music. Thanks to Tracy’s great rapport and her desire to bring joy to her patient, this small kindness allowed the patient to listen to the music he loves at any time, resulting in him feeling more at ease and no longer requiring a sitter.

This story reminds us that, in Tracy’s words, “we are all Good Samaritans and we go out of our way to help our patients feel safe and secure by letting them know we care about them.”

Congrats to our 2016 Q4 DAISY Award winner!

The DAISY Awards are for “extraordinary nurses” that go above and beyond in caring for their patients.  The program recognizing these nurses was established in 1999 and awards are given quarterly.  Each DAISY Award winner is given a statue called the “Healers Touch” made in Zimbabwe that symbolizes the way these nurses care for their patients. Good Sam wouldn’t be the same without these amazing nurses! Congrats to our nominees:

Sarah Abbott, RM, Hosp. Supv./Float Pool

Sarah Abbott – RN, Hosp. Supv./Float Pool

Loan Van - RN Medical

Loan Van – RN Medical

Donna Stephens - RN PSCU/PACU

Donna Stephens – RN PSCU/PACU

Erika Townsend - RN Lactation

Erika Townsend – RN Lactation

Trent Pruett - RN Medical

Trent Pruett – RN Medical

Natalie Padia - RN Medical

Natalie Padia – RN Medical

Michael Diffoot, RN Outpatient Unit

Michael Diffoot – RN Outpatient Unit

Thad Alstrup - RN Outpatient Unit

Thad Alstrup – RN Outpatient Unit


Dean Beacom – RN, Float Pool

RN Med/Surg Pav 2

Brigitte Clench – RN Med/Surg Pav 2

The Women's and Children's RN Team: Pamela Carlisle, Lorraine Fettis, Jessica Jenks, Treccie Ladaga-Wengryn Jill Leary Nichole Quam Kathy Quintana Pam Standard Elida Trevino

The Women’s and Children’s RN Team:
Pamela Carlisle, Lorraine Fettis, Jessica Jenks, Treccie Ladaga-Wengryn
Jill Leary
Nichole Quam
Kathy Quintana
Pam Standard
Elida Trevino

And the 2016 Q4 DAISY Award winner was…

Lauren Sargeant - RN Outpatient Unit

Lauren Sargeant – RN Outpatient Unit

Lauren was nominated twice for a DAISY award. The first nomination was from a patient who was in the hospital for surgery for the first time. The patient applauded Lauren’s pleasant and caring attitude. She said Lauren was with her before and after surgery to help comfort and care for her, giving them all of the knowledge they needed to understand the situation and how to manage. Lauren helped the patient to relax and was always ready with a smile and good attitude anytime the patient needed her.

Lauren was also commended for being an outstanding team player in the hospital and working hard on another tough patient situation. A patient came in at 10 a.m. for an eye injury from being struck by a softball. They needed to see a specialist so they waited [for what was supposed to be a short time] for an exam before they could be discharged. The specialist ended up taking all day, then later rescheduled altogether. Lauren took it upon herself to continue to check in with the specialist throughout the day, then when the appointment was pushed off to the following day, Lauren found a different specialist to see the patient right away. She helped to get all of the discharge paper work done and transport the patient to the appointment in the nick of time. This made the patient and the family extremely grateful. Lauren’s team is glad to have such a hard working and determined nurse on their team.

Caring Spirit Waffle Breakfast

Group2rszOn Thursday, January 19 and Friday, January 20, the Good Samaritan Medical Center Foundation hosted waffle breakfasts for departments that reached an impressive 100 percent response rate to the 2016 Associate Caring Spirit Campaign. The waffle breakfast was served by our very own senior leadership team, all wearing blue capes!

The following 13 departments each saw a 100 percent response rate:

  • Plant Ops Building
  • Plant Ops Facilities
  • Plant Ops Maintenance
  • Central Sterile Processing
  • Group4rszMammography Center
  • Training and Development
  • Medical Oncology
  • Volunteers
  • Med Staff Admin
  • Oncology Admin
  • Nursing Admin
  • Quality Assurance
  • Psychosocial


Group3rszThank you for your generosity!

To find out more about how you can get involved and share your Caring Spirit, please visit, or contact the Foundation at 303-689-5251 or email

Announcement from Dave

I want to communicate directly with each of you that I have just submitted my notice to retire from SCL Health on March 31, 2017. This week, I will celebrate 39 years since joining SCL Health, the first 13 years of which were at St. Francis in Topeka, the next ten years at Saint Joseph Hospital and the remainder of my time has been at Good Samaritan Medical Center.

It was my privilege and honor to manage the building and opening of Good Samaritan Medical Center in 2004. The past twelve years have been a wonderful experience as we have seen continued growth and expansion of services with patient safety as a cornerstone. I am so proud of our team, the culture of mutual respect and our focus on the patient and family. In 2016, we had the best financial and clinical quality performance in our short history.

We opened the doors to Good Samaritan Medical Center with the conviction, “The patient and family are the center of every thought, communication and action at Good Samaritan Medical Center.” Thanks to all of you, we live that conviction each and every day. I have had many mentors over the years, but I will always have a special place for the Sisters who showed me how to live our mission to serve others.

The time has come for me to start the next chapter of my life’s journey and I do so with great gratitude and appreciation for all of my colleagues who join me in being called to serve others in need. I am honored to have worked with so many of you who care deeply about providing compassionate care.

And now I am excited to spend more time with my wife, my children and five grandchildren (soon to be six). My wife and I already have plans to trek in Moab, Croatia and the Isle of Corsica this summer. Another item on my to do list is the Rim to River Trail in the Grand Canyon as well as hiking up Mount Whitney once again.

Plans for the future leadership of Good Samaritan Medical Center will be announced soon. Please continue the outstanding work you do for our patients. Thank you for the honor of working with you to create Good Samaritan Medical Center.

MONARCH Awards for Q4 of 2016

We are kicking off 2017 by taking a look back and celebrating last year’s Q4 MONARCHwinner and nominees!

The MONARCH Award is presented quarterly based on nominations from patients, visitors or other associates to recognize associates who consistently demonstrate superior behaviors. These associates have displayed themselves as someone who Motivates, is Organized, Nurtures others, has the ability to Analyze critical situations and Restore normal operations, and Care for and Heal others.

The MONARCH nominees at Good Samaritan have so much passion for what they do, and their teamwork and excellence is appreciated throughout their departments. If you see any of these nominees be sure to congratulate and recognize them for their dedication to making Good Samaritan such a wonderful place.

Linda Falb - Occupation Therapy

Linda Falb – Occupation Therapy


Sharon Mireles - Volunteers

Sharon Mireles – Volunteers


Tracy George - Med/Surg-3 Surgical

Tracy George – Med/Surg-3 Surgical


Rene Blankenship - EVS

Rene Blankenship – EVS

And this quarter’s winner for the MONARCH awards…

Nate Baker - Central Transport

Nate Baker – Central Transport

Nate was nominated for being a team player with a “can do” attitude. He was a great asset to the outpatient unit during their opening. He worked with the unit secretary to help improve processes to better patient safety and privacy. He is also noted for going above and beyond when it comes to one of our values: caring spirit. When he was assisting a patient during their discharge, the patient had to stop at the pharmacy to pick up their medication. The patient didn’t have any money, and without hesitation, Nate paid for that patient’s meds. “He does the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.” We applaud him for his outstanding commitment to Good Samaritan!


Day in the Life at GSMC’s Center for Integrative Medicine

Day in the life is designed to give our associates and patients a “behind the scenes” look at what different departments and people do inside the hospital. It takes many teams within the hospital to ensure we are providing the best care for our patients.

Celebrating the New Year, we’re exploring the Center for Integrative Medicine at Good Samaritan Medical Center.


Ruth Ross and Brenda Hurley greet patients. The Center brings health and healing to patients and associates through conventional medical treatments, as well as holistic forms of therapy like acupuncture, nutrition consultation, massage and more.


You may recognize Scott Johnston, who often provides chair massage inside the hospital to patients, visitors and associates. He specializes in treating trauma patients and offers maintenance and preventative massages.


Stacy Beeson, registered dietitian, meets with a wide variety of patients and associates who want to lose weight or have such conditions as gastrointestinal complications or type 2 diabetes.


Sheila Liewald, an acupuncturist, provides treatments to patients to assist in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. It can also be used to control pain and boost the immune system as well as increase blood cells, circulation and count.


Jessie Ivankovich leads yoga classes on Thursdays at 3 p.m. at the Center at Good Samaritan Medical Center. Balancing the stresses of life through yoga practice and mindful meditation can lead to a healthier life.


Ilysse Streim specializes in oncology massage and uses reflexology to achieve a healing effect on different organs and to relieve constipation, pain and anxiety.

Long-term Associate Breakfast

pic_03_rszContrary to popular belief, Friday, January 13 was a very lucky day for us at Good Samaritan Medical Center. We hosted a special breakfast celebration for our associates who have been working with us for five or more years, and we even had some folks who’ve been with our system for 30+ years!pic_06_rsz

Approximately 60 associates gathered in the conference rooms to enjoy a special breakfast meal and share their favorite stories from their time at Good Sam. The event included a fun photo booth where attendees could dress up and have their picture taken with friends and coworkers.

Thank you all for your commitment and dedication!pic_01_rsz

The Christmas Jar Tradition

img9502221About three years ago, our Oncology Unit took care of a young man who, unfortunately, passed away. Kerry Sanchez, RN, Charge Nurse on our Oncology Unit, pictured here on right with Eric Wolf, RN, was one of the nurses who cared for this young patient.

His mother, inspired by the care her son received while staying at Good Samaritan Medical Center, decided that she wanted to give back to the hospital that had cared for her son with such compassion and kindness.

After her son passed away, the mother began a new tradition, based on the 2005 New York Times bestselling novel Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright.

She began collecting spare change in a jar (or other receptacle) each day, and for the past three years, has hand-delivered the money to the hospital on img9502251Christmas Eve to donate to our Foundation. This money, she specifies, should be used to support patient care in our Oncology Unit.

The story of this kind mother and the experience her son and her family had at our hospital is both heart-warm and inspiring; whether we work directly with patients or support the running of the hospital in other ways, we always have an impact on the care and experience our patients and their families have while staying with us. Thank you to all of our associates for your compassion and dedication while caring for those in our community!