Innovation Center Education Series

The next Innovation Education Series will be held at noon on Friday, May 5, in the Innovation Center.

The speaker, Tyson Lunsford from POPin, will talk about how POPin began, how they are helping companies solve problems, and how we can utilize this great tool more here at Lutheran.

You may have already used POPin with the Innovation Topics of the Month. Everyone is welcome to join.

Please contact Melissa Goodwin,, to reserve your spot.

Heroes of Hope: A Family Tradition

Stories of cancer survivorship can be seen every year at the Heroes of Hope Run/Walk (formerly the Leaves of Hope) and National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration. Generations of families come out to Lutheran Medical Center’s beautiful Wheat Ridge campus in June to support survivors in our community and remember those who battled courageously.

For Donna Ross, this is a special time to remember the courage, strength and beauty of her mother, Judy Kraft. Judy, Donna and Jen Grabe, Donna’s daughter, had the opportunity to attend every Leaves of Hope race together since 2007.

“Leaves of Hope was my mom’s favorite event of the year,” Donna remembers, sharing their excitement of attending the race together. Judy was unexpectedly diagnosed with lung cancer after a trip to Lutheran Medical Center’s Emergency Department. Throughout her battle with cancer, Judy never missed a chance to be present at the Leaves of Hope race. “It was important for my mom to come and meet other survivors and help them feel supported.”

(Judy Craft, Jen Grabe and Donna Ross at the 2014 Leaves of Hope event)

This annual dog- and stroller-friendly event features a 5K and 10K sanctioned race, 1 mile walk, community and survivor brunch, as well as a health and safety fair with fun for the whole family. Funds raised help provide patient navigation, survivor and nurse education, genetic counseling and patient care for hundreds facing cancer issues.

Join Donna, her daughter and Patches (Judy’s dog, who has attended the last three races) as they race in Judy’s memory on Sunday, June 4, 2017, for the 10th Heroes of Hope Run/Walk and National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration. Register at

You’re Invited!

Lutheran Medical Center and SCL Health cordially invite you to a celebration in recognition of the launch of our Apprenticeship Program on Thursday, April 27 from 3 – 5 p.m.

Join us for refreshments, networking and program remarks as we celebrate the approval and registration of the Certified Nurse Assistant apprenticeship by the U.S. Department of Labor, Colorado’s first registered apprenticeship in a hospital setting.

Grant Wicklund, Lutheran Medical Center President and CEO, and Lutheran and SCL Health leadership will highlight this unique and flexible training program that is an innovative approach to growing the talent pipeline.

Please RSVP by April 26, 2017.

The 3 Cancer Tests You Need to Know

Preventing Cancer Through Screenings

In the battle against breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, screening and early detection are our most powerful weapons. Research shows the tests used to check for these cancers—mammograms, Pap tests and colonoscopy—can detect them in their earliest stages, when the chance of being cured is very high.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women (after skin cancer). A mammogram, which is an X-ray of the breast, can detect tumors before they can be felt or cause symptoms.

Juhi Asad, DO, a breast cancer surgeon at Lutheran Medical Center, says women should decide when to start having mammograms after a discussion with their primary care physician. “It will depend on your family history and your personal risk factors, such as postmenopausal obesity, reproductive history and history of abnormal breast biopsies,” she says.

She adds that breast cancer surgery has greatly improved in recent years. “We now have many more options for achieving a natural cosmetic result, including nipple-sparing mastectomy and less invasive lumpectomy that preserves the shape of the breast,” she says.

Gynecological Cancers

Gynecological cancers affect the female reproductive organs, including the cervix, ovaries, uterus, vagina and vulva. In the case of cervical cancer, Pap tests, which look for precancerous cells, and the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cervical cancers, have been highly effective in reducing the incidence and death rates.

Glenn Bigsby, DO, a gynecological oncologist at Lutheran, notes that there are no effective screening tests for the other gynecological cancers. “That’s why it’s so important for women to stay alert for any potential symptoms, including bloating, cramping or changes in the menstrual cycle,” he says. “The most important one is bleeding after a woman has gone through menopause—that is considered cancer unless proven otherwise.”

Dr. Bigsby performs robotic hysterectomy to treat advanced uterine cancer. “Traditional hysterectomy used to involve at least a three-day hospital stay and up to six weeks of recovery,” he says. “Now patients usually go home the next day and resume normal activity in two weeks.”

Colorectal Cancer

Cancers of the colon and rectum remain a leading cause of cancer deaths, but they don’t have to be. Experts estimate that if everyone started regular screening tests at age 50, at least 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be avoided.

The most effective test for colorectal cancer is colonoscopy, in which the doctor uses a thin, flexible tube to check for cancer or polyps (precancerous growths). During colonoscopy, the doctor can remove most polyps and some cancers in their earliest stages.

Treatment options have improved for advanced colorectal cancer, as well, says Eben Strobos, MD, a colorectal cancer surgeon at Lutheran who specializes in robotic surgery.

“Lutheran has the most advanced medical robot available, the da Vinci Xi® Surgical System, which allows the surgeon to view the surgical site at a high magnification and remove any cancerous tissue through tiny incisions while sparing healthy tissue,” he says. “Patients generally leave the hospital within three days and have excellent long-term outcomes.” l

Genetic counseling is available at Lutheran. A physician’s referral is needed for this service. Call 303-425-8191 for more information.


Rosa Memoria Now Available

The Lutheran Medical Center Foundation is proud to offer the Rosa Memoria™, or rose of memories, again this year for a donation to support Lutheran Hospice.

This beautiful rose was specially cultivated and trademarked for Lutheran Hospice and Lutheran Medical Center Foundation. Especially adaptable to Colorado’s cold winters, dry summers and high altitudes, the Rosa Memoria can grow to five feet tall with fern-like evergreen leaves and dark purple hips providing year-round color.

Roses can be reserved for a donation to support Lutheran Hospice by visiting Plants will be distributed on May 13 – additional details will be provided with your donation confirmation.

Don’t wait! Supplies are limited and your donation must be received by Friday, May 5.

Nursing Stars Recognized at Nightingale Awards

On April 1, Lutheran Medical Center had the honor of attending the 2017 annual Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing. The Nightingale award recognizes the selected individuals for their efforts in promotion of nursing practice and excellence. Along with Advocacy, Leadership and Clinical Excellence, these nurses were also recognized for their efforts and diligence in bedside practice.

The Nightingale Award was created to both showcase the passion and commitment for clinical practice and to collaborate and celebrate the talent of outstanding nurses across the nursing profession. This event epitomizes the encouragement of retention, inspiration of future nurses and the focus of public devotion of nursing practice.

“Each year that we are invited to attend, it is nothing shy of a humbling experience for all involved” said Andrea Burch, Chief Nursing Officer. “Our nurses’ stories of innovation and clinical excellence stand out from the rest for the compassion, commitment and ownership that is exemplified every day through their patients and fellow colleagues.”

Lutheran is proud to recognize the nurses on its team who are chosen annually as nominees for this prestigious award.

Please take a moment and congratulate these individuals as they are truly stars in nursing at Lutheran and work hard to propel nursing forward.

Congratulations to all.


Sarah Almquist, Emergency Department

Kendra Casson, Director of Care Management

Paula Conley, Cardiovascular Lab

Katie Hubbard, Emergency Department

Kindra Pepe, Mom/Baby Unit

Megan Roach, Neuro Critical Care

Harold Short, Emergency Department

Deneen Tangsrud, Intensive Care Unit

Joanna Wierenga, Neuro Critical Care

Betsy Woolf, who was a finalist in 2016, also was recognized at the event for her leadership around pain management in the acute care setting.


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 next group of Fabulous Five Monthly Winners:

  1. Judi Hoback, Registered Dietitian –I Promote Teamwork
  2. Baily Campbell, OR –I Promote Communicate Effectively
  3. Sadaf Simmons, ICU – I Promote Teamwork & Act Safetly
  4. Alia Westlund, NCC – I Promote Teamwork
  5. Heather Cambridge, HMI – I Promote Teamwork

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.

Colon Cancer Awareness

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US – but with proper screening, it can be more easily treated or prevented!

Lutheran is blue, not only in March, but is working to spread awareness about this preventable disease and support those going through it all year long. Join us in supporting the fight against colorectal cancer in our community.

What you should know about colorectal cancer:

  • Regular screening starts at age 50.
  • Know your risk factors – before you are 50 years of age.  Family history, ethnicity and race can put you at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer at a younger age.
  • It’s never too early to talk to your physician about when to start screening.
  • Learn about different types of screenings, you have options!


PCU Nurses Win “Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation” Video Contest

Proving that Lutheran nurses are committed to physical activity, a group of nurses in PCU gathered photos and put together a winning video for an American Nursing Association contest – in a matter of days.

The contest was part of the ANA’s efforts to raise awareness around 2017 as the Year of the Healthy Nurse. PCU’s effort, led by Shauntel Arellano, focused on a lifestyle of participation in physical activities at least once a month for “PCU Fitness Day.” The monthly gathering is usually a day hike, snowshoe or ski day, group fitness class or something similar. There were plenty of photos of nurses in small groups or independently doing activities in addition to the monthly activity to add to the video project.

Theirs was one of 20 top videos with the most votes, earning the group a $250 gift card that they will use to make an “Oasis Room” on the unit.

Describing the reasons for the challenge, the ANA website says:

“If all 3.6 million registered nurses increased their personal wellness and then their families, co-workers and patients followed suit, what a healthier nation we would live in! That is the goal of the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Grand Challenge – an initiative to connect and engage nurses, employers, and organizations around improving health in five areas: physical activity, nutrition, rest, quality of life, and safety.

Nurses are less healthy than the average American. Research shows that nurses are more likely to be overweight, have higher levels of stress, and get less sleep. As the largest and most trusted health care profession, nurses are critical to the health of the nation. Healthy nurses are great role models for their patients, colleagues, families, and neighbors.”

Congratulations to the PCU nursing team for so ably demonstrating Lutheran’s commitment to health and wellness in associates and the community! Watch the winning video below.

Get These Screening Tests for Common Diseases

Cholesterol measurements

Cholesterol screening is performed by a blood test. Studies have shown that people with high cholesterol can reduce their risk for heart disease by lowering their cholesterol.

Colorectal cancer tests

Screenings include:

  • Most people (those ages 50 years and older with average risk and no symptoms) get a colonoscopy once every 10 years.
  • This is another option for most people and should be performed every five years.
  • Fecal occult blood test. This screening tests for blood in the stool and must be performed every year.
Pap test (also called Pap smears)

Pap tests are samples of cells taken from the cervix in women to look for cellular changes indicative of cervical cancer. The Pap test is an important screening test in sexually active women younger than age 65.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)

This blood test measures PSA levels, which can be elevated in the presence of prostate cancer.


Many organizations recommend mammography screening for breast cancer every one to two years after age 50. This test is done in conjunction with a clinical breast exam.

Diabetes or prediabetes

All adults are recommended to be screened for diabetes or prediabetes starting at age 45, regardless of weight. In addition, people without symptoms of diabetes should be screened if they are overweight or obese and have one or more additional diabetes risk factors.