Innovation Center News and Events

The special guest speaker this Friday, March 31 will be Gil Peri, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He will share his thoughts on being innovative and their Center for Innovation. It all happens at noon in the Innovation Center at Lutheran. Anybody can attend, so reserve your spot (space is limited!) by contacting the program manager,

Due to this special event, the April 7 meeting is cancelled. The next monthly Innovation Education Series will be held on May 5 at noon. Be on the lookout for more details.

A big thank you to all who submitted ideas about March’s Innovation Topic of the Month! The Innovation Idea Vetting Team is reviewing all the submitted ideas and will bring a recommendation to Senior Leadership. We will have communication out to all by the end of March.

Also, the next Innovation Topic of the Month will be announced on April 1. We look forward to your great ideas!

Awards Worth Mentioning

Once again, Lutheran has been named as a hospital that women prefer. Women’s Choice Award® has recognized Lutheran as a 2017 America’s 100 Best Hospital for Patient Experience, based on HCAHPS reporting weighed according to the preference of female consumers.

Although our current HCAHPS scores are not where we want them to be, we appreciate being singled out as a hospital of choice among women, especially since women are often making healthcare decisions.

The award will be announced to the public during National Hospital Week. We don’t pay to receive this recognition, and also don’t typically purchase the package that allows us to market the award. It’s still good news to share internally with our associates and physicians! Thank you for all you do to provide personalized, compassionate care.

Congratulations also to the nursing staff of PCU! They won a national video contest for their lifestyle of participation in physical activities. Our team was one of the top 20 videos in the American Nursing Association’s “Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation, What’s Your Resolution?” contest.

PCU nurses are committed to getting together for a monthly “PCU Fitness Day,” in addition to individual activities at other times. Thanks for exemplifying our efforts at health and wellness at Lutheran. The nursing staff plans to use the prize money to build an “Oasis Room” on their unit. Read more about it and watch the video here. 

Readership Contest

We haven’t had a contest the past couple weeks, so there are no winners to announce. Here is this week’s question. Answer it correctly and three of you can win a free yoga class from Bridges Health and Wellness.

Q.: What is the phone number for Room Service for Staff?

Send your answers 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,

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.


Announcing the New Heroes of Hope Run/Walk

For ten years Cancer Centers of Colorado and Lutheran Medical Center Foundation have partnered to host the annual Leaves of Hope Run/Walk on campus. To celebrate the 10th Anniversary race on campus, Lutheran Medical Center is proud to unveil the Heroes of Hope Run/Walk!

With your help, along with our community partners and neighbors, the event has raised more than $300,000 to support Lutheran’s Cancer Services programs over the last ten years. That’s a lot of impact! Because of you, our patients are able to receive: genetic counseling, patient navigation, advanced technology, humanitarian funds to purchase prescriptions or transportation, and so much more.

This year we will host the annual department team challenge to see whose team reigns supreme. Gather your colleagues, friends, and family to join your team. At the race we will announce the department team with the most participants and award you and your department with a special prize. Last year, the Care Management Crusaders won with more than 80 registered members.

Think your department is up for the challenge? Click here to register your team today!

Help to inspire those who are recently diagnosed, celebrate with survivors, and support the families who have lost loved ones to cancer and be an everyday hero in our community. Join us on Sunday, June 4, for the Heroes of Hope Run/Walk and show your courage against cancer. Click here to learn more about Heroes of Hope.

Farewell to SCL Health CEO Mike Slubowski

A few days ago, Mike Slubowski, President and CEO of the SCL Health system, announced that he will be returning to Michigan in May. He’s leaving SCL Health to lead Trinity Health and also so that he and his wife Barb can be closer to their children and grandchildren.

For more than six years Mike has led SCL Health, keeping us close to our mission, vision and values as well as a consistent focus on patient-centered care and transparency. Patient and associate safety, communication and clinical quality have all steadily improved under his leadership. His emphasis on stewardship and partnerships has strengthened our position, particularly here in the Front Range.

From moving the system office to Colorado, transferring sponsorship of care sites in challenged markets and a successful merger with Exempla Healthcare, among other endeavors, Mike has helped position SCL Health and its care sites to have a strong reputation for excellence and innovation.

On a personal note, I will always appreciate the fact that he introduced me to one of my guitar heroes, Joe Bonamassa. Mike and I share a passion for music, as evidenced by his great collection of vintage guitars and his guitar-playing talent. I will miss that and wish him the very best in his new role. Trinity will be lucky to have Mike and it’s an outstanding opportunity for him.

Looking forward, Lutheran remains a strong and vibrant hospital. We are well-positioned for the future, and I don’t anticipate any significant changes here other than those that are facing healthcare as a whole. I’ll keep you informed as we learn more about the transition to a new CEO at SCL Health. The board is currently developing that plan and will conduct a national search to fill Mike’s role.

Have a great week,

Breast-Feeding Benefits Baby and Mom

The benefits of breast-feeding for babies are well established by science, and an increasing body of research shows that babies are not the only ones reaping rewards. Moms, too, may be at less risk for several diseases and health conditions, including an aggressive form of breast cancer and gestational diabetes.

Breast-feeding requires work and diligence, and it comes at a time when moms are exhausted and spent. That makes it tempting to call it quits when the going gets tough, even when you have good intentions. But the payoff is becoming harder to ignore.

Better for Baby

Your baby’s health is a great incentive. According to the World Health Organization, babies who are breast-fed have fewer and less serious illnesses, such as SIDS, childhood cancers and diabetes, when compared with babies who were not breast-fed. Breast-fed babies are also less likely to be obese and have type 2 diabetes as adolescents and adults.

Also, a massive review of research on the benefits of breast-feeding found it reduces mothers’ risk for type 2 diabetes and breast and ovarian cancer.

Newer research shows breast-feeding reduced the risk for a particularly potent type of breast cancer, called hormone receptor negative tumors, by up to 20 percent. These tumors are more common in African-American women and younger women.

Breast-feeding’s benefit is not limited to preventing cancer. Gestational diabetes is often referred to as pregnancy-related diabetes and for most women it is temporary. But if you develop gestational diabetes, your risk of developing diabetes long-term is seven times higher.

A recent study of moms who developed gestational diabetes found that those who breast-fed cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half. And those who breast-fed for more than 10 months cut their risk by
60 percent.

Better for Mom

“Breast-feeding provides as many health benefits for mothers as it does for infants,” says Katie Halverstad, RN, IBCLC, at Lutheran Medical Center.

Halverstad also notes that breast-feeding decreases a mom’s chance for postpartum depression by boosting her oxytocin, or “love hormone,” and decreasing her anxiety.

Practicing skin-to-skin contact, which is initiated as soon as possible after baby is born, is beneficial for both parents and baby, too. It helps to decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, which helps with bonding, especially for babies in the NICU. Babies who experience skin-to-skin contact cry 43 percent less and experience less pain during procedures when baby is breast-feeding.

Moms who breast-feed have a quicker recovery from childbirth, increased bonding with their baby and increased weight loss. Breast-feeding can give your financial health a little boost, as well. Most families can save an estimated $1,000 per year on formula purchase.

“It’s a win-win for mom and baby all the way around,” Halverstad adds.

We Heard You – Now You Tell Us

In our continued efforts to improve associate engagement, we would like to follow up on The Lutheran Way idea board suggestions.  Please help us with an internal feasibility study on a campus development project.  The primary focus is a campus-based, Doggie Daycare service.    We are also asking for your help in determining the importance of other types of services that could be researched.

Click here to take the survey.

Innovating Our Way

The Lutheran Innovation Center is taking off! We are planning a number of events and experiences through the Center for associates and community members. The monthly Education Series is already growing in popularity.

These sessions are specifically designed to help us all gain a different, more creative mindset around our daily work. They start with a hands-on experience that gets people working together in teams, inspiring each other to think completely differently about solving a problem. Following this “playground” experience, a dynamic speaker leads the conversation about how to best take that mindset and apply it to what we are doing.

Earlier this month, for example, we had teams compete to build the tallest structures out of spaghetti sticks and a large marshmallow on top. It was fun watching the teams come up with great designs. What does this have to do with Innovation? Rapid prototyping! Terri Casterton, SCL System Manager of Innovation and Virtual Health presented this topic. She explained that trying big ideas in a small way is a good way to work out kinks and make these changes more successful.

The guest speaker for the upcoming March event is Gil Peri, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He’ll share his thoughts on being innovative and their Center for Innovation. It all happens at noon, March 31, in the Innovation Center at LMC. Anybody can attend, so reserve your spot (space is limited!) by contacting the program manager,

Additionally, we are seeking input each month on a specific topic. The Innovation topic of the month for March is: If Lutheran were the best at communicating to our staff, what would that look like? 

Please share your ideas on this topic. There are a handful of comment boxes throughout the campus for everyone to submit ideas. You can also email There is also a new tool, POPin! Several of your colleagues have already posted their ideas anonymously. You can like, dislike and comment on all ideas on this site. Click on the link to enter your ideas:

Contest Winners

Congratulations to last week’s winners: Melissa Edwards, Lutheran Foundation, and Ali Frisius Gordon, ED. Knowing that the Innovation Center used to be Conference Rooms C and D got them both a Lutheran Way vest. Stay tuned for more contests later.

Have a great week,

Partners in Preparation and Response

It’s a fact of reality that hospitals and other places with public access can be targeted by those who want to cause harm to others.

At Lutheran, we have a strong emergency preparation and management program in place for training and response to a range of events. We regularly hold drills for different kinds  such as infant abduction, Hazmat, electrical outages, severe weather and active shooter scenarios, to help us identify any gaps in our plans and how we can improve them.

We are also fortunate to have a significant internal resources in emergency management as well as strong partnerships with our community first responders.

Last week, we held a series of trainings and exercises focused on active shooter response, presented by our security partners at HSS. Wheat Ridge Police and West Metro Fire and Rescue provided response support and response throughout the exercises.

Highly realistic scenarios took place on the empty unit on the 6th Floor, at West Pines and at Hospice. About 250 LMC staff participated in the training and exercises.

Kudos to all who attended and participated and who work every day to keep our patients, staff and visitors safe.

More photos from the day are available by clicking here. You can also check out our Facebook page.