Leaders Complete Patient Safety Executive Development Program

SCL Health’s commitment to patient safety and high reliability extends throughout our organization as a point of intense focus. Our executives and leaders support this important work on a daily basis.

As part of this commitment, Shawn Dufford, CMO and SVP of Quality; Amy Anyangu, Director of Safety and HRO Development; and Mary Ann O’Reilly, System Director Clinical Risk Management completed a seven-day intensive course on Patient Safety Executive Development at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass.

Congratulations to our safety leaders on their graduation from this training!


Wow! Those Were Some Great Ugly Sweaters!

Congratulations to our Ugly Holiday Sweater contest winners from our Broomfield Campus party! Thank you all for your participation and for getting into the spirit of the season! Happy holidays from SCL Health!

Honorable mentions:


But that’s not all!

Our colleagues at SCL Home Health also got into the holiday spirit with their own ugly sweaters. They even awarded an trophy to the best sweater of the day. Great job to all who participated!



Executives Welcome Associates to Open House

openhouse_1While our executives are hard at work every day ensuring the success of our organization, associates often don’t have the opportunity to get to know them on a personal level. That’s why they were all present and ready to chat at today’s Executive Area Open House. Associates were able to learn fun and interesting facts about each of our executives — like who once jumped into a rushing river to save a child (Steve Chyung), who color coordinates all the clothes in his closet (Kerry Kohnen) and who can touch his nose with his tongue (JP Valin).

The Open House was a great opportunity to get to know the leaders of our organization. On behalf of system services, thank you to our senior leaders for your good humor and welcoming spirits!




System Services Gets in the Halloween Spirit!

Associates at the Broomfield Campus got into the Halloween spirit with elaborate decorations and creative costumes. Congratulations to the Self Pay/Bad Debt team in building 6, who won the cubicle decorating contest for their “Creepy Carnival” decorations.

Congratulations also to Alicia Duran, Pre Access Team and Jeffery Armijo, Self Pay/Bad Debt team for winning the costume contest with their Oogie Boogie and Scary Jester outfits!

Lastly, this year’s top pumpkin carvers were Krystal Abfalter, HR team and Rustin Sherer, AP team. Congratulations and thank you all for participating!









Tanzania Mission Trip: RN and RT Needed

tanzania_330x220We are now accepting applications for the 2017 mission trip to Tanzania. The focus of this trip will be intensive care, training, information technology and biomedical engineering. We are looking for an ICU RN and a Respiratory Therapist to join the team. Applications are due Sept. 30.

A unique partnership
SCL Health has partnered with Selian Lutheran Hospital since 2005 and with Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre since it opened in 2009. Both hospitals are in the city of Arusha, located between Lake Victoria and Mt. Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, along the eastern coast of Africa. SCL Health regularly sends clinical teams to Arusha to care for patients, to help build human and medical infrastructure at the hospitals, and to strengthen the ongoing relationship between our two organizations.

SCL Health also offers financial support to the hospitals and has been instrumental in building Plaster House (a pre- and post-surgical residence for children in need of orthopedic surgeries) and has hosted Tanzanian physicians in Denver as part of an international physician exchange. For more information on each of these facilities, please visit their sites here:

When is the next trip?
The dates for the 2017 mission trip are Jan. 20 – Feb. 8. The schedule includes a couple of days of travel, two weeks of work and an optional safari before returning to the United States.

What is the focus of this trip?
Our goal is to build our partners’ capacity through establishing infrastructure, increasing knowledge through training, and ensuring our project and activities will have continued benefit and are self-sustaining. The focus of the trip varies each year, based on a needs assessment of our Tanzanian partners. Our 2017 trip will focus on:

  • Intensive care
  • Training
  • Information technology
  • Biomedical engineering

What roles and skill sets are needed for applicants?
The information technology and biomed participants have been already been identified based on very specialized needs and the finalization of projects from previous mission trips.

The following two roles are open for applicants:

  • ICU RN – Ability to teach ICU skills: BLS, EKG interpretation, wound care, team building, organizational skills, hand hygiene, timeout process and physical assessment skills especially for pulmonary and cardiovascular system.
  • Respiratory Therapist – Well versed in ICU. Experience working with older equipment and the ability to troubleshoot. Ability to teach and share knowledge across multiple units.

Participants in a medical mission trip need to be comfortable and creative with teaching skills using different methods than those typically available in the United States (i.e. stuffed dolls for teaching BLS, no printed EKG strips), and with creating protocols and workflows. We focus on sharing knowledge that will have continued benefit, as the people we train will then be able to train others. Training will be done throughout various units of the hospitals (operating room, ED, medical/surgical units, laboratory). Participants need to be highly adaptable with the ability to adjust quickly to needs which might be identified throughout the day.

Humility and the recognition that we all have something to learn is critical. Relationship building and cultural competence is necessary for a two-way learning process.

All team members will participate in daily gatherings to share experiences and lessons learned, and to discuss projects, progress and reflections on the day.

Who can participate?
Participation is open to all SCL Health associates in good standing who have been employed by SCL Health for at least two years. All participants need permission from their supervisor to participate.

How does it work financially?
Because this is a SCL Health-sponsored trip, participants are paid for their work in Tanzania at the same rate they would be paid if they had been working at their home care site. Participants do not need to take PTO for the time they are working in Tanzania; they do, however, take PTO for the days spent on safari if they choose to participate.

The vast majority of expenses – including airfare, lodging and breakfast each day – are covered for associates. Vaccinations, passport fees, entry visas, lunches, dinners and all costs associated with the optional safari are the responsibility of the associate. Physicians and executives cover their own expenses.

I’d like to participate. How can I apply?
All interested candidates who possess the needed RN or RT skills are asked to complete the Volunteer Application, available here and email it to Sister Jennifer Gordon at jennifer.gordon@sclhs.net no later than Friday, September 30. To fill out the application form, please download and save the form to your computer. You may then fill it out and save your changes. Please rename the file with your initials before submitting.

Members of the SCL Health International Ministry Team will review all applications and schedule interviews with applicants whose skills relate to this year’s areas of focus. Interviews and selection will occur by October 7.

How else can I get involved?

If you have any questions regarding SCL Health international outreach, please contact:
Sister Jennifer Gordon, SCL, System Director, Mission Services at jennifer.gordon@sclhs.net.

“It’s not enough to give a sandwich if it isn’t accompanied by the possibility of learning to stand on one’s own feet. Charity that does not change the situation of the poor isn’t enough.”
– Pope Francis, speaking at the Rome headquarters of the Jesuit Refugee Service, September 2013

Time-Lapse Video of Summer BBQ at Broomfield

The sun was shining on the annual summer BBQ for System Services associates at the Broomfield Campus last Friday, August 19. The event was hosted by the Spirit Council, and included barbeque catered by Bennett’s BBQ, ice cream served by senior leaders, a photo booth and games, and music by Allen Goodman (Senior Revenue Cycle Analyst).

Thank you to everyone who participated or helped with this deliciously fun event!

Allen created a one-minute time-lapse video of the event. Check it out!

BBQ timelapse still shot

SCL Health Named to “Elite Honor Roll” for Recruiting

RecruitingSCL Health employs thousands of associates in Colorado, Kansas and Montana, making us one of the largest employers in every market in which we serve. Yet it’s not the numbers, per se, that make us successful. It’s who these people are. They are associates who share a commitment to excellence; a mission to serve those who are poor and vulnerable; good humor; and a relentless focus on patients.

The work of recruiting such individuals falls to our Talent Acquisition Team, in Human Resources, which was recently named to a national honor roll for its work to supply us with the brightest minds and biggest hearts.

The team was one of only four in the country named to the 2016 Elite Honor Roll by Lean Human Capital, a Michigan-based industry group. The recognition is based on achievement in 25 recruitment measures in areas such as responsiveness, productivity and the quality of people who join our organization.

This is the first time SCL Health has received this recognition.

Through Stewardship and Partnership, Care Sites Create $270,000 a Month for Community Benefit

st-marys-dawn-sm-copyThey probably don’t know it, but when certain patients at St. Mary’s Medical Center fill prescriptions they are also helping improve the health of their community. Through the 340B Federal Drug Pricing Program and coordination between St. Mary’s and the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) Specialty Pharmacy at Saint Joseph Hospital, SCL Health is realizing $270,000 a month in mission-extending value, which goes toward community benefit for St. Mary’s. Working with a specialty pharmacy within SCL Health also provides better, more coordinated care for St. Mary’s patients.

Additionally, we are in the process of introducing this program at five other SCL Health care sites that participate in the 340B program—St. Vincent Healthcare, St. James Healthcare, Lutheran Medical Center, Holy Rosary Healthcare, and Platte Valley Medical Center.

The 340B program was created in 1992 to provide discounts on medication for organizations like ours that provide a significant amount of reduced and charity care.

“It’s like a discount sale at the store,” says Ashley Mains, System Pharmacy Manager – 340B Program. “The more you buy, the more you save. Because we buy millions of dollars of drugs each year, with many qualifying for the 340B program, we save millions of dollars each year, as well.”

This initiative with the CCC Specialty Pharmacy at Saint Joe’s may be used by patients in the outpatient environment and typically involve high-risk, high-cost prescriptions that treat specialized conditions. When a St. Mary’s patient fills a prescription through the Saint Joe’s Specialty Pharmacy, St. Mary’s pays Saint Joe’s a dispensing fee and insurance pays a certain amount of the claim to the CCC Specialty Pharmacy. That money then goes back to St. Mary’s for community benefit.

The initiative between St. Mary’s and Saint Joseph has been running since October of last year, and since February it has increased contribution to community benefit programs by $270,000 a month. Oncology patients are a great example of how this initiative works. Rather than go to a clinic for routine infusions, some patients are now taking oral chemotherapy medication.

“With advances in medication development, patients can take a tablet to treat complex disease states, but that doesn’t mean that the risk for them is any less than those heavy duty infusions that we all remember,” says Mains. “So, in order to monitor safety and efficacy and offer support to cancer patients, a specialty pharmacy service is needed to dispense oral chemo rather than a regular pharmacy.”

Medications from a specialty pharmacy typically require more follow-up and monitoring. Since St. Mary’s patients can now “keep it in the family” by going to an SCL Health specialty pharmacy they receive higher quality, specialized follow-up care relating to their medication.

“Now, rather than losing touch of where they go for their prescriptions and wondering whether they are filling their prescriptions and if they are compliant with their medications, we have insight into how our patients are doing when they go home,” says Mains. “We, at SCL Health, offer a better level of care when we fill their prescriptions because our pharmacy has access to their medical records, has direct contact with their nurses and doctors and all levels of their care team, and provide a better experience and higher level of care.”

2Q Town Halls Complete; See Materials


Mike Slubowski, President & CEO of SCL Health.

Thank you to everyone who participated in a 2Q Town Hall for System Services associates on June 22-23! If you haven’t already, please take the brief survey that was emailed to System Services associates on June 23, and share your feedback and ideas.

The quarterly Town Halls are intended for System Services associates to understand our organization’s strategies and priorities and how we’re doing, connect our work to our mission, and have the opportunity to ask questions and hear answers from senior leaders. Your feedback on this survey will let us know how well we met those objectives.

Visit The Landing > Town Halls page to access:

  • The entire PowerPoint presentation
  • Creating Reflections for the Workplace: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • Schedule of future Town Halls

If you have questions or comments at any time, please contact SpeakUp@sclhs.net. Thank you.


Rhonda Luniak, Vice President of Communications & Community Relations.

VIDEO: Ride Along with our Mobile Mammography Van

From the mountains of Fairplay to the plains of Haxtun and many points in between, the Saint Joseph Mobile Mammography van is out to reach women across Colorado who otherwise would not have access to these life-saving screenings.

Last year, the mobile unit screened more than 3,000 women, 70 percent of whom would not have received a mammography without the van. Funds from the last two Stadium Stampede events were used to purchase a new van, which hit the road in November, 2015. This year, the funds will be used to screen and diagnose even more women.

Get involved: Run for the Cause!
This year’s Stadium Stampede takes place on Sunday, June 26. Denver-area associates and their families are invited to participate. Help raise funds for our mobile mammography unit while also running through Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium.

Register for the Stadium Stampede here to help support this cause, and check out this two-minute video to see a day in the life of our mobile mammography van.