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,

We’ve Done it Again!

Healthgrades® last week announced their annual list of the top hospitals in the nation. For the fourth year in a row, Lutheran was named among America’s 100 Best Hospitals™. Our sister hospitals in the Front Range, Good Samaritan and Saint Joseph, were recognized as well. According to Healthgrades, our hospitals “have exhibited comprehensive quality care across a broad spectrum of clinical specialties… (and) have mastered the skills to deliver superior clinical outcomes in multiple conditions and procedures, year after year.”

We can all be proud of the quality of care and the patient experience that we deliver at Lutheran. That consistent level of excellence is becoming more and more embedded in our culture as we focus on our behavior standards and continue to engage associates in The Lutheran Way – “We inspire hope and healing by providing personalized, compassionate care with professional excellence and innovation.” 

It is gratifying to be recognized by other organizations and it is even more important that we recognize each other for our compassionate care and innovation. Thank you for all you do every day to make a difference for your patient and your colleagues.

Weekly Contest

What was the name of the volunteer group, formed in 1961, that helped with preparations for the hospital’s opening? They provided more than 33,000 hours in the first 18 months. We’ll give out five new Lutheran T-shirts for the correct answer! Send your answers by Thursday, March 2, to to be entered in the drawing. Lutheran associates only, please. Managers, directors, senior leaders and previous winners aren’t eligible.

Answer to last week’s contest – Walter K. Koch was the president of both Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company and the Denver Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations to Sharon Connelly-Barrett, ICU, and Lois Haggerty, Breast Center, for answering correctly!

Have a great week,


Becker’s Hospital Review Names Lutheran in the Top 100 Women’s Health Programs

For the second year, Lutheran Medical Center has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review for its award-winning care in women’s health specialties, by being listed in the 2016 Top 100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Women’s Health Programs. Lutheran is one of just two Colorado hospitals on the list.

The recognition is based on national rankings and awards that Lutheran received in the past year, including the Healthgrades 2016 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award™, the Women’s Choice Award® Best Breast Centers, Cancer Care, Heart Care and Stroke Centers, and national CareChex rankings for women’s health care.

“Lutheran delivers excellent care to all patients, with a significant focus on women’s health specialties,” said Grant Wicklund, President and CEO at Lutheran. “We pride ourselves on improving the health and well-being of the women in our community. We appreciate being recognized for our efforts and will continue to seek out ways to innovate and advance healthcare for all.”

Hospitals do not pay for inclusion on the Becker’s list. See the full list at

Medical Staff Chooses 2016 Phyisician of the Year and 2016 Nurses of the Year

Nearly 200 Lutheran physicians and guests gathered at Mile High Stadium in Denver during the evening of Nov. 17 for the Annual Medical Staff Meeting and Dinner – an opportunity to connect socially with colleagues and recognize excellence in physician care.

The evening continued by recognizing just some of the exceptional clinical skill in the room.

Congratulations to the 2016 Physician of the Year, Ramesh Devanesan, MD, Midtown Inpatient Medicine!

We also congratulate the 2016 Collaborative Care Practice Award winner, John Ferguson, MD, Rocky Mountain Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine!

Congratulations to the physician-nominated 2016 Nurses of the Year!

Amy Dempsey, RN, Women & Children: Amy is well known as a clinical expert in the arena of perinatal care and is regularly sought after by nurses, physicians and community partners for her knowledge and willingness to share, educate and develop others.

Kate Starks, RN, ICU: The best and most talented ICU charge nurse by far. Not only does she do routine patient care and assists the nurses in their jobs, she also manages the ICU very efficiently and is an amazing employee.

Caitlin Wheatley, RN, West Pines: Caitlin is an exceptional nurse to our psychiatric patients. She advocates for them.  She has a fun and friendly disposition and great working relationship with all other disciplines. Her notes are excellent, giving the team a very clear picture of what happens throughout the day.

New Honorary staff member

Physicians and guests also had the opportunity to thank a colleague for an entire career of care excellence and leadership. R. Douglas Hunter, MD, was appointed Lutheran’s newest member of the Honorary medical staff.

Hunter served as medical staff president during the hospital’s transition from Lutheran to Exempla, which was finalized in 1998. He also served as chair of Medical Staff Peer Review.

Click here for more on the story, photos of the event and a list of new physician leaders for 2017..

West Chamber Names Andrea Burch a “2016 Celebrate Women Honoree”

Lutheran’s VP and CNO, Andrea Burch, MS, BSN, RN, was honored last week by the West Chamber. She was among nine local women who were nominated for the honor.

“We are pleased to be celebrating 15 years of spotlighting amazing women who make a difference in Jefferson County and the West Metro area,” Pam Bales, President and CEO of The West Chamber said.

Carol Salzmann, VP of Community and Government Affairs, and past Celebrate Women Honoree, introduced Burch at the ceremony with the following:

Andrea Burch, Vice President & Chief Nursing Officer at Lutheran Medical Center, has transcended expectations through her work both in the medical field and in leadership. 

During her nearly 25 years of nursing, Andrea has served many roles, from certified nursing assistant to a critical care specialty nurse in neurosciences. She has also fulfilled several leadership positions, managing a variety of departments, initiatives and committees. 

Today, Andrea provides strategic direction for nursing professional excellence, quality and safety at Lutheran, and serves as an advocate for staff and patients. 

She relies on collaborative, authentic leadership that encourages nurses to reach their highest professional potential through a “servant leadership model.” 

Andrea is a registered nurse with a Master’s Degree in Leadership of Healthcare Systems from Regis University, and she is currently pursuing a Distinguished Leader Executive Certificate from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. 

When she is not bettering her community, she spends time with her husband, Dave, and their three children. Andrea’s selfless efforts to improve the conditions of both her patients and employees have positively impacted and uplifted the entire medical community.

Congratulations Andrea!

A Week of Ups and Downs

At long last, the activation of the new Philips Patient Monitors has begun! Thanks to the facilities, clinical and admin staff that have made this project a reality. The first care team to begin using these new vital sign monitors was PCU and their section of the Central Monitor Room, followed by Tele/AOU.

The rest of the activation will take place over the next seven weeks, with the assistance of our team of experts, including on-site support staff from Philips. Later this month, portable monitors will be installed for several units. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make this project a reality.

In quality news, the Leapfrog Group announced their semi-annual hospital report card this week. After more than two years of receiving an “A” from this particular ratings agency, Lutheran received a “B.”

It’s important to note that the safety score calculation is based on both a self-survey and publicly-reported CMS data from between 2013 and 2015. The results of this survey show that our greatest opportunities for improvement are CLABSI, C.Diff, Post-op PE/DVT and Post-op Respiratory Failure.

Our team has done so much great work in the past few years around safety, quality and education, and it shows in many of our quality ratings such as Healthgrades, Women’s Choice and more. Leapfrog is one of an increasing number of agencies working to provide quality and safety information to consumers.

For comparison, here are the ratings for our local system hospitals and others in our community:

  • Saint Joseph Hospital                                   A
  • Good Samaritan Medical Center                 C
  • Platte Valley Medical Center                        B
  • Anthony, Lakewood                                       C
  • Denver Health                                                 C
  • Swedish                                                             B
  • Anthony North                                                B
  • University                                                         B
  • Sky Ridge                                                          A

At Lutheran, we believe in transparency and are committed to sharing quality and safety information so that patients can make informed choices. There is a crowded field of conflicting rating and ranking systems that use different methodologies and data sources, however. We encourage our patients and associates to rely on the information found on the CHA Hospital Report Card at

Have a great week,


Lutheran Cancer Center Achieves First in Colorado Accreditation

The Cancer Centers of Colorado at Lutheran Medical Center has demonstrated compliance with the standards of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx®), for a four-year accreditation of their radiation oncology services.

“We are pleased to be the first cancer center in Colorado to receive APEx accreditation from the premier radiation oncology society,” said Denise Black-Anderson, director of oncology services at Lutheran and at SCL Health. “Evaluating our processes in relation to ASTRO’s high standards, including standards for safety and quality, validates our practices and recognizes the efforts of our radiation oncology team to deliver patient-centered radiation oncology care.”

APEx is an independent radiation oncology practice accreditation program developed by ASTRO based on a comprehensive set of sixteen evidence-based standards of radiation oncology practice. The sixteen standards are focused on five pillars of patient care: 1) the process of care; 2) the radiation oncology team; 3) safety; 4) quality management; and 5) patient-centered care.

“ASTRO is proud to recognize Lutheran’s Cancer Center for achieving  APEx accreditation,” said ASTRO chair Bruce D. Minsky, MD, FASTRO. “Lutheran’s Cancer Center has demonstrated a commitment to providing their patients with safe, high-quality radiation therapy services.”

Accreditation through APEx is a rigorous, voluntary, multi-step process that can take up to one year to complete. Each center seeking APEx accreditation must have its policies and procedures evaluated using objective, verifiable expectations for performance in radiation oncology. It must demonstrate its commitment to high standards of safety and quality in the practice of radiation oncology and that it practices patient-centered care by promoting effective communication, coordinating treatment, and engaging patients and their families as partners in care.

APEx has a distinctive program structure that includes both a self-assessment process and a facility visit conducted by a medical physicist and a radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, nurse, dosimetrist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or practice administrator. APEx integrates Maintenance of Certification (MOC) templates that promote value and efficiency for physicians and final evaluation reports that link standards and performance to quality improvement resources. APEx applicants also have access to a library of quality improvement practice management tools to facilitate a culture of safety. APEx reflects competencies and practices identified and endorsed in the 2012 ASTRO publication Safety is No Accident: A Framework for Quality Radiation Oncology and Care. 

About Lutheran Medical Center

Lutheran Medical Center is a community-based, 338-bed acute-care hospital located in Wheat Ridge, CO. Local and national ratings organizations regularly recognize Lutheran for clinical excellence, patient safety and patient experience.

Lutheran’s premier services include a five-star birthing center, Heart and Neurovascular Center, robotic surgery, Primary Stroke Center, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Orthopedics, a Level III Trauma Center and emergency services including the first Senior Emergency Room in Colorado. Senior-focused services also include Senior Behavioral Health and a Senior Surgery Center. Lutheran operations include West Pines, Lutheran Hospice, Bridges Health and Wellness and Colorado Lutheran Home and Apartments. To learn more, visit

Lutheran is owned by SCL Health System, a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization that operates eight hospitals, more than 190 ambulatory service centers, home healthcare and safety net services in three states — Colorado, Kansas and Montana. 


ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (, Practical Radiation Oncology ( and Advances in Radiation Oncology (; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers (; and created the Radiation Oncology Institute (, a nonprofit foundation to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more about ASTRO, visit


Fall Daisy Awards!

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!

This quarter’s DAISY Award Winner was Eric Wolf, RN – Medical/Surgical/Oncology!
Eric was nominated by a co-worker when a young mother was in his care. She had widely metastatic cancer and was resolute in her commitment to “keep fighting” to stay alive longer for her family. Palliative Care was consulted to support the patient and family about Good Sam’s ability to have an open conversation regarding the reality that she was likely days to weeks from passing. Eric’s open and compassionate nursing care allowed the patient and family to feel safe in asking very vulnerable questions about her declining health. Eric re-opened the door for the team to re-engage and discuss her end of life goals. Ultimately, this young woman was able to have closure and peace. It was less than 36 hours later when she passed with her family around her bedside. If it were not for Eric Wolf’s expert nursing communication skills and compassion, her last hours would have been anything but peaceful.

Thank you Eric for being an outstanding example to others here at Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Congratulations to all of the nominees!!!!


April Gottschalk, RN – Talent Share Float Pool


Bradley Dryden, RN – Float Pool


Brooke Czarnetzki, RN – Mother/Baby


Charlie Nygard, RN – Medical/Surgical


Elizabeth Naranjo, RN – Outpatient Unit


Farida Ebadi, RN – Medical/Surgical


Jennifer Day, RN – Medical


Kate Newman, RN – Medical/Surgical


Kirstin Magliacano, RN – Medical Surgical


Kylie McBride, RN – Talent Share Float Pool


Phil Lampa, RN – Pre/Post Unit


Andi Rutherford, RN – ICU


Angie Allen, RN – Medical/Surgical


Emily Hey, RN – Medical


NICU RN Team – Tiffany Damicus, Jody Haeberle, Cheri Lutton, Ruby Park, Kathy Quintana, Debbie Swofford

Message from Grant – Aug. 1, 2016

Congratulations are in order for our Women’s Services and Labor and Delivery! Healthgrades® just announced the recipients of the Healthgrades 2016 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award™ and our team was honored. That puts us in the top 10 percent in the country for safe, quality care in labor and Delivery. More on the story in the newsletter.  As a bonus, Healthgrades gave special recognition to our patient engagement efforts including the “Your Moments” video and social media developed by our marketing expert. You can read about that in their Women’s Service White Paper.

Working to Improve Hand Hygiene

We all know the importance of hand hygiene in preventing hospital-acquired infections. It’s the easiest, simplest way to cut down on the roughly 722,000 infections that happen in acute-care hospitals each year. The costs of these infections are astounding: 75,000 patients died from HAIs in 2011. Those that contract infections are hospitalized longer, at greater cost. Did you know that 4 percent of all hospitalized patients have one or more HAIs on any given day??

Traffic LightAt Lutheran, we have always been serious about reducing infections. Our latest observation shows that we are at 88 percent compliance, which is pretty good, but of course we need it to be 100 percent. Now, our hand-hygiene campaign has a new tool. We’re piloting the Biovigil monitoring system in the ED and Internal Medicine, starting today. In 90 days or so, we’ll decide if we want to implement it house wide. We are the first in Colorado to try it.

It’s a “handy” gadget that will help us to be open and transparent with our patients and families about hand hygiene as we work to keep everyone safe and healthy. It’s a simple device, worn like a badge, which can detect whether a caregiver has performed hand hygiene and remind them if not.

With better monitoring and reporting, our infection prevention efforts should show great results – it’s worked in other facilities by increasing compliance by 100 to 200 percent, thereby reducing infections by between 28 and 63 percent.

I’m anxious to see if we can show similar successes here, and I appreciate all the staff and physicians for their willingness to try it out. If you want to know more about how it works, check with Fred Meisterplass, our administrative intern, who has assisted with the project. Happy hand washing!

Have a great week,


Lutheran Named One of Healthgrades 2016 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award™ Recipients

Lutheran Medical Center has achieved Healthgrades 2016 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award™, according to Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. The distinction places Lutheran within the top 10 percent of all hospitals evaluated for the exceptional care provided to mothers during labor and delivery.

“As the only hospital in the west metro Denver area that delivers babies, Lutheran is committed to the best possible quality care for moms and babies,” said Grant Wicklund, Lutheran’s President and CEO. “We are fortunate to partner with several well-known physician practices, such as Westside Women’s Care, Associates in Women’s Health, Red Rocks OB-Gyn, Dr. McArthur Hill, and the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center for high-risk pregnancies. Together, we deliver skilled, compassionate maternal care.”

In addition to the excellence award, Healthgrades recognized the Women and Family Center at Lutheran for achieving a five-star rating in vaginal deliveries.

To help consumers evaluate and compare hospital performance in labor and delivery, Healthgrades analyzed patient outcome data for virtually every hospital in the 17 states that provide all-payer state data for years 2012 through 2014. Healthgrades found that the variation in hospital performance makes a significant difference in terms of clinical outcomes:

  • From 2012-2014, if all hospitals in the 17 states included in this analysis, as a group, performed similarly to hospitals receiving the Labor and Delivery Excellence Award, on average, 116,703 in-hospital complications could potentially have been avoided.*
  • Further, from 2012-2014, patients treated in hospitals receiving the Labor and Delivery Excellence Award, had, on average, a 36.3 percent lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the Labor and Delivery Excellence Award.*

“Selecting a hospital for the birth of one’s child is the first healthcare decision made as parents,” said Evan Marks, Chief Strategy Officer, Healthgrades. “By choosing a hospital recognized as a Healthgrades 2016 Labor and Delivery Excellence Award recipient, parents can take comfort knowing that they have access to the highest quality care for their loved ones.”

For additional details on the methodology for selecting the Labor and Delivery Excellence Award recipients, please see the complete Healthgrades 2016 Report on Women’s Health, at

* Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of all-payer data for years 2012 through 2014 and represent three-year estimates for patients in 17 states for which all-payer data was made available.