Congrats to Our Q1 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. The award was designed to say “thank you” to the nursing profession as they believe nurses are truly unsung heroes.

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:

Noelle Arcuri
RN – Talent Share Float Pool

Charlotte Breck
RN – Labor & Delivery

Brigitte Clench
RN – Med/Surg 2

Genevieve Compton
RN – Mom/Baby

Noah Dommer
RN – Emergency Department

Clarissa Fives
RN – Operating Room

Alex Geske
RN – Agency/Traveler
(Not Pictured)

Ashley Hinrichs
RN – Labor and Delivery

Shanise Jordan-Casey
RN – Medical

Jessica Lutgen

Maude Gettigan
RN – Infection Prevention

Thomas Pina
RN – Agency/Traveler

Luz Ramirez
RN – Observation

Maggie Savely

Cali Stegman
RN – Agency/Traveler
(Not Pictured)

Diane Struppler
RN – Mom/Baby

Kyle Swagman
RN – Observation

Lea Taylor
RN – Med/Surg 2

Stacy Tone
RN – Labor and Delivery

Leah VonGlahn
RN – Mom/Baby

And the 2017 Q1 Daisy Award goes to….

Courtney Donovan

Courtney was nominated by a physician who said “The Innovation of “Code Caring” lead by Courtney Donovan, is a living, operational example of Dr. Watson’s Caring Science research and Florence Nightingale’s legacy of  continually striving to improve the environment in which care is delivered. Courtney’s work has had a strong impact on the nursing practice environment at Good Samaritan Medical Center.”


Taking Pride in Our Associates

Of the many things that set Lutheran apart from other hospitals, our associates are the backbone and the fabric that holds us together. (If you haven’t seen the wonderful video that showcases our people, watch it here now.)

On a daily basis, each of us gives to our patients and each other in ways that simply can’t be measured. Many times without thanks or the recognition that is well-deserved. As we continue down the path of The Lutheran Way, we will continue to improve on recognizing our associates that go above and beyond.

Part of The Lutheran Way is the On-the-Spot Recognition Card Program. Anyone can fill out one of these cards and hand it to a colleague who demonstrates a service behavior or goes above and beyond. Each month, we choose five of those as our “Fabulous Five.” For March, these folks were chosen for a prize – be sure to email to get your prize.

  • Judi Hoback, Registered Dietitian –I Promote Teamwork
  • Baily Campbell, OR –I Promote Communicate Effectively
  • Sadaf Simmons, ICU – I Promote Teamwork & Act Safely
  • Alia Westlund, NCC – I Promote Teamwork
  • Heather Cambridge, HMI – I Promote Teamwork

The highest professional nursing recognition is the Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing. Many of our nurses have been nominated for this prestigious award over the years. In 2017, we can boast of nine nurses, all of whom were feted as nominees at the Nightingale Awards ceremony last weekend. More on the story here.  Congratulations and thanks to:

  • 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

In the social media world, have you seen our series about some of our unsung heroes – called A Day in the Life. You can see them all here on the Lutheran Facebook. Click on the Videos tab and catch those too. Find out what a typical day is like for these associates:

  • Eliza Paulin, Respiratory Therapy
  • Bobby Boone, Environmental Services
  • Christina Ewers, Infection Prevention
  • Frank Gold, Spiritual Services
  • Patti Ward, Sterile Processing
  • Steve Farrell, Biomed
  • Sarah McManus, PCU

Have a great week,

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.


The February 2017 Monarch Award Goes To…

The MONARCH Award is presented monthly and is based on nominations from patients, visitors or other associates to recognize those 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 Saint Joseph Hospital have so much passion for what they do, and their teamwork and excellence is appreciated throughout their departments.

The February 2017 MONARCH award goes to Pam Miller. Pam’s nomination is particularly special because she was nominated by four associates, two patients and two family members for a total of eight times over the last year.

Pam is a noted for being incredibly helpful to patients, their families and associates alike. She consistently promotes the mission, vision and values of SJH. She is positive and upbeat and always handles everything with a smile.

Pam “exemplif[ies] the values and service that make a difference to those she serves and works with every day.  Her caring spirit is exceptional. She makes a difference through her actions and healing presence.  She serves as a role model for others with her behavior and interactions.”

Thank you for standing out as an exceptional associate. You are what makes Saint Joseph Hospital known for its excellent care and we appreciate all that you do!

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,