Trauma staff receive “Partners in Care” team award

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Congratulations to the trauma staff, who were presented with the University of Colorado Hospital's "Partners in Care" team award at the Annual Medical Staff Dinner on February 5.

As noted in the letter of nomination for the award, the Trauma Center has made amazing progress in the past few years, and the staff have been integral to this success every step of the way. Trauma and burn-center staff members have collaborated seamlessly with each other and have partnered effectively with other units and individuals throughout the entire institution, starting in the prehospital arena and extending through outpatient rehabilitation and outpatient follow-up care. Trauma staff have kept pace with a growing volume of patients and have built a high-functioning injury-prevention program. Transfer volume has significantly increased, and the staff have developed a model of repatriation of patients back to their local community, working with local trauma centers.

Last year, the Trauma Center was evaluated by the American College of Surgeons and was moved up from a Level-2 trauma center to a Level-1 trauma center. This progress would never have been possible without a hardworking, proactive staff who actively partner with the faculty in developing innovative ways to improve patient care. Congratulations to the entire staff on the ACS vertification and the well-deserved "Partners in Care" award.

The trauma staff includes:

  • Robbie Dumond — Director of Trauma Services
  • Regina Krell — Trauma Program Manager
  • Robyn Wolverton — Trauma Outreach Manager
  • Stephanie Vega — Trauma Clinical Quality Specialist
  • Laurie Lovedale — Injury Prevention Specialist
  • Amber Lorman — Trauma Nurse Clinician
  • Eve Meriash Lindemann — Trauma Nurse Clinician
  • Pam Michelli — Trauma Nurse Clinician
  • Shane Urban — Trauma Research Nurse
  • Michelle Bowers — Trauma Registrar
  • Lori Kennard — Trauma Registrar
  • Kathy Hoyland — Trauma Registrar
  • Peggy Clark — Trauma Registrar
  • Laura Madsen — Burn Outreach
  • Linda Staubli — Burn Clinical Program Coordinator
  • Jenn Wilson — Burn Unit Associate Nurse Manager
  • Amy Bohrer — TACS Administration

(February 2019)

Turning pain into purpose

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Trapped by a fire in her Aurora apartment building, Alina Miller was forced to jump from a fourth-story window to escape the flames. The fall left her with a broken back and a crushed foot.

Such a devastating accident would have left many people with a crushed spirit as well. But not Alina. Through a series of surgeries, she kept a positive attitude, somehow looking past the pain to focus on gratitude for the care she was receiving. With help from the seasoned trauma team at University of Colorado Hospital, and with the loving support of family, friends, and her boyfriend (now husband), she was able to surmount a series of incredible challenges and emerge with her positive attitude stronger than ever.

Rather than living with a damaged foot for the rest of her life, Alina ultimately decided to have her left leg amputated at the knee—but not before walking down the aisle at her own wedding. Since her amputation, she has returned to an active lifestyle, including running a 5k with a prosthetic blade. She now works for a prosthetics company and counsels patients before and after their amputations.

Instead of seeing her misfortune as a disaster that changed her life for the worse, Alina somehow found a way to reframe it as a turning point to an even richer and more meaningful life. What is Alina's secret? You'll have to ask her. For more of her story, see these articles:

(January 2019)

Dr. Velopulos speaks out on preventing gun violence

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Dr. Catherine Velopulos (pictured, right) recently co-authored an opinion column in the Denver Post with Dr. Emmy Betz (pictured, left) on the issue of gun violence. Dr. Velopulos and Dr. Betz joined physicians nationwide in speaking out after a controversial tweet by the National Rifle Association, which began with the sentence “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane.” The NRA's tweet prompted responses from physicians across the country, sparking such movements as #ThisIsOurLane and #ThisIsEveryonesLane.

In their column for the Denver Post, Drs. Velopulos and Betz defend the right—and the responsibility—of doctors to participate in the national discussion about firearm-related injuries and deaths. “We are not anti-gun,” they write. “And we know that no one — not gun owners, nor non-owners — wants to lose a loved one to firearm violence.” They go on to list numerous things that communities like ours in Denver can do to reduce firearm deaths and injuries—initiatives that should win support from all citizens, regardless of their position on gun control.

You can read the column by Drs. Betz and Velopulos here: #ThisIsOurLane in Colorado, too

(December 2018)