Poudre Valley Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer knows a thing or two about caring for the northern Colorado community. Hired by PVH in 1969, Donna has seen firsthand the rapid advances in healthcare over the past 47 years. (Patients could smoke in their rooms when she started!) Donna sat down with us to discuss some of those changes and to help us commemorate the PVH and MCR Foundation’s 40th Anniversary year.

  1. When did you start working for PVH? I started working for Poudre Valley Hospital in 1971.
  1. Why did you decide to become a nurse? I became a nurse to help people and make a difference within the community of Fort Collins.
  1. What were some of the most difficult parts of being a nurse in the 1970’s? The most difficult part of being a nurse in the 1970’s was adapting to the changes facing the community and the organization. The amount of information being generated on a daily basis was difficult to grasp and analyze at an efficient rate. Another challenge faced in the 1970’s was nurse to patient ratio, at times this ratio was 40:2!
  1. How are those challenges different now? Some of the challenges the clinical staff faces now are patient satisfaction, the safety of the patients and employees within the facilities of UCHealth, and the amount of information being created every single day in the form of Electronic Health Records.
  1. What is the most difficult part of being a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)? The constant changes facing the organization and the analysis of the data gathered by clinical practices.
  1. What kind of impact has UCHealth had on the northern region of Colorado? The employees of UCHealth are dedicated to meeting community needs such as; behavioral health, community case management and geriatric specialists.
  1. What changes do you see coming to UCHealth in northern Colorado? Being involved with the local community is a huge goal for this organization and providing the highest quality of care possible at a consistent basis sits very high on a list of long term goals for UCHealth. Outpatient services are becoming much more popular within Fort Collins and more medical work is being done in facilities other than the hospitals.
  1. What kind of influence did the foundation have on Poudre Valley Hospital in the 1970’s? The foundation had a much smaller influence in the 1970’s but did an exceptional job adapting to the dynamic changes the organization faced throughout history.
  1. What kind of impact does the PVH and MCR Foundation have in the lives of the patients and staff you see on a daily basis? The PVH and MCR Foundation does an excellent job facilitating scholarships that open the doors for employees to earn advanced education. The foundation also identifies the needs of UCHealth’s employees and provides multiple forms of support such as the employee hardship relief fund and holiday giving.
  1. What does philanthropy mean to you? Helping others by volunteering, financial assistance, fundraising and establishing a well balanced thoughtful culture that supports the process of providing excellent care for the patients of UCHealth.

Donna helping to hand out awards at our 2015 employee scholarship reception.