Easter Weekend Schedule!

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Please join us for our Holy Week and Easter services at both hospital locations!


Please note the televised program is only in patient rooms.

Penrose-St Francis Garners 2014 Quality Innovation Award

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Penrose-St Francis Garners 2014 Quality Innovation Award

We’re extremely excited to announce Penrose-St. Francis Health Services has received the first-ever 2014 Quality Innovation Award, presented Thursday, April 10, at the Healthshare Symposium in Miami, Fla.

Sponsored by Healthgrades, this pre-eminent gathering of healthcare leaders across the nation provides a forum to share and discover new insights and strategies to further healthcare communications efforts among hospitals and key stakeholders, such as patients, physicians and the broader community.

“What set Penrose-St. Francis apart was our ability to create compelling content and distribute that content across multiple channels, such as digital, print, broadcast media and throughout our internal health care system,” said Margaret Sabin, President and CEO of Penrose-St. Francis. “I couldn’t be more proud of our entire Marketing and Communications team, as well as our PSF leaders and associates who support us with our communications efforts.”

This award acknowledges the efforts of the entire Penrose-St. Francis team for its ability to effectively integrate quality achievement, messaging and information into its overall marketing strategy and efforts, according to Healthgrades.


Margaret Sabin, President and CEO of Penrose-St Francis Health Services,

accepts the 2014 Quality Innovation Award from Roger Holstein, CEO of Healthgrades,

during the Healthshare Symposium in Miami, Fla., April 10.

Margie & Luke – The Amazing Race Journey

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Recognize these two, of course you do, that’s Margie and Luke from the Amazing Race. So why are they on our page? I bet you didn’t know that Margie lives here in Colorado Springs and her husband actually works in Nutrition Services at Penrose Hospital. One more piece of Amazing Race trivia, this season is their third appearance on the show. Do you remember how they did in seasons 14 and 18?

Although they are off as of Sunday’s show, we are proud of their strong ending.

Click the following link to learn more about their journey. http://www.cbs.com/shows/amazing_race/news/1002195/



Workout of the Week

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20 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible in 20 minutes)

Work quickly through this workout to torch fat and strengthen every muscle in your body. Choose a pace that is challenging, but safe for you. AMRAP workouts are fun because you can try to compete against yourself, or others if you choose to exercise with a partner. You can repeat this workout a couple of days or weeks later and see if you can beat your own personal record.

After a 5-10 minute warm-up complete the following exercises in order:

- 50 body weight squats
- 40 mountain climbers
-30 sit ups
-20 kettle bell or dumbbell swings
-10 pushups with a dumbbell row (a.k.a. a “renegade row”)
-Walk briskly/Run or bike as fast as you can for ½ mile

Repeat as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes and record your results somewhere you can refer to for future reference. Try to beat your own personal record for rounds completed. Enjoy!


A Look Back at 2013

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We took a look back at this past year to see all that happened in 2013 here at Penrose-St. Francis.
Here’s to a healthy and happy 2014!

• Our version of the Harlem Shake makes its debut on YouTube.
• Health Grades names Penrose-St. Francis an America’s Best Hospital for the 6th consecutive year.

• Penrose-St. Francis staff distributes 2,000 facial masks to help Black Forest Fire evacuees aggravated by smoke inhalation.
• Staff also hands out over 1,700 energy bars to thank all of the hard working Firefighters fighting the Black Forest Fire.

• Meet Franny – Franny P (Golden Retriever) was donated to Penrose-St. Francis for the specific purpose of becoming a therapy dog. No single person owns Franny, she’s actually owned by Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. She’s being cared for by Margaret Sabin (President & CEO) and her family.

• Penrose-St. Francis submits a letter of intent for Penrose Hospital to become a Level I trauma center.

• Penrose-St. Francis named 100 best for Cardiac Care, Orthopedic Surgery and Pulmonary Care.

• Male associates grow their beards and mustaches for the month of ‘Movember’ to help increase men’s health awareness.

• The year ended with a successful 12 Days of Giveaways.

Inspire Health: Christina

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By Whitley Wirkkala

Working full time, having a social life and spending time with our families, most of us find it difficult to make it to the gym. For Christina, Occupational Therapist at Penrose Hospital, waking up at 4:30 in the morning to run 15 miles is a routine.

With a career focused on wellness, Christina knows the importance of staying active and living a healthy lifestyle. While talking with Christina you could tell how humbled she was by this experience. “To work with patients every day that can’t move the way you do makes you grateful,” said Christina “the body is an amazing thing.”

So what motivates a young gal with a full schedule to compete in an Ironman triathlon? I asked Christina and she told me it was because, “she was intrigued by endurance sports.” She was a gymnast, played tennis and ran track in high school. Once she got to college she didn’t have the time to continue those sports so she just started running. And, with a triathlon on her bucket list it only made sense.

Christina competed in her first Ironman in Arizona on November 17th, 2013.

For Christina everything went so smoothly. However, the swim was the hardest part.

“The water was cold and 3,000 athletes are trying to swim, fighting with other swimmers. I was being kicked in the face, elbowed in the head, kicked in the stomach and my feet were being pulled under,” she said.

Then the 112 miles of biking came where the flat terrain felt good compared to Colorado’s hills/mountains. She felt strong until the winds picked up. Not having the body mass that most of the athletes had made it difficult for Christina to maintain downhill speed.

To get through the walls that most athletes experience Christina made small goals. One of her goals was getting to mile 16 during the marathon so that she could drink a coke. Then, at mile 22, she was able to run alongside her dad. She told him, “isn’t it amazing what our bodies can do, especially when we think we have hit rock bottom.”

She was still running after going non-stop since 7:00 am and realized at her current pace she could break the 12 hour mark. With three miles left she could feel the adrenaline. One more hill and around the corner, Christina saw the Ironman banner and heard “Christy Thompson, you are an Ironman!”

Christina finished 13th in her division in 11 hours and 45 minutes.

“A triathlon can be a selfish sport. You make your own goals and you do what you want to do,” she said.

Christina made a commitment in finding a higher purpose in her triathlon and found an organization called More Than Sport. This organization inspires athletes around the world to DO MORE for the causes that motivate and inspire them individually. “Outward focus versus inward focus is the key to happiness,” she said.

Christina had a lot of support from her family, friends and coworkers. The whole experience was above and beyond her expectations and will be a memorable weekend to cherish the rest of her life.

Want to know what it takes to train for an Ironman Triathlon? Here is a brief look into Christina’s schedule.

   Monday/Wednesday - Bike 60-90 min and/or swim 2000 yards, yoga
   Tuesday/Thursday - Wake up at 4:30 AM and run -10 miles
   Fridays – Hike the Incline, strength train
   Saturday/Sunday – A long run between 18 and 22 miles, long bikes 60-100 miles and swim 4000-5000 yards

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Recipe

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Ditch the mayo and eat healthy with this delicious chicken salad made with greek yogurt.


  • 1 chicken breast, cooked, chilled and shredded
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • sea salt and pepper to taste



  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Enjoy!


Recipe and photo courtesy of: http://thehonoursystem.com/2013/08/29/greek-yogurt-chicken-salad/

Inspire Health: Melaina

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By Chris Valentine

Working in the kitchen at Penrose Hospital, wearing white scrubs and hiding under a Penrose-St. Francis ball cap, you would never guess that Melaina was Miss Colorado 2010. You are probably wondering how someone goes from the stage of the Miss America Pageant to the kitchen at Penrose. It is not quite as big of a stretch as you might think. Melaina just completed her Master’s Degree in Sport Nutrition at UCCS and is now in the middle of her 10-month internship as she prepares to take her exam to become a Registered Dietitian in 2014.

Her dream of competing for Miss America started when she was only 8 years old. She started competing in pageants at age 16 because she loved new challenges and thought competing may create new, beneficial opportunities.  Eight years later she was competing for the title and job of Miss America in Las Vegas.

It took Melaina three years to win Miss Colorado.  After being crowned, she spent six months preparing, both physically and mentally, for the Miss America Pageant. During the process, she said she learned a lot about what she was capable of and the limits to which she could push herself.

“The biggest lesson that I learned through competing at Miss America was that it is okay to be out of control sometimes,” said Melaina. “I could not control the results or who the judges would choose, but I was okay with that. When I stepped on the plane, I knew I had done all that I could do to prepare.  At that point, all I could do was represent my state to the best of my ability and to enjoy the experience.”

Melaina did not make the top 11 that year but she has accepted that. “I was incredibly humbled to be competing for Miss America, along with 52 other amazing women,” said Melaina.

Her pageant experience came with some ups and downs that ultimately influenced her education and career choice. The ups were clearly becoming Miss Colorado 2010 and competing for Miss America 2011. However, as a teenager, Melaina battled an eating disorder. These personal challenges ultimately led her to choose nutrition as her major in college.

“I had no idea what I was doing to my body,” said Melaina. “Becoming educated in nutrition helped aid in my personal and continued recovery. It has inspired me to make healthy choices and to help others live healthy, happy lives.”

Melaina is already impacting the nutrition of others through her internship and she is looking forward to becoming a Registered Dietitian and helping even more people. Her ultimate goal is to work with elite level athletes. Who knows, one day she could be planning meals for the Broncos, giving them the edge to win another Super Bowl.


St. Francis Medical Center Awarded “A” Grade

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St. Francis Medical Center Awarded “A” Grade by
Hospital Safety Score

Colorado Springs, Colo.– St. Francis Medical Center earned an “A” grade in the Fall 2013 update to the Hospital Safety Score, (the only hospital in southern Colorado to achieve this score) which rates how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections. The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog), an independent industry watchdog. The first and only hospital safety rating to be analyzed in the peer-reviewed Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families. Penrose Hospital received a “B” grade.

“Here at Penrose-St. Francis, we are laser focused on patient safety and this “A” rating for St. Francis Medical Center demonstrates that this is something that we work on every day,” said Margaret Sabin, president and CEO. “We are doing a really great job with our patient safety initiatives but I want us to be even better. Because, when you do the right thing – providing the highest quality care in a safe environment – every patient gets the care they deserve.”

“As patients begin to take a more active role in selecting where to receive health care, it has never been more important to focus on hospital safety and transparency. The ‘A’ hospitals, including St. Francis Medical Center, are helping us to raise the standards of health care nationwide,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “We offer our congratulations and hope the hospital will continue to strive for an ever-increasing level of excellence in patient safety.”

To see St. Francis Medical Center’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, and to find safety tips for patients and their loved ones, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org. Local hospitals’ scores are also available on the free mobile app, available at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

Calculated under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm. More than 2,500 general U.S. hospitals were assigned scores this Fall. A full analysis of the data and methodology used is available on the Hospital Safety Score website.


About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national nonprofit organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

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Healthy Pumpkin Bread


  • 1  cup(s) (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2  large egg whites
  • 1  cup(s) pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/4  cup(s) canola oil
  • 1/3  cup(s) low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1  teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1  cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  cup(s) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2  teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon(s) salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ metal loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
  2. In large bowl, with wire whisk, combine brown sugar and egg whites. Add pumpkin, oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract; stir to combine.
  3. In medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert pumpkin bread onto wire rack; cool completely.

Adapted from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com