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2018 Outstanding Nurse of the Year: Clinical Practice

Awardee: Pam Cowan, RN

Pam CowanPam Cowan is the resource nurse in the adult clinic at National Jewish Health. A colleague stated, “Pam possesses a strong, broad knowledge base which allows her to assist a variety of clinical areas. She is comfortable floating to any area.” Another colleague added, “Pam has a calm presence and the ability to share her knowledge in a manner that is easily understood and accepted. She is always patient focused.”

“Pam is renowned for her extensive knowledge of the oxygen ordering process.” Pam developed the content and presented multiple in-services related to the oxygen ordering process to a variety of staff. A colleague who nominated her stated, “Pam has a delivery style that allows her to be a commanding presence while being approachable to all staff.”

A colleague aptly stated, “Pam is always my go-to person for any oxygen questions whatsoever. She is extremely knowledgeable not only abut oxygen but about National Jewish Health and patient conditions in general.”

A colleague summed up, “Pam is a great mentor to me and everyone in our clinic.”


Other nominees for Clinical Practice Nurse:

Rachel Alvidrez
Gretchen Andrus
Judy Batavia
Shirley Brown
Pam Cowan
Patty Devarney
Elise Devins
Martha Gowans
Jesse Gross
Cathy Hancock
Allison Henry

Marie Kamm
Robin Lingg-LaGrone
Allison Mullen
Jessica Munson
Karen Musselman
Rachel Phillips
Rebecca Regidor
Beth Richey
Kathy Ruffert
Barbara Strain
Sherly Thomas


2018 Outstanding Nurse of the Year: Administrator, Educator, Researcher or Non-Traditional Practice Nurse

Awardee: Dthia Kalkwarf, RN, MSN, CDE

Dthia KalkwarfDthia currently works as a certified registered nurse in the diabetes clinic at National Jewish Health. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).  Dthia integrates her knowledge of medical, dietary and exercise therapy as she coordinates the ongoing care management of the growing diabetes population.

As a colleague stated: “Dthia has an extremely reassuring manner when teaching patients how to inject insulin. She is clear, calm and matter of fact. I have seen the anxiety levels fall, and patients walk out of clinic with confidence.” As another colleague stated, “Dthia knows diabetes medications and administration methods intimately, from oral medications to insulin, from injectable devices to insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors.” “She has and continues to mentor me.”

Dthia is the diabetes support group leader and coordinates and attends each monthly meeting. In addition, she teaches the weekly Diabetes Basics class. She also led an effort to improve clinic staff assessment, including point of care blood glucose monitoring, and treatment of hypoglycemia among patients. Dthia is the Program Administrator for the Diabetes Education Accreditation Program (DEAP). In the past year this included a DEAP site visit and a successful reaccreditation in June 2017. She is also an officer of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Dthia presented with a colleague at the Allied Health Conference on Type 2 Diabetes: The Latest in Medications and Lifestyle Management, which was well received.

In addition, Dthia is now the Co-Chair of the Staff Development Advisory Board.


Other nominees for Administrator, Educator, Researcher or Non-Traditional Practice Nurse:

Dalana Bernt
Sara Brayshaw
Cathy Chacon
Deborah Fending
Dthia Kalkwarf
Megan Knecht
Toni Ann Kuper
Katie Lattimore
Darci Martinez
Katie Rosen
Trish Taylor



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