Chief nurse departing for Pueblo |

Chief nurse departing for Pueblo

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FRISCO ” St. Anthony Summit Medical Center’s lauded chief nurse ” the creator of the hospital mascot ” is departing for Pueblo.

Brook Richardson said the change is “sad for me in some respects,” but she looks forward to the challenge of working in the larger St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.

St. Anthony Summit CEO Paul Chodkowski said Richardson brought a “wonderful mix” of new and experienced nurses to the medical unit and operating room.

“Brook was a creative administrator for our clinical and nursing department. She helped develop several new staffing models that responded to the seasonality of the patient volumes here at St. Anthony’s Summit,” he said.

Among her accomplishments was gaining recognition for the hospital’s emergency department for its high customer satisfaction from HealthStream Research, a national hospital monitor.

Richardson said the sense of camaraderie and team spirit at the hospital has been fantastic.

“Our physician satisfaction score is second highest in the company. Our associate satisfaction has improved significantly over the prior year,” she said in her farewell letter.

She will be moving to a hospital that can accommodate 408 patients, compared with the 24 beds available at the Summit hospital, where she has worked since January of 2006, within a month of its opening.

Richardson, a Canadian national until recently, earned her masters of science in nursing at the University of British Columbia. She’s been a practicing nurse since 1975.

She said she came to Colorado five years ago to be near her daughter Jazzmin, 23, who lives in Boulder. Richardson prefers the United States health-care model to that of Canada.

“Canadians look at an issue and say: ‘Gee, I dunno if I can do this,'” she said, adding that Americans take a more eclectic approach and have a drive to pursue opportunities.

“I never met an American I didn’t like,” she said.

One day, someone noticed a moose chomping on a tree behind the hospital.

Richardson decided to purchase a moose costume to give the hospital a mascot that would appear when introducing initiatives or celebrating accomplishments, she said.

“Paul had the scope of creativity to just go with it,” she said.

She named the mascot Chod-moose-ski, after the CEO.

Chodkowski, who’s donned the costume at least once, said it has been a great morale booster.

Dana Laverdiere, of the hospital’s human resources department, said Richardson was essential in taking the health-care facility from a clinic to a hospital.

“She’ll be missed very much by the staff and physicians,” Laverdiere said.

Chodkowski said recruitment to fill Richardson’s position at the hospital is under way “to attract a great fit for our facility and community.”

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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