Friday, April 25, 2008

Centura's chief medical officer takes new job

Dr. Terry O'Rourke, chief medical officer for Centura Health and formerly a general surgeon in Colorado Springs for 28 years, has accepted a new job.

He will leave Denver-based Centura and on June 2 become executive vice president and chief medical officer at Trinity Health, based in Novi, Mich. Trinity Health is the fourth largest Catholic health care system in the nation with 44,000 employees.

O'Rourke practiced as a general surgeon primarily at Penrose Hospital, which is managed by Centura, a joint Catholic/Adventist venture. As the system-wide CMO for the past three years, O'Rourke improved quality measures and safety at hospitals in the system, founded the Physician Leadership Academy and the Clinical Leadership Council and served as the clinical leader for the organization's new electronic medical and financial records system.

An interim CMO will be named, and a search for a new CMO will begin soon, Centura officials said.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

20 Mbps Internet now available in the Springs

Starting Thursday, some Qwest Communications customers in Colorado Springs now have access to the fastest Internet service available in the state.

The new plans offer a top speed of 20 megabits per second (Mbps) for $104.99 a month (with a phone plan bundle) or 12 Mbps speeds for $51.99 a month. Qwest said it is delivering the ultra-fast services to its 23 top markets, including Colorado Springs.

Travis Leo, Qwest’s director of high speed Internet services, said if customers can get Qwest’s 7 Mbps service now, they should also be able to get the new, faster speeds.

“Colorado Springs has one of the highest availabilities in any market,” Leo said. “Upgrading the network down there has proven to be very, very efficient.”

Qwest’s basic DSL service offers 1.5 Mbps for $34.99 a month and 7 Mbps for $41.99 (all of Qwest’s plans are $5 a month cheaper when combined with phone service.

Earlier this month, Comcast announced its own super-fast connections for heavy Internet users, offering 50 megabits per second for $149.99 a month, but that service is so far available only in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Comcast’s current high-speed Internet plans deliver between 4 and 8 Mbps in Colorado Springs, for $52.95 to $62.95 (less when bundled with voice and video services) and Comcast offers a speed boost to 12 Mbps during especially heavy usage. Comcast spokeswoman Cindy Parsons said the 50 Mbps service would be available in 20 percent of its markets by the end of the year, but couldn’t say if Colorado Springs would be one of them.

Comcast has announced that it’s working toward delivering speeds as high as 100 or 150 Mbps, although those aren’t yet available. Likewise, Leo said that Qwest’s 20 Mbps service is just a stepping stone en route to faster speeds.

“There certainly is lots of headroom from a future technology standpoint,” he said. “We’re not going to stand around and think that 20 is sufficient.”

Faster speeds are gaining popularity hand in hand with the growth of video streaming and online gaming, Leo said. Also, many homes now have several computers hooked up to a single Internet connection, placing greater demands on the amount of bandwidth available, he said

.“We’re seeing customers sign up for higher speeds at faster rates than we thought,” Leo said.

The faster speeds are made possible by installing fiber optic cable into more neighborhoods, meaning that only the last few hundred or thousand feet of connection is on slower copper cables. Qwest is spending $300 million to upgrade its network nationwide.

On a 20 Mbps connection, Qwest says a 2-hour movie can be downloaded in six minutes, or 20 songs could be downloaded in one minute.

Learn how to do business with government

A one-day, free workshop, "Doing Business with the Government," will take place from 8:30 2:45 p.m. Friday, April 25, at the University Center Theatre Room 302 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. The event, open to students, faculty members and business people, will explore government sponsored research at universities, intellectual property matters, forming a team to seek government funded proposals, contracts, and other issues related to contracting with government. The workshop is being held in conjunction with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) and hosted by EPIIC (El Pomar Institute for Innovation and Commercialization, formerly known as CITTI). More information:, 262-3631 or

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Administrative professionals' group gives awards

Three local women were honored April 23 during the annual Administrative Professionals' Day luncheon hosted by the Pikes Peak Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

Linda Iverson of Farm Credit of Southern Colorado was named 2008 Administrative Professional of the Year. Iverson has worked at the company 21 years and has held various administrative positions in human resources, information technology and daily operations.

B.J. Scott, president and chief executive officer of Peak Vista Community Health Centers, received the Executive of the Year award. In nominating Scott, Dayna Dorobiala wrote that Scott's major strength is "her ability to motivate others to perform at their best, whether solving problems, addressing community concerns, securing relationships or expanding and building health care centers. B.J. sets the bar in ethics, respect for others and trust in leadership."

The Member of the Year is Rhonda Lavoie, who chairs the local chapter's community service program and is credited with a "can-do attitude, a wonderful sense of humor and personal drive to achieve perfection."

The chapter also awarded a $750 scholarship to Crystal Moreno, a receptionist for Honeywell and part-time student at Pikes Peak Community College. The scholarship was funded by corporate sponsors of the annual luncheon.

There are 4.2 million administrative professionals in the nation, according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals. April 20-26 is recognized as Administrative Professionals Week, and April 23 as Administrative Professionals Day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Peak Vista expands with new Family Health Center

Peak Vista Community Health Centers recently hosted an open house for its newest Family Health Center at 225 S. Union Blvd.

The 34,000-square-foot building has been renovated from a former school into a medical facility with 48 exam rooms, a pharmacy, lab, well-child waiting area, registration center and a health education area.

Peak Vista also expanded hours at its Harrison School District 2 Entrada Health Center a few months ago and last summer opened a Family Health Center at the Myron Stratton Home.

The nonprofit organization established in 1971 operates 12 health centers in El Paso and Teller counties, offering primary medical, dental and behavioral health services to 53,000 low-income residents a year. The organization has immediate openings for employment at several of its locations.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Seminar focuses on learning and its impact on the bottom line

Strategically focused and well-executed learning can impact workplace productivity and profitability, believes David Vance, who will present a day-long seminar in Colorado Springs on "Manage Learning Like a Business."

Hosted by the American Society for Training and Development, the seminar will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 13 at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, 324 Beckers Lane, in Manitou Springs.

Vance, founder and former president of Caterpillar University and 2006 Chief Learning Officer of the Year, holds a doctorate in economics, a master's degree in business and a bachelor's degree in political science.

The seminar will teach participants how to strategically align learning to business goals, create a business plan for learning with measurable goals, executive the plan, predict and measure results and establish a governance structure.

The registration fee is $99 for members and $139 for non-members before April 25, $109 for members and $149 for non-members after April 25. To register, go to, or call 380-1088.