Meet Haile Negash, staff nurse at Foothills Hospital.

Haile was recently nominated for Colorado’s 2017 Nightingale Luminary Awards, the state’s highest honor for practicing nurses given annually by the Colorado Nurses Foundation. (Haile is pictured with his wife at this year's awards banquet.)

“Nursing is about listening to the patient," Negash said this week between patient visits.

"Listening is the best tool nurses have. You have to sit and listen to them and create a bridge of trust between you and the patient," he said.

Haile inspired BCH managers to develop a program years ago called 'Sit, Listen and Act' to highlight the importance of sitting with patients, listening carefully to what is on their mind and never assuming that what is on their mind is about being sick and in the hospital.

He once helped a patient with pneumonia who suddenly wanted to leave the hospital before it was safe to do so. By sitting and really listening to the patient, Haile determined she was worried about her cat at home alone. He arranged for a BCH case manager to call the patient’s neighbor and the patient was able to relax and get better knowing that her cat would be cared for.

"Haile is one of our nurses who really embodies the spirit of BCH," said Debbie Delk, Director of Nursing Practice at Boulder Community Health.

"Fifty percent of getting better, I think, is how you've been treated," Negash said, "It's not just the medicine."

Negash said his philosophy is to treat people how he would like to be treated.

"Put yourself in their shoes. That way they get better and go home happy. I get a great sense of satisfaction from helping my patients and really making a difference in their lives,” he said.

Thank you Haile and to all our wonderful nurses at BCH!