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Healing Hearts | Dr. Nelson Trujillo

For almost 30 years, Nelson Trujillo, M.D. has been caring for his patients and strengthening the Boulder Valley community with his charisma, wholistic health philosophy and love for medicine.

In 2022, Dr. Trujillo celebrates his 60th birthday and his 25th Anniversary with Boulder Community Health (BCH).

“I left the University of Colorado, and I came to Boulder - and I’ve been here ever since,” says Dr. Trujillo, who is board certified in cardiovascular medicine, nuclear medicine, and internal medicine. “It’s the only job I’ve ever had.”

The energetic cardiologist - with a love for recess, cooking, and martial arts - now realizes he’s the “senior partner” at the Boulder Heart practice and at Foothills Hospital. Many of the physicians of Dr. Trujillo’s era are now retiring, and he thinks often of the ones who brought him to Boulder – the giants of cardiology, like Jonathan Ward, M.D. and Roy Thompson, M.D.

“When I’m in the Cath Lab or I have a problem that I want to talk to somebody about, I’m like – “Who is the senior person?” he says. “There isn’t anybody. Now, I’m that person. But I’m still having fun. The technology is changing, but it’s incredible to me to see what we’ve built.”

Aging is a humbling process, but Dr. Trujillo has loved his “great ride” and all that he has been able to accomplish. This includes practicing medicine, being part of the BCH medical staff, serving as President of the Medical Society and President of Foothills Hospital’s Medical Staff, and leading BCH’s Walk with a Doc program prior to the pandemic.

His practice is shifting more towards preventative measures and diagnostic procedures (sometime in 2023, he will step away from interventional cardiology procedures), but he has no plans to stop treating patients. Being a healer is what Dr. Trujillo was born to do.

“There are people I take care of, that I see every day, every spot, every location (in Boulder),” says Dr. Trujillo, who still has patients he met and began caring for Day One of his career at Boulder Heart. “But they’re just part of my family.”

To truly understand Dr. Trujillo’s journey as a healer and how he was born to thrive in healthcare, you must know more about how he grew up – rounding on Saturdays at Washington, D.C. hospitals with his dad, Nelson Trujillo Sr. – an esteemed gastroenterologist – and eating JELLO at the nurse’s station. Whether in the hospital or on house calls, Nelson would sit with his dad’s patients, as far back as he can remember.

“From an academic pedigree and technology (standpoint), my dad was at the top of his game,” Dr. Trujillo said. “But that wasn’t what made (Nelson Trujillo, Sr.) great. He was incredible with people, and he came to take care of people as if they were part of his family. He took care of them for life.”

Exploring the social determinants of health and how they can be used to care for people is one of the great lessons that Nelson learned from his dad. Staying in community is the other element engrained in his DNA.

After a 25-year career that is still yielding new opportunities, Dr. Trujillo is incredibly proud of his Boulder Heart family and what they offer Boulder Valley and Colorado residents.

“The dream has gone from a very small community hospital, to really a (heart) program that can compete with any in the country,” Dr. Trujillo says. “Short of a cardiac transplant, there’s absolutely nothing Boulder Heart can’t do that anybody else can do. It’s really kind of special.”

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Trujillo or learn more about Boulder Heart, go to bch.org/heart