First Lady Michelle Obama recently visited the Medical Center of Aurora to express the nation’s gratitude for care given to victims of the July 20th shooting in Colorado. Associate Chief Operating Officer, Roberta Barton-Joe, was the Administrator on Call the night of the shooting and wrote the following description the next day. It truly reflects her spirit of caring and praise for her team members. Here are her words:

“Shortly after I was notified of the mass casualty event as the facility Administrator on Call, I arrived at the Emergency Department and was escorted into the back patient care area. Immediately, I became aware of the seriousness of the situation that lay before us.

What I saw before me was not chaos; however, it was indescribable. Throughout the department, I witnessed patients in both rooms and in the hallway, being cared for with the utmost urgency and respect by all of our caregivers. We were no longer defined by the units that we claimed as home, but rather by the passion and compassion for human life. WE WERE CAREGIVERS.       

I watched in silence as Mark Mayes and Dr. Frank Lansville directed their teams… all caregivers sprung into action without asking for permission – it was instinctive. Our operating teams, under the leadership of Dianne Currier and Dr. Denton, responded with a burning sense of responsibility to address the issues of our patients. We were supported by nurses from across our system and for that we are grateful. All told, 18 patients were treated at The Medical Center of Aurora.” – Roberta Barton-Joe


 You can read more about Mrs. Obama’s visit in The Denver Post or watch a video report by The Los Angeles Times.