13 Truths Our People

Dr. Erickson is
our role model

Dr. Mark Erickson

Dr. Erickson is our role model

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Mark Erickson, M.D., pediatric orthopedic surgeon and chairman of orthopedic surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado, was not accustomed to counting calories. He swam growing up, and at 6'1" most of his life, his body needed many calories to stay energized, and so he never thought much about what he ate. "Well, life caught up to me," Dr. Erickson says. "That no longer became the case." Read more.

Caroline Emerson, a mental health counselor at Children's Hospital Colorado, started feeling chest pains at work. Her co-workers quickly took her blood pressure and were astonished to learn it was 197/200. Two days later, her PCP leveled with her. "You're young, smart, and beautiful," he had said. "But you need to lose weight." Read more.

Two years ago, during and after the pregnancy of Nikki Romero's first child, Charleigh, the former Miss Colorado contestant gained significant weight and slid into a deep depression. "I had never been that kind of person before," Romero says, almost in disbelief. "I didn't know how to deal with it. I had always been really happy." Read more.

"I put it off for three years," says Pat Winter, executive assistant and human relations liaison at Children's Hospital Colorado's Foundation, speaking about her hip surgery brought on by arthritis. "I was in denial." Due to her chronic hip pain, Winter refrained from exercise and gained weight. But when her doctor showed her the x-rays and explained what was causing the pain – Winter realized she did indeed need surgery. Read more.

One morning in late 2011, Melinda Bond, customer service representative in Children's Hospital Colorado's lab, was getting dressed when her thumb fell across a lump next to her ribs. "I palpated the area, saying, 'Please hurt, please hurt' because that's generally a sign that it's a cyst or infection," Bond remembers. As feared, on January 18, 2012, Bond received the call that she did, in fact, have Stage I breast cancer. Read more.

"There is no magic pill. I've tried," Morgan Richards, eCommunications manager at Children's Hospital Colorado's Foundation says. "I've spent so much money the last 15, 20 years, trying to lose weight. And it just went down the drain." Since joining the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in November 2012, Richards and long-time friend Rhonda Skallan, director of Property, Planning and Management, have lost a combined 110 pounds. Read more.

In September 2013, four Children's Colorado employees participated in a pilot of the Colorado Diet, a 16-week program at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center derived from the book "The State of Slim"" by Drs. Holly Wyatt and James Hill. Julie Bianco, Natalie Goldstein, Courtney McClellan and Lizzie Costello were chosen from several applicants throughout campus, and embarked on a life-altering journey. See Julie's before and after testimonial below.

Dr. Mark Erickson

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