The ReConnect Leadership volunteer project supports Centura Healths system-wide efforts to provide patients and families with education and resources to better navigate the hospital experience


  • The ReConnect Leadership Project is considered part of an innovative patient care model at the national forefront of the patient advocacy movement. The project was presented by a team of SAC staff and ReConnect Leaders at Aging in America," the 2010 annual conference of the National Council on Aging and the American Society on Aging in March 2010.
  • The ReConnect Leadership Project centers on four main areas of consumer information: medication self-management, patient-centered records, follow-ups, and knowledge of Red Flags" or warning signs and response management.
  • Patients, along with their connectors, complete their own personal health record which lists all medications, questions for their primary care provider, warning signs to watch for, and other information regarding their medical care.
  • There are currently 20 ReConnect Leaders who visit patients on two SAC units, serving both the telemetry unit (primarily Medicare patients) and the observation unit (all ages, mostly self-pay patients).
  • Patients who received transition coaching compared to patients who received no transition coaching were readmitted 7 percent to 14 percent less often in 14, 30 and 60 day comparisons.
  • The ReConnect Leadership Project was designed to place highly trained, highly skilled lay volunteers (not necessarily bearing a medical background) into the hospital, facilitating communication among patients, families, staff, and physicians as advocates for their next level of care."
  • The program was developed based on a Care Transition Intervention model designed by Dr. Eric Coleman from the University of Colorado. Colemans evidence-based model has been used successfully to reduce hospital readmissions in the Medicare fee-for-service population. In the 2007 SAC pilot program for this same population, the 30-day hospital readmissions were decreased by 50 percent.
  • ReConnect Leaders receive 50 hours of training, in addition to spending at least six hours shadowing hospital chaplains and case managers before their work in the hospital. Their training focuses on: introduction to the health care system, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, end of life care, diversity in health care, communication skills and more.


  • In a 2004 estimate by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the cost for unplanned hospital re-admissions totaled $17.4 billion. The study also found: Almost one out every 5 discharges are readmitted within 30 days. 34 percent of discharges were readmitted within 90 days.
  • Due to a lack of continuity in medical care, many chronically diagnosed patients utilize emergency services.
  • National health care reform places penalties on hospitals for patient same diagnosis readmission at 30 days. Many patients seek emergency room care due to lack of continuity of medical care.


  • The ReConnect Leadership Project is another example of how Centura Health is strengthening our foundation through patient care models that reinforce our pervasive commitment to providing the greatest value and service," said Peter Makowski, CEO of St. Anthony Central Hospital. Our volunteers directly reflect the spirit of our mission with the countless hours they devote to advocate on behalf of patients resulting in smoother transitions back to their communities, and ultimately better self-health management outcomes."
  • Our ReConnect Leaders play a critical role as ambassadors in personalizing the hospital experience for many older patients," said Jane Barnes, government affairs advocate at Centura Health. We are encouraged by the success of the program, especially in the areas of patient advocacy, transition coaching, and communication. Its a win-win for our volunteers who are able to apply skills and knowledge to assist patients; and for our patients who are better able to understand their medical information to independently manage their health needs."


  • Interviews are available upon request with: Jane Barnes, government affairs advocate at Centura Health.

For more information about the Centura Health network of care, visit


About Centura Health
Centura Health is Colorados largest hospital and health care network and we are charting the course for the future of health care. Approximately 14,500 of the health care industrys best and brightest, including more than 6,000 physician partners, deliver advanced care to more than half a million people each year, across 13 hospitals, seven senior living communities, medical clinics, affiliated partner hospitals, Flight For Life Colorado, and home care and hospice services. Our strength lies in our ability to offer a team of connected networks and shared resources to deliver accessible, reliable and cost-effective health care across the state. For information on Centura Health or any of the facilities in our network, please visit