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Former Valley-Wide Nurse Inducted Into the 2019 SLV Medical Wall of Fame

Born in 1955 in Alamosa, Colorado, Connie Jean Buhr Poole grew up in Mesita, Colorado and graduated from Centauri High School. After attending Adams State College for a year, she received her nursing degree at Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado in August of 1977, and started her nursing career in the fall of that year after marrying her husband, Tom Poole. She remained in Alamosa for her entire nursing career.

Her first job was working as a med/surg nurse at the Alamosa Hospital. She worked under Mrs. Lee and Hospital Administrator Eldon Reece. After the birth of her first child, she worked nights and weekends in the Emergency Room, often being the only LPN on staff at the time. She remembers when emergencies arose, she would call the doctor on call, as well as X-ray, the laboratory or a nurse from the floor if necessary.

Connie Jean Buhr Pool, L.P.N.

While working part-time in the Emergency Room, she started working at Valley-Wide Health Systems part time as well, and after the birth of her second child, started working at Valley-Wide full time under Shirley Kolkman. At Valley-Wide, she was the primary nurse for a number of doctors, including Don Jacobs, John and Carolyn Shepherd, Kris Steinburg, Charlene Abernathy, Linda Faye, Shannon McLaughlin, and Elizabeth Kinney.

Following the birth of her third child, she worked as the health Coordinator at Alamosa Head Start for a school year. While there, she raised funds to award a scholarship to a graduating senior pursing a medical career who had themselves been a Head Start student. She also spent a year working as the school nurse at Ortega Middle School and Alamosa High School.

At the end of the school year, she was asked by Valley-Wide Health Systems to be a clinic manager for the San Luis Health Center, Moffat Health Center, Guadalupe Health Center and later the Sierra Blanca Medical Center. She closed out her career as a medical professional by working as a prescription refill nurse.

Ms. Poole retired in 2011 after 34 years of nursing. She continues to give actively back to others in the San Luis Valley community. She is very involved with her church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Alamosa. She enjoys making and giving homemade blankets and quilts to children in the hospital. She has been married for 40-plus years to her husband, Tom, and has three children, Nathan, Sarah and Amiee, and five grandchildren.