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Leanne Ganes finds herself constantly wanting to care for other people. “I’ve always had a compassionate and nurturing nature,” she said. “When I went into nursing, I did not think I would like emergency medicine as much as I do now.” After attending nursing school at Gordon State College in Barnsville, Georgia, she started her medical career as an emergency department  tech in Atlanta.

She worked there for about a year, building up her nursing skills before taking a position as a Registered Nurse at UCHealth Memorial Hospital North. Now a 12-year veteran of the emergency department, for the past three she has served full-time as charge nurse for the hospital’s 26-bed Level III Trauma Center.

“I kind of fell in love with the energy of the emergency department,” Ganes said. “There is always something new — you never know what’s going to come in that door, and each night is completely different.”

Ganes is also on the hospital’s stroke committee, where she helps to maintain UCHealth’s accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center. And as charge nurse, a big part of her job is creating safe spaces for staff to voice frustrations, as well as discuss opportunities for training and development. Those duties also include creating an environment where patients and their families can openly discuss their concerns.

Ganes is a bit of a gym rat and likes to stay in shape with an intensive weightlifting regimen at her gym, D1 Training. “They have a great strength-building program there. … We do a 12-week cycle and then we do our testing. I have made crazy amounts of progress there — it’s a very supportive, encouraging environment,” Ganes said. She’s also an ambassador for D1, where she works to inspire the next generation of athletes to pursue their goals.

One of the things Ganes loves most about Colorado Springs is that “everyone seems like a big family, in whatever little group I’m a part of.”

When she’s not working the night shift that she’s been on for the last 12 years, Ganes also likes to hike, paddleboard, camp, and go rock climbing or rappelling, often with her 11-year-old daughter. “She is a little adventure-seeker … and also a little actress,” Ganes said. “She is part of a different play every year through the Academy of Children’s Theatre.”

Professionally, Ganes is most excited about watching her department continue to thrive and grow. “[Memorial North] was a fairly new hospital when I started, and it has grown tremendously and we have accomplished so much,” Ganes said. On a personal level, she’s also looking forward to her daughter developing as an actress and an athlete. “It’s exciting to watch my daughter grow up — she’ll be a teenager soon,” Ganes said. “That will be an adventure!”