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American Sentinel University and Colorado Hospital Association Name Sky Ridge Medical Center Hospice Program Developer a Colorado Health Care Star

Award Recognizes Mark Speckman as a Health Care Professional Making a Difference

AURORA, Colo. – Sept. 19, 2018 – American Sentinel University and Colorado Hospital Association named Mark Speckman, Hospice NP, with Sky Ridge Medical Center, as a Colorado Health Care Star Award winner. This award recognizes Speckman as an exceptional health care professional.

Colorado Health Care Stars is a statewide health care professional award recognition program sponsored by American Sentinel University and Colorado Hospital Association. The program was launched in February 2015 to acknowledge industry professionals in Colorado who exceed expectations in the delivery of health care.

Speckman developed a hospice program at Sky Ridge Medical Center in order to improve end of life care at the hospital.  Sky Ridge now has a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains and others to meet physical, intellectual, psycho-emotional, spiritual and other needs to patients with an expected prognosis of a few days. These patients are generally too unstable to move to a dedicated hospice facility.

“As a result of Mark’s efforts we are now able to provide hospice services to patients who would not have been able to receive them previously,” said Dr. Jason Kelly, Chief Medical Officer of Sky Ridge Medical Center. “The program even includes providing support services for family members, including bereavement counseling that may continue for months after the patient’s death. He is an excellent example of a ‘Health Care Star’.”

“Creating not only patient, but also family-centered care for the final stages of life is an example of a health care professional paving the way in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment,” said Michael Rickart, Vice President of Partner Engagement for American Sentinel University. “We’re happy that our partnership with the Colorado Hospital Association allows us to honor his achievements and name him a Colorado Health Star.”

Nominate the Next Colorado Health Care Stars Winner

Nominate an exceptional clinical professional. Complete the nomination submission form.

Twelve winners are selected during the program year, awarded with $100 and entered into a drawing for a full-tuition scholarship for an accredited health care certificate or degree at American Sentinel University.

Learn more about American Sentinel University’s online degree programs at or call 866.922.5690.

About American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University delivers accredited online degree programs in nursing (BSN, MSN, and DNP) and healthcare management (MBA Healthcare, M.S. Information Systems Management, and M.S. Business Intelligence and Analytics). Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), of One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20036. The DNP program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) of 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Ga., 30326. The University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, DEAC, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 234-5100,

In June 2016, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Board of Trustees voted to grant American Sentinel University the status of candidate for accreditation. Institutions seeking accreditation by HLC are required to complete a four-year period of candidacy before being evaluated for full accreditation. To earn and maintain candidacy, American Sentinel must fully meet the Commission’s Eligibility Requirements and Assumed Practices and demonstrate the capacity to meet all the Criteria for Accreditation within the candidacy period.

The MBA Healthcare Project-Based program is not included in the programs covered by the Higher Learning Commission designation of candidate for accreditation.

For required student consumer information, please visit

About Colorado Hospital Association

Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) is the leading voice of Colorado’s hospital and health system community. Representing more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout the state, CHA serves as a trusted, credible and reliable resource on health issues, hospital data and trends for its members, media, policymakers and the general public. Through CHA, Colorado’s hospitals and health systems work together in their shared commitment to improve health and health care in Colorado. Learn more at