Alumni Spotlight - Stephanie Merritt

Joining the medical field would look quite different than joining the armed services – or so one would think.

Stephanie Merrit Headshot

That is until COVID-19 happened and brought the two worlds closer together. Stephanie Merritt is one phenomenal woman who has served in both worlds with a passion hardly able to replicate. As a military veteran, Stephanie was used to this scenario. Everything must be done with extra precaution, and with one goal in mind – the health and safety of others.

Stephanie had maintained strong roots in Colorado despite moving around the world with her family to serve her country. She has been to Texas, Kentucky and Holland – to name a few. Her husband also has a strong military background and the DNA was passed on to their children.

In the Spring of 2019 there was a different passion settling in her heart. Stephanie decided to enroll in the Aims Community College phlebotomy program. It just made sense to attend Aims because of the location and affordability. And before she knew it, Stephanie was on her way to achieving her goal. She completed the courses studying from February 2019 until May 2019 and then took an internship in June. That was all the preparation she needed to prepare her for the pending future. She was only in her new career field for 9 months after graduation when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world with fierce impact.

Doing her due diligence, Stephanie didn’t even flinch at the news and instinctively works to help others. It had been ingrained in her since she was young. When asked what drives her passion, Stephanie replied with, “It’s just the way my mom raised me. Do unto others as you would have others do to you. And any chance I get to assist somebody, then I will do it if it’s within my powers.” She was taught this from a young age and stewarded her passion very well through the years. She’s even passed down these virtues through her children. When asked about her greatest accomplishment in life, she proudly states it’s her two boys who bring her pride and joy. Also serving in the military, her sons have been raised with “a good head on their shoulders.” But this pandemic hasn’t been easy on them either. In a family where one serves on the front lines during a pandemic, it often means isolation from other friends and family (as we all have experienced). Stephanie said it’s been difficult. She can see her son from 6 feet away, but can’t wrap her arms around him. It’s a tough battle, but it’s worth the fight to save lives.

Stephanie currently works at Banner Fort Collins Medical Center on the Lab Team. She says the respiratory team are truly he front lines workers during this pandemic. They have to be on ready to fight 24/7 and really are the ones who deserve the most credit. However, it takes everyone doing their part to truly make things better from here on.

Every day things change in regards to new legislation or protocols, and it’s learning to adjust and “get used to the new normal until we get back to the normal norm.” She says in the midst of the chaos, there is hope. She says her best advice is, “Stay positive and stay strong. Things will get better. Whether you are in the medical field or a different field, just stay strong, stay positive, and do what you can to help others.” Never before has there been such a timely phrase to say so much with such little words.

Thank you Stephanie and healthcare team for all you are doing! We are so proud to be part of such an amazing community. May we all “stay strong, stay positive, and do what you can to help others” during this time.