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Nurse assistant wins state award for work at Cortez’s Vista Grande

Vista Grande Inn employee named ‘CNA of the Year’
Joshua John holds his “CNA of the Year” award from the Colorado Health Care Association.

Joshua John, a nursing assistant at the Cortez assisted living home Vista Grande Inn, has been named “CNA of the Year” for his district by the Colorado Health Care Association.

The award is given to one certified nurse assistant per district once a year. John was nominated this year for District 6, which includes hospitals and assisted living facilities in Dolores, San Juan, Archuleta, La Plata and Montezuma counties. He has worked for Vista Grande for about three years, and is training to become a nurse practitioner.

“I love what I do,” he said. “I like coming to work every day. I like interacting with the residents, talking to them and making them laugh.”

He said he has always wanted to go into the medical field. Originally from Utah, he said he has spent his career in Montezuma County while completing a nursing course at Pueblo Community College. He hopes to an anesthesiologist or open his own rural health clinic.

In addition to his job at Vista Grande, John said he also volunteers at his church in a program that helps high-risk children, and at the Piñon Project as a youth mentor.

“I think this is something we need to do to better our community,” he said.

The assisted living center’s administrator, Paula Mitchell, said Vista Grande’s supervisors have received similar awards in the past, but she wasn’t sure if one of their CNAs had. She said she believed John deserved the honor.

“He is an amazing caregiver and man,” she said in an email.

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