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Southwest Health imaging director recognized for excellence

Wendell Heck, director of medical imaging at Southwest Health System, receives the Colorado Health Care Star Award.

Wendell Heck, director of medical imaging at Southwest Health System, in August received the Colorado Health Care Star Award, presented by the Colorado Hospital Association and American Sentinel University.

American Sentinel University, an accredited online provider of health care degree and certificate program, is helping CHA members recognize employees through awards program.

Heck, who has practiced radiology for 24 years, is licensed in radiography as well as magnetic resonance imaging and Six Sigma training with General Electric. For the past 24 years, he has served in roles ranging from supervisor, manager, MRI applications specialist and director of medical imaging. In the past six years, he has helped Southwest Health System purchase two ultrasound machines, OEC c-arm, DR X-ray for orthopedic specialists, and a new Echo reading station. He also oversaw the upgrade in PAC’s system and MRI upgrade, which led Southwest to become the leader in MRI technology in the Four Corners area.

Heck’s leadership has helped Southwest gain more than 8,000 medical imaging visits in his six years. Heck’s goal is to implement a Women’s Health Center on the Southwest Health System campus through the building project so Montezuma County has access to state-of-the-art equipment in a comfortable environment.

Registered nurse Janet Knisley, director of intensive care, cardiopulmonary and the birthing center at Southwest Memorial Hospital, nominated Heck for the award. “Southwest is extremely lucky to have Wendell and his commitment to excellence,” Knisley said.

Heck was surprised by a CHA representative’s visit to Southwest to present the award. I am blessed to work with a great team!” he said upon receiving the award.

Heck looks forward to more innovations at Southwest, and awaits the arrival of a 3-D tomosysthesis mammography machine, which will improve imaging and allow radiologists to examine tissue in finer detail.

Heck will be featured on the CHA career website, receive a $100 Visa gift card courtesy of American Sentinel University and be entered into a drawing at the end of the year for a full-tuition scholarship toward an accredited health care certificate or degree at the university.

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