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Banner Health earns highest accreditation for participation in groundbreaking employee mental health training program

Northern Colorado Banner hospitals awarded platinum-level H.O.P.E. certification

GREELEY (May 3, 2024) – Banner Health recently completed a 12-month culture-changing employee training program created by United Suicide Survivors International (US for short), an organization focused on empowering voices of lived experience, and supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization. The H.O.P.E. Certification is focused on empowering everyday workers to become champions of organizational change and takes on tough topics related to mental health, addictive behaviors and suicide prevention. Banner was awarded a platinum-level H.O.P.E. Certification during a ceremony on May 1, 2024, and is the first health care organization in the country to be selected for participation and to complete the program. 

The H.O.P.E. Certification, which stands for “Helping Our People Elevate Through Tough Times,” was launched in New York as a pilot program and has since expanded to Colorado with an exclusive and diverse group of organizations in the fields of construction, nonprofit, health care and mental health. Over the last 12 months, participants received strategic and customizable tools to help foster system changes in a step-by-step fashion. The program offered quarterly training and ongoing coaching on how to implement evidence-based best practices developed from research, literature and lived experience.

“What we really looked at when we saw this opportunity was a structured way to save lives,” Victoria Cordova, director of behavioral health services at Banner, said. “At the end of the day, mental illness - just like every other medical condition - has different severity levels and it is just as important to focus on mental health as it is any other medical condition out there.”

According to Mental Health Colorado, the state has a higher rate of both suicide (21.7%) and overdose (17.1%) when compared to most of the country.

“Hospitals do a great job of taking care of patients – that has always been the focus and what we are there for,” Cordova said. “We cannot take care of our patients to the best of our ability if we are not taking care of ourselves to the best of our ability.”

Through the practices learned in this program, Cordova is hoping to see more openness in talking about mental health and ensuring that suicide prevention is widely known and practiced within Banner Health in Northern Colorado. She is also hoping to leverage the framework learned through the H.O.P.E. Certification throughout the entire Banner system which includes hospitals and clinics in Arizona, California, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

“We want to take this to all of Banner. Our experience has been so meaningful and important and we want to make sure Banner employees everywhere get this information. I hope more organizations are inspired to support their employees for workplace wellness because then there is a ripple effect and that would be huge.”

For more information about the H.O.P.E. Certification, visit

Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 33 hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits and patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

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