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Banner Health names two nurse leaders for Colorado

GREELEY, Colo. (July 1, 2021) – Two veteran nurse leaders will become chief nursing officers to lead the three Banner Health hospitals in northern Colorado.

Julia Gentry is the new chief nursing officer (CNO) for Banner North Colorado Medical Center (NCMC) in Greeley effective June 27. Gentry will have overall accountability for providing leadership, direction and administration of day-to-day operations associated with direct patient care activities and clinical education and development. This includes continuous improvement of nursing services and staff to meet the needs and expectations of patients at the hospital.

Gentry has been with Banner since 2000 and working in nursing leadership roles since 2013. Most recently, she stepped in as interim CNO and interim nursing director for women, infants and pediatrics. Before that, she served in various roles such as inpatient services nursing director for Banner’s three northern Colorado hospitals, and at Banner NCMC she was nursing director of inpatient services, nursing director of critical care services and senior nurse manager of the observation unit. 

Gentry earned bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a bachelor of science degree om nursing from the University of Northern Colorado. She also holds an MBA and a master of science in nursing from Grand Canyon University.

Leslie Cowan has been named to the same position to lead Banner McKee Medical Center in Loveland and Banner Fort Collins Medical Center effective June 27. She served as interim CNO there since March.

Cowan brings 40 years of nursing experience to this role. She has several years of leadership experience including roles within Banner as associate director for inpatient units and as clinical risk program manager. Cowan has worked in many areas of nursing including critical care, emergency, wound care, vascular access and inpatient rehabilitation units. Prior to moving to Colorado, she served as CNO for Henry Community Health in New Castle, Indiana. 

Cowan has bachelor of science in nursing from Ball State University and a master of science in management from Indiana Wesleyan University. 

Gentry and Cowan replace Elaine Storrs, who served as CNO for all three northern Colorado hospitals. Storrs stepped down from that position in March. 

Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 30 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

Banner Fort Collins Medical Center Banner Health North Colorado Medical Center

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