Meet Our Leaders

Christina Salas | Chief Executive Officer

Christina possesses more than twenty-four years of healthcare experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Adams State College in Alamosa, CO, and a master’s degree in social work from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Christina is passionate about providing quality care to the patients of Northern Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.

She is a member of the National Stroke Association and Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (NCLA). She also is involved with Professionals for Seniors and Northern Colorado Health Care Summit.

Christina enjoys golfing, riding bikes, and taking care of her flower gardens. She loves traveling with and entertaining all her friends and family.

Dr. Gary Pearson | Medical Director

With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Pearson is dedicated to delivering comprehensive medical care to our hospitalized patients.

Dr. Pearson is board certified in family medicine. He completed a residency and internship in family medicine at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colo. He earned his medical degree from The Ohio State College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio, and earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of California, Davis in Davis, Calif. Dr. Pearson is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Pearson is fluent in Spanish and is actively involved in medical missions to Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua.

When not working, he can be found enjoying time with his wife and five children. He also enjoys road biking, fly fishing, playing tennis, and reading.

Jess Apostle, RN, BSN | Chief Nursing Officer

Having twenty-one years of experience in nursing, most of which are in critical care, Jess was a natural fit for leading both Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital and Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital.  Her leadership skills as a Charge Nurse and House Supervisor will help her transition seamlessly to this role supporting the entire nursing team.

Jess graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Nursing.  From this point forward, Jess has developed a passion for healthy communication and strong teamwork within the entire healthcare team.  Her belief is this is the foundation to providing the highest quality patient care with the most patient satisfaction.

When Jess isn’t working with her team, she enjoys hiking and visiting her family in the Midwest with her two children ages 7 and 10 years old.

Alissa Gould MS, CCC-SLP | Director of Therapy Operations

Alissa comes to the director of therapy operations role with over ten years of experience at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital as a speech-language pathologist. Originally from Iowa, she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern Iowa. Alissa continued her education earning a Master of Science from the University of Central Missouri and a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association in 2012. Her passion for the neuro patient population including stroke and brain injury continued to lead her to certifications for Neuro Muscular Electrical Stimulation/VitalStim and Myofascial Release.

In the last ten years at NCRH, Alissa has been known as a passionate patient advocate by instilling patient-centeredness and individualization in each of her patients. Her innate pride in improving patient independence and returning to the community with dignity is what drives her continued care for all of her patients, their families, and her team. Her leadership and effective communication among a large interdisciplinary team will help her move seamlessly into her new role as director of therapy operations.

When Alissa isn’t caring for patients, she loves spending time with her husband, Jeff, and two children (three & four years old), traveling back to Iowa, camping, and enjoying the outdoors. In her spare time from family and the hospital, Alissa does bookkeeping for her husband’s lawn and landscaping business. Alissa’s passion for hard work and providing the highest quality care are qualities she plans to instill in her therapy team.

Jen Newman, OTD, OTR/L | Director of Patient Outcomes/Case Management

Jen brings over 15 years of experience as a compassionate occupational therapist in many facets of healthcare. She has been a successful therapist inmany levels of care from skilled nursing to intensive care. Her passion for assisting patients both in and outside of the hospital achieve their highest level of functionality is unsurpassed. This translates into her current leadership role.

Jen is a nationally certified lymphedema therapist and has her doctorate in occupational therapy. She has shared her compassion and knowledge as an educator in occupational therapy at different universities.

When Jen is not working with her patients, she adores spending time with her husband, two children, and their dog. She loves to do all things Colorado, like hiking, biking, skiing, and traveling.

Daniel O’Connell | Director of Pharmacy Operations

Daniel knows the importance of good pharmaceutical management to aid in a patient’s recovery. He thrives in the environment which involves much efficient multi-tasking and extreme quality control.

Daniel earned a doctor of pharmacy degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM.

He is a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). When he’s not working, Daniel enjoys traveling, camping, and biking with his family. He is a winter sports enthusiast and avid reader and moviegoer.

Kerry D. MacFarlane, MSN, NHA, RN, CCVRN | Market Director of Compliance

Kerry began her nursing career 20 years ago as a unit clerk during the summer at her local hospital, while she was off from teaching kindergarten. She quickly realized after the birth of her daughter and some major medical issues, that becoming a nurse was going to be her next career move. Kerry became an ICU nurse early on and began specializing in cardiac issues. She decided to go for her certification in cardiac and worked in different areas, including CICU, cath lab, step down, and telemetry.

Kerry received her BSN and MSN in nursing education and has also obtained her Nursing Home Administrator licenses in both Colorado and Florida. She is passionate about the nursing community and has sat on several committees and boards. Quality and infection prevention has always been a passion, and coming into this position feels like coming home. Kerry has taught many nursing classes and has a genuine calling to foster the next generation of healthcare providers.

Kerry stays busy outside of work with her husband and their blended family of seven adult children, three daughter-in-loves, and soon-to-be seven grandchildren. “Life is all about the moments that create the memories.”

Arba Boci, MSN-MHA, BSN, RN | Director of Marketing & Business Development

Arba has worked in healthcare for over 15 years. Her vast experience includes many different perspectives from being a bedside nurse, front desk, admissions, and a CNA. Most recently, Arba worked as a clinical liaison assisting patients in accessing our care. This experience and innate leadership translate into a seamless transition in her newest role here.

Arba is passionate about providing quality care to the patients of Northern Colorado. Her passion drove her pursuit of higher education, receiving her Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Masters of Nursing and Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Arba loves spending time with family and friends while she’s not at the hospital. Her family includes her two dogs. Aside from her family, Arba enjoys hiking, traveling, and reading on her days off.

Devan Siefford | Director of Facilities Management

Devan has over 25 years of construction and maintenance experience. He started his career in Baton Rouge Louisiana, working for his uncle’s construction business. He then moved back to Colorado in 2002 and continued his career in construction and taking advantage of leadership learning opportunities. Devan has now worked in facilities health care for 8 years. Devan has a passion for working in health care, serving patients, and the surrounding community.

Devan continues to strive for excellence by participating in Emergency Manager Basic Academy with FEMA becoming a member of the Colorado Emergency Management Association and providing emergency management support for Ernest Health.

Devan lives in Lyons Co. He loves local music festivals and spending time in the beautiful mountains with his family.

Sam Flood | Human Resources Manager

Sam’s journey in with Ernest Health started in 2011, and she’s had the privilege of wearing multiple hats along the way. She has previously held positions in the nursing department and nursing administrative support, each of which contributed to her understanding of the healthcare HR landscape. She’s spent the last 8 years in Human Resources at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital and Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital, and her career progression has taken her from the position of HR Assistant to HR Coordinator to her current position as HR Manager.

Sam’s career has been guided by a profound passion for healthcare, and she believes our company’s most valuable asset is its people. Her commitment is to ensure our hospitals are a place where healthcare professionals can thrive, leading to improved patient outcomes and a positive impact on our community.

Outside of work, Sam finds inspiration and balance in nature and seeks out the beauty of the outdoors through hiking, gravel biking, and backpacking.

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The terms "Ernest Health," the "Company," “we,” “us,” or “our” as used in this website refer to Ernest Health and its affiliates, unless otherwise stated or indicated by context. The term “hospitals” or "facilities" refers to entities owned or operated by subsidiaries or affiliates of Ernest Health. References herein to "Ernest Health" or to "our employees" refer to employees of affiliates of Ernest Health.