Hutches Advances Career to Sonographer at SLV Health

Jenna Hutches is all smiles as SLV Health's newest sonographer.

This is part of SLV Health’s “Grow Your Own” Series, Featuring Jenna Hutches

San Luis Valley Health Registered Cardiac Sonographer Jenna Hutches changed career paths recently and is enjoying her accomplishments.

Born and raised in Indiana, she initially wanted to be a physical therapist or athletic trainer. She attended Adams State in Alamosa and earned her degree in Exercise Science in 2014. She was hired by SLV Health in October 2015 as an Exercise Physiologist in the Cardiopulmonary Department.

“I love working with people,” she said. “I also enjoy the people I meet in my field, and I love working in a small hospital in a rural community.”

After working with SLV Health for almost five years, she realized she wanted to go back to school. “I wasn’t sure what field I wanted to pursue,” she said. “Then this program (for medical sonography) was brought to my attention.”

Tom Scrivana, Director of Cardiopulmonary Services, saw Hutches’ potential right away for the position. “Over a three-year period, the position was mostly filled by temporary travelers. The position was hard to fill, and we decided to train Jenna for it.”

“I shadowed the echo tech at SLV Health and decided I really wanted to learn how to do it,” Hutches added. “I received educational assistance from SLV Health, and my husband and I decided it was a good career move, so we went for it.”

She went to Washburn University, passing her registry in May and graduating in July 2020 as a diagnostic medical sonographer. After having a baby in July, she recently returned to work at SLV Health in September.

“It was a tough program, so coming out on the other end with my registry feels really good,” Hutches explained. “I also was pregnant for most of the program, so to graduate and have a baby in the same month was amazing. I entered into two new careers in July 2020, motherhood and sonography! I also really have been enjoying the new career. It is a change from my previous position, and it fits me better.”

“She is someone who always puts her all into everything she does,” Scrivana said. “I truly believe that if you already have great people working for you, then you should do what you can to help those people continue to grow within the organization. Jenna was great in her previous role, and I know she will continue to do great things within her new role as well.”

She is now employed as a registered cardiac sonographer at SLV Health Regional Medical Center and is thankful for the support she received along the way. “I’d like to thank my husband for supporting me through the program, cheering me on, and encouraging me throughout the program,” Hutches said. “Also, I am grateful for my director, Tom Scrivana, for pointing me in the direction of the program and encouraging me to pursue this career, as well as SLV Health, who helped with the education assistance. I also appreciated the guidance from Colette Lundin, who was the traveler at SLV Health that trained me during my clinical hours. A special thank you also goes to my coworkers for helping me reach the finish line by continuously encouraging me, and to my friends and family for their support to help me reach this goal.”

For those considering continuing their education, Hutches offers a few words of advice. “I will always tell people to do it!” she said. “You can either be where you are a year from now, or be finished with school and starting a new career a year from now.”