Posted: April 21, 2023
Bella Vita resident and Air Force veteran, Robert Plick has dealt with cancer, COVID-19, and more, with unfailing positivity and resolve to keep going—proving he’s just as invincible as he thought he was as a young man. The staff at the University of Colorado Anschutz concurs. Dubbed “Mr. Invincible” by his coworkers, this upbeat 66-year-old has amazed everyone with his spirit and courage in overcoming multiple bouts of cancer and other challenges.
Robert Plick was born February 26, 1957—coincidentally his father’s twenty-fifth birthday—in Ingelheim, Germany. Robert’s father, also named Robert Plick, was stationed there as a soldier in the U.S. Army. He also did tours in Korea and Vietnam. Robert lost his father during the COVID-19 pandemic, but his father’s values prioritizing faith, family, and service run deep. The senior Robert Plick had a significant impact on his son, who follows his father’s philosophy to this day: Always put others before yourself.
Robert and his parents made up a family of three who went on to live in Washington State, Oregon, and Utah before ultimately settling in Colorado. Robert graduated from high school in Colorado Springs and from Widefield College at the University of Colorado–Boulder.
After a brief military career in the U.S. Air Force, Robert took a position as a manager at Wendy’s in Denver. That’s when he met his future wife, Leatra.
Robert left Wendy’s to begin his medical career at MA EKG Tech and Phlebotomist. His career path included turns at National Jewish, Health One Medical Center of Aurora, Quest Diagnostics, and UCHealth, where he still works as a cardiovascular tech and educator.
Robert obtained a master’s degree in medical education, and he continues to teach medical students at the associate- and bachelor-degree levels. His work at UCHealth also includes helping seniors navigate the complicated processes of the healthcare system.
Robert and his wife of nearly 35 years—they will celebrate their anniversary later this year on December 7—have a daughter, Shonta, and a pup named Pepper. They also have a granddaughter named Deja. Residents of Bella Vita for the past seven years, Robert enjoys a short commute of just 3.5 miles to Anschutz. Leatra works at J Crew in Cherry Creek.
As a survivor, Robert credits his “invincibility” to his Lord and Savior, saying that God gets all the glory. His coworkers also speak of Robert’s positivity and how powerful that has been both in his work with patients as well as in his ability to continue working through his own health problems. He never missed a day of work, despite grueling chemotherapy treatments. “Work is what got me through,” says Robert. “If my dad could get through Vietnam and take care of his soldiers, I felt I could continue to take care of my patients.” Hospital management and his department recognized him for his perseverance and his spotless attendance record.
Robert’s faith is an essential part of who he is. He serves as an associate minister at the Northeast Church of Christ with his family, including his son-in-law Monroe Trotman, who is also a minister with the congregation. Robert is committed to helping people find a church community and a life with Jesus.
Nearing retirement from an active medical career, Robert is starting a new role with UCHealth. He is currently completing training and certifications as a healthcare navigator/older adult research specialist, positions that are sponsored and paid for by UCHealth. “These new positions are designed to help seniors navigate the complex medical system with services and benefits that are free and of low cost,” Robert explains. “I will be working directly from home at Bella Vita to help seniors and veterans get the most out of their hard-earned benefits and live a better quality of life.”
When he is not caring for others, this sports lover is an avid Broncos fan who never misses a game. He also enjoys hiking, swimming, hockey, basketball, baseball, and music—especially jazz and acapella.
“I’m here because God has a purpose for me to help others who don’t have anybody,” says Robert. “I hope my story and message help a lot of people—especially seniors, veterans, and cancer and heart patients—find hope and encouragement.”