Carretero-Hurt named IUPUC's 2013 Distinguished Alumnus

November 18, 2013

Lauura M. Carretero-Hurt was recognized by Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) on November 14 with its 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award at its annual Circle of Leadership Celebration at Harrison Lake Country Club.

The award recognizes a deserving alumnus who has demonstrated outstanding professional contributions and accomplishments, service to the community, and service to the university.

A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Carretero-Hurt has lived in Columbus since 1978. While raising her sons and working as a consultant for an international advertising company headquartered in Columbus, she earned two associate degrees at IUPUC.

Carretero-Hurt graduated from IUPUC with an Indiana University Associate Degree in General Studies in 1992 and an Indiana University Associate Degree in Nursing Science in 1997. She went on to earn an Indiana University Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 1997. She was previously a medical student at the University of Guadalajara for four years.

She began a distinguished career in healthcare as a registered nurse in the oncology/surgical unit at Columbus Regional Hospital, where she was instrumental in establishing the Healthy Communities of Bartholomew County initiative, including outreach programs for Spanish-speaking populations. For nearly 15 years, Carretero-Hurt directed weekly volunteer services at the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic serving an average of 25 Spanish-speaking patients one day each week. 

In 2000, she became the Columbus Regional Hospital’s first diversity advisor, a position that was established in response to the increasing diversity of the local community. In this role, Carretero-Hurt was responsible for increasing staff awareness, improving service to diverse patients, and expanded employee diversity. She was appointed the hospital’s director of diversity strategy in 2007, then named director of volunteer services and diversity strategy in 2010. In addition to seven full-time employees, she managed more than 225 volunteers while overseeing fundraising, operation of the hospital gift shop, and nonprofit entity compliance.

Most recently, Hurt has served as president of Our Hospice of South Central Indiana, a not-for-profit organization providing comfort and dignity for individuals facing end of life illnesses.

The organization serves a 15-county region in Indiana and has offices in Columbus, Greensburg, and North Vernon.

“Laura brought a wealth of community knowledge to Our Hospice with her various board duties in and around Bartholomew County such as Heritage Fund, Su Casa, and Columbus Regional Hospital Foundation. Laura's expertise in clinical services is an additional asset in her role,” said Tom Dowd, president of the Our Hospice board.

Carretero-Hurt currently serves on the mayor’s advisory committee on strategic city priorities, the Heritage Fund Community Foundation Board and Outreach Committee, the Chancellor’s Diversity Council at IUPUC, and numerous other community boards and committees. She is a past recipient of the William R. Laws Human Rights Award. She was instrumental in the recognition of Columbus Regional Hospital as the 2011 recipient of IUPUC's Excellence in Diversity Award.

The university is currently accepting nominations for the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award, which should be submitted before May 1. To nominate an IUPUC graduate for the award, contact Cindy Felsten at or 812.375.7531.