Safe Kids Larimer County

October 21, 2014

The Safe Kids Larimer County coalition is administered out of the UCHealth Community Health Improvement Department in Fort Collins and needs 100 infant car seats and 50 convertible car seats for infants/toddlers whose parents cannot afford to purchase the safety equipment. Safe Kids has partnered with the Evenflo Company for the child passenger safety equipment.

Each car seat comes with education so it is a great benefit to the community as well as the child; 4 classes are offered per month (3 in English, 1 in Spanish). Our community health educators also monitor the best practices of community preventive services which report that distribution programs are effective when conducted in hospitals and clinics and are effective among both affluent and low income populations.


Why Car Seats?

Providing for the health care and wellness needs of a diverse and growing marketplace is important to us and helps us strive for our mission: From health care to health.

Motor vehicle injuries represent the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. (Source: NHTSA, 2008 data). Many of these deaths can be prevented. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the estimate of injury is reduced by 71-82%.

Larimer County was among ten counties with six or more unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities (all seat positions) in 2011.

The safety of Infants and toddlers in our community is up to us. Their parents may be aware of the requirements and benefits of placing their child in a car seat, but they cannot afford to purchase a new, safe child passenger restraint. Providing a car seat along with installation training is based on evidence that when the parents receive this instruction, they are more compliant about using the equipment for their child.

 Why Now?

Our inventory needs to be replenished frequently. The recommended time a car seat is safe to use is generally six years after the date of manufacturer. This is because clasps, release buttons, and clips wear with use. Safe Kids Larimer County does not encourage that parents use a previously used car seat.

Safe Kids Larimer County and the programming of the Community Health Improvement Department at PVH is a victim of its success. Until this year we were able to purchase the car seats with funding from the state of Colorado’s Department of Transportation. Fortunately, in Larimer County, occupant protection rates for 0-4 year-olds is at 100%; for booster seats it is 96.5 percent. As such, the high rate of compliance in our community reduced our position for receiving funding for car seats in 2013-2014.

This doesn’t mean the need is absent from our community… Every child in our community deserves to be safe with a car seat that fits them and is new, free from damage, and installed properly. On average, Safe Kids Larimer County gives $25,000 in car seats to families each year. The need is great and persistent, $11,400 will sustain the program through the end of 2014 when additional support will be necessary to continue to keep our community’s kids safe.

Help us save lives by donating today at

Northern Colorado Community Invited to Free Concert “The Flavor of Folk Music” to be Performed by UCHealth Health and Wellness Orchestra

October 14, 2014

RibbonCutting_ (71 of 94)

The PVH and MCR Foundation is pleased to invite the public to attend a free concert given by the University of Colorado Health’s (UCHealth’s) Health and Wellness Community Orchestra at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 18. The concert will be held in Griffin Concert Hall at the Colorado State University Center for the Arts.

Entitled “The Flavor of Folk Music,” the program will include Vaughan Williams English Folk Song Suite, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnole, and a rare performance of the Malta Suite by Charles Camilleri. Chris Jusell, Concertmaster of the Greeley Philharmonic, will perform Sarasate’s Ziguenerweisen (“Gypsy Airs”). The orchestra is conducted by Leslie Stewart.

Attendees will be admitted free of charge, but donations will be accepted on behalf of the PVH and MCR Foundation in support of Phase 3 of the new UCHealth Cancer Center.

“The orchestra performed in June at the ribbon cutting for the cancer center and we appreciate that they continue to bring attention to the cancer center,” said Senior Director of the PVH and MCR Foundation, Erica Siemers. “Music lovers in our community should not miss the opportunity to see this group of talented musicians perform.”

For more information about the event, please contact

High School Friends Share Legacy of Giving at UCHealth Cancer Center

October 3, 2014

Kevin + Robersons

Kevin Unger, President and CEO of PVH and MCR with Daren and Ronna Roberson at the June 4th Cancer Center Ribbon Cutting

Since its inception, the UCHealth Cancer Center has united the Fort Collins community in support of the much-needed facility. Some of those involved developed new friendships through their activities in support of the cause; others were already friends and found an opportunity to create a shared legacy.   For the Rice and Roberson families, that began with a donation from Hydro-Construction to the PVH and MCR Foundation.

“We are very grateful that both families, and Hydro-Construction came forward to support the healing gardens at the cancer center,” said Gail Cumming, philanthropic giving officer at the PVH and MCR Foundation. “When we learned more about the personal history they share, their gifts became even more meaningful in terms of the journey of friendship they represent.”

Rod Rice and Daren Roberson first became friends when they met at Poudre High School in the 80s. Rod, and his now wife, Jamie, also knew Daren’s father, who was a business teacher at the school. Since high school, more than three decades later, Rod and Daren have maintained a friendship and supported each other in business and in life; in successes and losses.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest losses they have faced together was caused by cancer. Daren and his wife, Ronna Roberson lost Daren’s mother and father to cancer within months of each other; and Ronna’s mother died of lung cancer around the same time. Also touched by cancer through the death of family members, the Rices had already committed to a named space in the healing garden, a natural fit not only for the business, Hydro-Construction, in which Rod is a majority owner, but also to provide “peace and comfort” to patients facing cancer. What happened next underscores how one gift often creates a ripple effect, influencing others.

“Rodney and Daren discussed the new cancer center being built and Rod mentioned the opportunity to donate a section of the cancer center in memory of our parents,” remembers Ronna. “Our parents loved to be outside working in the yard, planting and nurturing their gardens. We liked the idea of an outdoor space with plants and a sitting area to relax.”

And so it came to be that the Robersons and the Rices have named spaces next to each other in the healing gardens. The friends who shared childhood dreams more than 30 years ago now share their desire to help others with their gifts at the UCHealth cancer center.

“Rod and Daren have shared many a fun time since high school,” said Jamie Rice, Rod’s wife. “To have spaces close to each other at the cancer center just felt right!”

Generosity Comes Full Circle

September 10, 2014

The PVH and MCR Foundation has formed a legacy society, the Circle of Caring, to honor those who have made provisions for our local hospitals in their estate plans, such as a will, trust, life insurance policy, retirement plan, or through a life income plan, such as a charitable remainder trust or a charitable lead trust.

Circle of Caring donors leave their imprint on health care at Medical Center of the Rockies and Poudre Valley Hospital through thoughtful, planned gifts from their estate. Their giving ensures that financial resources are available to continue to advance world-class health care for future generations in our community.

“Circle of Caring provides a powerful way for donors to strengthen our community’s resources and ensure that financial resources will be available to sustain the standards we provide the community,” explained Philanthropic Giving Officer at PVH and MCR Foundation, Gail Cumming, CFRE. “A planned gift can be applied to a specific program or project, such as a scholarship program or a wing of the hospital. Unless the specific cause has been identified, we use the gift in an area of most urgent need.”

Circle of Caring Spotlight – The Titus Scholarship for Nurse Leaders

For Richard G. Titus, the kindness and care he received from nurses at PVH and MCR left a long-lasting impression. So much so that he left a bequest totaling more than $520,000 to the PVH and MCR Foundation for employee scholarships. A portion of the gift is held in an endowment to support scholarships in perpetuity. The remainder established the Richard G. Titus Scholarship for Nurse Leaders. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to nursing staff employed at UCHealth in the system’s northern region that are seeking degree bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN). The scholarship fund is directed to honor and assist those engaged in the nursing profession, and to further his lifelong passionate commitment to education.

To date, 12 nurse leader scholarships in the amount of $5,500 and six regular scholarships totaling $4,000 have been awarded. Erin Baer, a registered nurse at Cancer Care and Hematology in Fort Collins is one of the lucky and very deserving recipients. Erin had started an online program through the University of Colorado College of Nursing RN to BSN program. However, due to outstanding school loans she had to put off continuing her education. When she saw the opportunity from the Richard G. Titus Scholarship for the Nurse Leaders Scholarship she hoped the time had come to finish her degree. Her hopes came true, and she will complete her BSN program in May 2015.

Erin Bauer

Just as this nurse sees her dreams becoming reality in her long-term impact on her patients’ well being, patients who receive exceptional levels of care can make a long-term impact on the health care for the next generation. Planned gifts such as the Titus Scholarship allow the PVH and MCR Foundation to continue the circle of caring and provide ongoing support for our hospitals’ most essential resource: our people.

Upcoming PVH and MCR Foundation Events

September 5, 2014

Mark your calendars for our upcoming events and get ready for a fun-filled fall!


*Colorado Moves to End Cancer is now September 14-20.

Congratulations Healthy Hearts for Healthy Families Graduates

August 27, 2014

Among the graduates in northern Colorado that received diplomas this past spring were children and their parents who completed the first series of classes through the Healthy Hearts for Healthy Families program. Their participation and commencement toward better health was made possible by a grant of $154,320 awarded to the PVH and MCR Foundation (given through the name of Poudre Valley Health System Foundation) from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular Health℠ program. The program’s goal is to improve cardiovascular health in local communities by awarding grants to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations with matching goals.

Healthy Hearts seeks to interrupt the patterns of cardiovascular disease in families through increased comprehension of risk factors; heart-healthy lifestyle behaviors; physical activity; and improved clinical measures such as body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Children and their parents attend class together in this intergenerational initiative to reduce risks and improve heart health.

“Educating our children about healthy lifestyles and heart health is essential but ineffective unless we are able to effectively achieve family support and involvement in the process,” according to Gary Luckasen, M.D., medical director of research at the Medical Center of the Rockies and for the Healthy Hearts for Healthy Families program.

HH 1

The project was one of 19 selected out of 500 proposals submitted nationally in 2013. An important requirement was innovation. One of the key innovative components that Healthy Hearts for Healthy Families offers is making the participants agents of change. The curriculum is designed with the knowledge that parents are more motivated to modify behaviors if they know their child is at risk for heart disease. Once the children are screened and families decide to participate the families are given tools to improve their health status.

HH 2

One youth graduate reported that every year she has been taught to eat healthy and exercise, but the Healthy Hearts for Healthy Families program educated her about her own cholesterol and opened her eyes to why she should listen. A parent graduate reported that he has increased his exercise through friendly competitions with his children and he is determined to be heart healthy for his family. Healthy Hearts for Healthy Families is yet another example of a program that facilitates long-lasting positive changes to health and well-being of members of our community.




PVH and MCR Foundation’s Annual Employee Campaign Shows Increase in Gifts

August 19, 2014

we work give here

The PVH and MCR Foundation wrapped up its annual employee giving campaign with a significant increase in employee participation. The campaign, which took place during the month of June, secured 160 new or increased gifts. This will result in donations of $873.00 per pay period in new and increased gifts and $870.00 one-time cash gifts. These totals build on the already robust employee donations from 2013, when 1,487 employees in the region gave to the employee campaign, raising more than $263,118. 

“Employee giving in general has grown significantly in the past decade and become part of our culture,” explained Senior Director of the PVH and MCR Foundation, Erica Siemers. “In the first years of the campaign, we raised less than $100,000 cumulatively; now we give more than double that amount annually.”

During the campaign, employees are asked to make new or increased gifts to the foundation via paid time off (PTO), payroll deduction or one-time gifts. Prizes and weekly drawings are offered to those who participate. Employees who contribute are also recognized publicly for their generosity.  

“The spirit behind their gifts showcases how philanthropy is a really big part of who we are,” explained Anna Smoot, Annual Giving Officer at PVH and MCR Foundation. “For example, this year employees donated 587 PTO hours which has a dramatic impact on the success of our campaign.”

For many employees, knowing that each dollar is matched by 50 cents from the health system influences their decision to contribute. Last year’s donations were matched by $131,559 from the hospitals, resulting in a total employee giving impact of $394,678.

“The match just shows me how personal and caring the system continues to be by giving back to employees and giving them a voice,” said Diane Gustafson, Radiology Support Manager at MCR, who participates in the program. It’s proof that the system reinvests in its employees,”

 There are more than 150 funds supporting the programs, departments, patients, and employees of UCHealth in northern Colorado to which employees can direct their contributions. While the cancer center provided great inspiration for gifts this year, other employee-directed initiatives also receive great support. For instance, the employee assistance fund (EEAF) which provides grants to employees when they need it most, and the employee scholarship program which started a new nursing scholarship this year, are programs that saw a lot of employee interest.

 “I know personally of good workers, good people, who have been discreetly and respectfully helped in a big way by EEAF,” explained Gustafson who gives to the fund. “It’s so us. It’s all about helping each other and if we can’t do that, we’re not doing the right thing.”

While June is focused on the employee campaign as a way to end the fiscal year, employees may sign up for employee giving at any time year round. For more information about employee giving to the PVH and MCR Foundation, employees can go to

Generous Gift Honors Former Physicians

August 6, 2014

Imagine a world where a passion for giving prompts an individual to make the act of giving possible for others. And requires nothing, not even recognition, in return. Recently, a most generous gift in the amount of $25,000 was made to the PVH and MCR Foundation by an anonymous donor through the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado.   Instructions that accompanied the donation asked to honor 13 professionals who have an impact on health care in northern Colorado by allowing them to choose a fund supported by the PVH and MCR Foundation to which a gift in their name would be applied. The people named in the donation were recognized for their service to Poudre Valley Hospital and the care they have provided to Fort Collins residents throughout the years. The remainder of the donation was allocated to the cancer center in memory of certain physicians for their service and care.

Reactions to learning of this unique recognition ranged from being “honored” and “humbled” to physicians saying they were “overwhelmed.” One physician made his $1,000 designation the impetus for making an additional personal gift. And another physician expressed, “A lot of great things have happened to me in my 40 year career, but this has been one of the best.”

Another of the recognized individuals who elected to direct his donation toward the Women and Family Services PVH fund said, “It truly is an honor to have my name mentioned and I know that the other recipients feel the same way. I hope that you can share my sincere thank you to the donor who generously gave this gift in my name. I know that the Foundation will be good stewards of the money donated.”

Mostlies to the MAX !

July 29, 2014


Come out and see ‘The Mostlies’ – Fort Collins’ own musical parody troupe – at the Lincoln Center, on Thursday, July 31 to support the PVH and MCR Foundation’s Patient Navigator Program.

The Mostlies are a local tradition, known for finding ways to turn the hottest trends and topics into song. Their latest show, “Mostlies to the MAX,” will have you laughing about everything from the plastic bag tax to riding the MAX. In this case, laughter really is the best medicine, as the performance raises money for the Patient Navigator Program. A service of UCHealth, the program supports women with demonstrated financial need who are in treatment for cancer, whether undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.  

It’s not too late to make plans for a laughter-filled evening in support of this great cause. Doors open at 6:30 pm for the 7:00 pm show. Tickets are still available and are only $15 ($12 for groups of 10 or more). For ticket information go to or (970) 221-6730. For information about the patient navigator program go to

PVH and MCR Foundation Board of Directors Welcomes New Member – Miki Roth

July 25, 2014

Miki Roth 

The PVH and MCR Foundation is fortunate to have a group of community leaders devoting time and energy to achieving our mission for a healthier community. We are pleased to announce that our leadership roster has recently been expanded with the addition of the newest board member, Miki Roth. The Board of Directors now includes nine members, with Mike Dellenbach of Dellenbach Motors as the chair.

Miki, a realtor with the Group Inc. in Loveland, brings experience in volunteerism and philanthropy to the Board. She is active with many community organizations including the Summit Club of the United Way and the Loveland Archaeological Society. She also serves on the Larimer County Workforce Investment Board and on the Loveland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.   In addition, Miki held the distinction of Realtor of the Year in 2012, and was President of the Loveland/Berthoud Association of Realtors 2012/2013.

“I have always had a strong interest in health care philanthropy and I am looking forward to helping to support the Foundation’s mission in northern Colorado,” said Miki. “I am excited to roll my sleeves up and do what I can to support the organization.”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 622 other followers

%d bloggers like this: