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.”

Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants Lends Support to PVH and MCR Foundation Golf Classic as Title Sponsor

July 10, 2014

The PVH and MCR Foundation, which philanthropically supports and promotes University of Colorado Health programs in northern Colorado, is pleased to recognize Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants (AMIC) as the title sponsor of its 2nd Annual Golf Classic which will be held on August 4 at Ptarmigan Country Club.  AMIC donated $20,000 to the tournament which will raise money for the Innovative Research Fund, used by the University of Colorado Health research department to conduct studies that will ultimately enhance patient care and health services in northern Colorado. 

“The support of AMIC extends beyond the Golf Classic, including their funding of UCHealth employee scholarships in the area of radiation for many years,” said Erica Siemers, senior director of the PVH and MCR Foundation.  “We appreciate their decades-long partnership as well as their role in making this event possible.”

The PVH and MCR Foundation hosts two fundraising events each year in support of its affiliated hospitals and initiatives—the Spring Benefit and the Golf Classic.  The Golf Classic at Ptarmigan Country Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature course, will be structured with a morning and afternoon shotgun start, and includes lunch and various prizes for participants.

 Last year’s Golf Classic raised $55,000 for the Innovative Research fund, which is housed at the Medical Center of the Rockies and supports the research department in pioneering clinical research and educational programs.  Patient efforts include a retrospective data analysis of current treatment for heart attacks.  Community initiatives consist of a study to explore the health efforts of putting fourth graders on a muffin and smoothie diet that includes a higher intake of beans and rice bran powder.  In response to the alarming increase of bike accidents, a study will also be published to support a community education program on street safety for bicyclists and motorists alike.

“AMIC believes strongly in our commitment as a Mission Sponsor of the Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies Foundation,” said Chris M. Fleener, M.D., President, Advanced Medical Imaging Consultants.  “It is our honor to be affiliated with a foundation continually working to make our community what it is by supporting PVH, MCR and their affiliated clinics.  We are proud of our long term support of the foundation and participating in its commitment to the creation and sustainability of healthy communities to live, work and play in.”

Those interested in playing in the Golf Classic, or becoming a sponsor may visit the PVH and MCR Foundation website at or contact the foundation office at 970.237.7400.  Individuals may register to play for $175, sponsorships begin at $1,000.

2014 Impact Employee Campaign Series: Leading by Example (Part 5 of 5)

June 30, 2014

we work give here

At UCHealth North generosity is home grown, which is why we feature Kevin Unger, PVH and MCR President & CEO in our final spotlight. Below, Kevin (far right) is pictured with his wife, Stacy and parents at the Ribbon Cutting for the new Cancer Center this month.

Colorado Wedding and Event Photography

  1. Why do you give to the PVH and MCR Foundation?

It’s always been important to my family to contribute to our community.  It is a priority to me and to us to help ensure that support is there when it’s needed.  I like to be a part of making a difference when I can.

  1. Do you earmark your donations for a specific campaign, and if so, why?

I’ve given to many projects and funds over the years.  It’s been fun to see the successes of each different campaign.  Right now, we are all still celebrating the great success of completing phase 2 of the cancer center and working hard to ensure we raise the rest of the funds needed for phase 3.  I and my family have contributed to the cancer center and it’s been great to be a part of a community that really stepped up to get a project going.  Employees have been a big part of the success so far, too, giving enough to name the Main Street area of the cancer center in honor of employee generosity.  Right now, finishing the cancer center’s phase 3 is a cause I’m excited to be a part of.

  1. How much does the matching program influence your decision to contribute?

The match started years ago as a way to ensure employees that their giving was important to the system.  I still feel it’s a great way to give employee contributions a boost, and is definitely an incentive to give.

  1. What do you think people don’t know about the PVH and MCR Foundation that you wished they did?

The foundation does a lot more than just raise money for a couple of projects; there are more than 150 funds that support programs all over our north region.  It’s important to me that our employees know that our foundation is there for them just as it is there for our patients and our facilities.  Our community values philanthropy and many of the great resources, spaces and programs around us are reliant on the generosity of our community.  The PVH and MCR Foundation is our resource here in the north region of UCHealth using donated dollars well to enhance the programs and facilities right here that benefit our patients and staff.

2014 Impact Employee Campaign Series: Giving is “So Us” (Part 4 of 5)

June 23, 2014

we work give here

We’re proud to call Diane Gustafson, Radiology Support Manager at MCR, part of our UCHealth family. Check out why she gives, and what it means to her, below.

Diane Gustafson

  1. Why do you give to the PVH and MCR Foundation?

I love knowing that when I make a donation here, it stays here.  It benefits patients I work with, and employees I know.  I like that I can see the benefits directly.

  1. Do you earmark your donations for a specific campaign, and if so, why?

I give to the Employee Emergency Assistance Fund. I always remember the old adage ‘do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.’ I feel like that absolutely applies to giving in support of employees who need help. The EEAF is easy to access and I know personally of good workers, good people who have been discretely and respectfully helped in a big way by the EEAF. 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.  You never know, it could be you, it could be me.  It’s so painless. It’s just the right thing to do.

  1. How much does the matching program influence your decision to contribute?

The match just shows me how personal and caring the system still is by giving back to employees and giving them a voice. It’s proof that the system reinvests in its employees.

  1. What do you think people don’t know about the PVH and MCR Foundation, that you wished they did?

I give here rather than to outside agencies because with the foundation, there’s no overhead. I know that they’re a part of our system and that the money I give goes to the programs, patients, and employees who need it. I also wish people were fully aware of how easy it is to give, how great you can feel when you do, and how much it really matters.

I remember a time when I was helping with a PTO drive raising funds for the Memorial Garden at MCR. A coworker of mine, a wonderful woman, came up to the table to learn about what we were doing but initially didn’t give because she was off to a vacation and needed all of her hours to be able to go see her family. Later that day, she came by again excited to give, even if just a little, because she knew it would be such a help.  That employee was Carol Gilbert.  The evening after she visited our table, she suffered a stroke that eventually took her life. She is now honored in the very memorial garden she helped build. I know first-hand how giving matters. I’ve seen it matter. I wish more people knew how easy it is and how great it really is.

  1. Have you participated in employee giving programs at other jobs? How does this compare?

I’ve worked for our system for 20 years, at MCR since it opened.  I also volunteer, especially for the annual Spring Benefit.  Everything I do with the foundation is fun, it’s nice to see events that are successful and to see all of the generosity pouring in from our community.  Employee giving is the same.  It’s just so us.


2014 Impact Employee Campaign Series: Culture of Philanthropy (Part 3 of 5)

June 16, 2014

we work give here

This week we hear from Glenanne Engstrom, in Organizational Development.

Glenanne Engstrom

  1. Why do you give to the PVH and MCR Foundation?

I’m passionate about what the foundation does, how many people it touches, and knowing that I’m helping a worthy cause.  Our employees and our patients are the ones who benefit from the foundation. I think it’s important to help where I can.

  1. Do you earmark your donations for a specific campaign, and if so, why?

I give to the Scholarship Fund and Employee Emergency Assistance Fund.  I was involved in getting the EEAF started and it’s such an important resource for employees, I believe it needs all the support it can get. I remember talking with an employee not long after the fund was started. He told me about his child and how their heat had went out so they were piling on the blankets, trying to get by during a cold Colorado week. He wasn’t asking me for money, just sharing his story. I asked him if he knew about the EEAF and offered to help him figure out how to apply. I believe it’s moments like that when resources like the EEAF are really important.

  1. How much does the matching program influence your decision to contribute?

I’ve been giving for 23 years! I gave prior to the match so it’s not why I give, but to me it’s a great perk. Knowing that the hospitals buy into what employees believe in is just great and really shows the level of commitment they have. Employees do well giving on their own, but with the match, we do even better!

  1. What do you think people don’t know about the PVH and MCR Foundation, that you wished they did?

I wish everyone knew how much of a help the Employee Emergency Assistance Fund is. It’s really there just to help employees when they need it most. I also wish more employees knew that they have the option to give PTO to the foundation instead of cash. I believe that it’s important to give more as you make more. Giving $5 per pay period is a great start, but as you grow and your salary grows, so should your giving.

  1. Have you participated in employee giving programs at other jobs? How does this compare?

In my previous job, I worked as an executive on loan for the United Way so I’ve had experience helping campaigns grow. I think we have a great giving program not only because of the match, but also because it’s just so painless!

2014 Impact Employee Campaign Series: The Cancer Center is Here! (Part 2 of 5)

June 9, 2014

we work give here

With passion for a cause, you can see your gift really make a difference. Such is the case for Teri Frerichs, Nurse in the Cancer Center and our first employee spotlight. Below is Teri (in the orange hard hat) giving a tour of the Cancer Center to a group of attendees at last month’s Spring Benefit.


Teri Frerichs

  1. Why do you give to the PVH and MCR Foundation?

I give to pay it forward.  I‘ve been lucky and can afford to give so I choose to make my giving go where I know it will make a difference. Our patients didn’t ask for cancer; there may be lifestyle choices that contribute to patients coming through our doors but they didn’t ask for the hardship. It’s important to me to help them live. I believe it is my duty as a human and as part of my community.

  1. Do you earmark your donations for a specific campaign, and if so, why?

I’m a nurse at the cancer center, the patients there are my patients. Cancer hits close to home for me as it has directly impacted my family. I believe the cancer center makes a difference and I believe my gifts help. When someone learns they have cancer, survivors appear constantly to speak on how they’ve survived, how they’ve made it 5 years or 7 years or more. Giving to the cancer center allows me to help support the place where those connections are made, where people come together and become survivors.

  1. How much does the matching program influence your decision to contribute?

Though I’m still learning about the match, I’m excited to know that the system chooses to support what we as employees believe in. It is a motivating factor in my decision to continue giving!

  1. What do you think people don’t know about the PVH and MCR Foundation, that you wish they did?

I wish everyone knew how easy it is and how many ways there are to give. I’ve given PTO when I couldn’t use it and giving it just puts it to good use, when it would have been wasted otherwise. There are so many interesting ways to give, you just need to contact the foundation to find out how. Right now, beautiful art in the cancer center is on sale and proceeds benefit the foundation’s cancer center fund. There are just so many easy ways to help out.

  1. Have you participated in employee giving programs at other jobs? How does this compare?

I’ve been here for nine years and am proud of all of the giving that happens here. I’ve seen first hand that giving is a great way to support our community and truly, it’s just really easy to do.




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