Susan G. Komen Colorado awards funds for treatment in northern Colorado

April 21, 2015

komen_logoReceiving a breast cancer diagnosis is harrowing for any patient, but not knowing how or if you’ll be able to pay for treatment adds tremendous stress to an already difficult time. Thankfully, UCHealth has a dedicated team of staff working to help patients in this exact situation, and with funding provided by Susan G. Komen® Colorado we have ways to make treatment a reality for anyone who qualifies.

The Susan G. Komen® Foundation is the global leader in the fight against breast cancer. Since it was founded in 1982 Komen has invested more than $1.9 billion dollars in research, treatment, and prevention. The Colorado Affiliate of Susan G. Komen has provided funding to UCHealth hospitals in the north for more than seven straight years. Funding that can bridge the critical gap for under and uninsured patients who would otherwise have to turn down the care that could save their lives.

Uninsured and underinsured patients often work paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the means to cover co-pays, prescriptions, or treatment not covered by whatever insurance they do have. Perhaps they have a very high deductible plan and aren’t able to pay the out of pocket costs. Whatever their situation, our patients are able to meet free of charge with an oncology social worker who will assess their insurance coverage and estimate out of pocket costs. When the social worker finds gaps in their coverage that the patient won’t be able to bridge, that’s when our Komen Colorado grant funding comes in.

The grant funding we have been awarded is available to cover treatment costs for patients who might otherwise choose not to proceed with treatment. The social worker uses the Komen Colorado funding as a last resort option so access to this funding becomes the difference between being able to fight your cancer with world-class care and having to simply resign yourself to the disease.

Komen funding made all the difference for a recent patient. This 63-year-old, single, registered nurse had already battled breast cancer back in 2003. That four year fight drained most of her resources so when she learned that the cancer had returned she nearly felt like giving up, especially when surgeries and treatments began interfering with her ability to work. She was able to receive co-pay assistance through the Komen funding and continued her care. The access to financial support went beyond just reducing a barrier to the treatment she needed. It enabled her to stay in treatment while eventually resuming a work life when she was able.

We at the PVH and MCR Foundation never want the potential of financial burden to stand in the way of access to care and treatment. That is why we are so thankful for our longstanding partnership with Susan G. Komen® Colorado. We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded $44,814 for the 2015-2016 year and with this funding will be able to continue changing outcomes for our patients right here in northern Colorado.

Volunteers embody the spirit of giving at PVH and MCR

April 15, 2015

volunteer handsWe all know that volunteers make a tremendous impact. They give of their time and their talent without compensation to provide critical services. But did you know that our volunteers at Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies do so much more?

We are lucky to have hundreds of wonderful volunteers at PVH and MCR. They’re the smiling faces helping to direct guests and patients, working behind the counter in the gift shops, and performing countless other tasks. These volunteers not only donate their valuable time, they also raise funds to support the hospital system. Volunteer groups at both hospitals raise money through the operation of their respective gift shops as well as with a variety of seasonal sales. The PVH Volunteer Association also runs the PVH Thrift Shop as an additional source of revenue. The money raised through these ventures is held for them by the foundation and then allocated by each group’s volunteer leadership board. The goal of both volunteer programs is to put funds back into the hospital system and provide for unmet needs.

Departments and entities within the hospital system can submit requests for funding to each volunteer board.  It could be a request for a new piece of equipment that doesn’t fit into the departmental budget, like the $26,000 infant hearing screening machine recently purchased by the MCR volunteers; or for a service to help improve the patient experience, like a cell-phone charging station in the emergency room. The request is then evaluated by the volunteer leadership board and funds are allocated out of their account as they see fit.

In 2014 alone the two volunteer groups gave out a total of nearly $350,000 to fund projects and equipment that expand and improve our quality of care.  And while the MCR program is still relatively new and growing compared to the 50+ years of volunteer giving at PVH, they have yet to turn down a funding request from within their hospital.

A recent funding request was granted by the PVH Volunteer Association to purchase a state-of-the-art Optimum UV disinfecting system, which sterilizes patient rooms using UV-ray technology. The original funding request was for just one of these expensive machines but when the volunteer board learned about the equipment’s capacity to sterilize much more efficiently than standard cleaning procedures they purchased two! Having this level of sterilization capability within our hospital system, especially during the recent Ebola scare, is just one example of how we are able to bring world class healthcare right here to northern Colorado.

It isn’t hard to see why we are so proud of our volunteers at PVH and MCR. They are an extraordinary group of individuals who are making a difference in the lives of patients, families, and their fellow community-members. And you can help support their efforts! Every time you make a purchase in one of our gift shops you are contributing to the health of your community. Stop by The Gift Gallery at PVH, The Marketplace at MCR, or the PVH Thrift Shop, and join the cycle of supporting health!

The PVH Thrift Shop is located at 1025 Pennock Place in Fort Collins. They are always accepting donations of clothing, furniture, housewares, small appliances (working condition), and office supplies.

Family Gives Donations in Lieu of Gifts to Recognize Father and Husband

March 30, 2015


Dr. EllisDr. Robert Ellis has a long history of supporting health in northern Colorado. Originally from North Dakota, he opened his practice in Fort Collins in 1963, after serving in the Army and completing his Internal Medicine residency in Denver. Dr. Ray Hansen an OB/GYN who practiced across the street from Poudre Valley Hospital at the time, gave Dr. Ellis office space until he could afford to pay the rent. In turn, years later, Dr. Ellis did the same for a hematologist who came to Fort Collins to practice. Dr. Ellis closed his office in 1995, but continued to read electrocardiograms (EKG) for PVH until his retirement in February 2014 after 51 years of practice on the PVH medical staff.

Dr. Ellis has been a longtime donor to the PVH and MCR Foundation, supporting initiatives from employee scholarship assistance to the Aspen Club program for senior health. But this past Christmas, the whole Ellis family got involved…

In lieu of giving gifts to each other for the Christmas holiday, Dr. Ellis’ wife and their three children made donations to the PVH and MCR Foundation in recognition of their husband and father’s 51 years of service to this community. Daughter Jennifer, who works in healthcare herself, donated to cardiac research. Son Jeffrey sent a donation in from Illinois to support the Safe Kids car seat program. Daughter Stephanie, a medical technologist at MCR, and wife Grace, a former RN and medical records librarian, gave to the recently completed Cancer Center.

We at the PVH and MCR Foundation were proud to accept these gifts in recognition of one of the many tremendous doctors we are fortunate to have here in northern Colorado. We join the Ellis family in extending our gratitude to Dr. Ellis for his years of service and commitment to the health and wellness of his community.

And, to all our wonderful doctors in the UCHealth family, we wish you a very Happy Doctors’ Day.  Thank you for all that you do to support health!

Doctors Day

Nurse-led Survivorship Clinic Receives Grant Award

March 16, 2015

Survivorship Patient w/ PT

With start-up funding provided by a grant from the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Foundation, oncology nurse Lisa Radice and her team are expanding and improving survivorship care for our cancer patients in Northern Colorado.

Survivorship care is a rapidly growing field in the world of oncology. Cancer survivors have a very unique set of healthcare needs that must be addressed as they move forward into their post-cancer lives. The survivorship care program seeks to provide education, guidance, support, and anticipation of recovery needs in addition to the standard survivorship needs of lifestyle modification, prevention and screening, and education of late effects of treatment. In the program Lisa and her team are building here at the UCHealth Cancer Center survivorship patients will meet with a multidisciplinary team including an Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Oncology Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and Oncology Certified Physical Therapist. The group can then work together on a detailed follow up plan for the patient and their Primary Care Provider as well as the oncology team. This kind of collaborative communication between care providers can tremendously improve the transition out of the active treatment phase of cancer, giving the patient a synchronized network of support.

That transition, from fighting cancer to surviving cancer, can be an incredibly difficult time.  A survivorship patient recently told the program staff that after her long battle with cancer she had no idea how to start her life over again: “Cancer changed me so much it impacted every aspect of my life.” But after her first survivorship appointment she left with renewed hope, supported by a clear plan and the information necessary to begin this new chapter.  She credits her survivorship team for changing her outlook and putting her on a path to success: “Thank you all for providing me with tools to help me get started again.”

Evidence increasingly shows that a nurse-led survivorship model, like the one we are implementing, is most effective for coordinating this kind of care plan.  With the grant funding provided to our program by the ONS Foundation this past summer our nurses are making progress on educating staff and patients, raising awareness around survivorship care, and streamlining and implementing a smooth identification and referral process for survivors.

We are thrilled to be a part of the important work Lisa and her team are doing to improve the health and quality of life for our cancer patients even beyond the treatment phase. From foundation grants to individual donations, philanthropic support helps to create the best possible experience for our patients, giving them every additional resource to get the very most out of life even throughout the cancer journey.

Welcome, Rodney Rice!

March 2, 2015

PVH and MCR Foundation

_____________________________________________________________________

Welcome Mr. Rodney Rice to the Board of Directors!

The PVH and MCR Foundation is pleased to welcome Rodney Rice to its Board of Directors. The addition of Rice, President and CEO of Hydro Construction Company, Inc., brings the Board total to 11 members.

“We are delighted to have Mr. Rice join our board,” said Erica Siemers, senior director, PVH and MCR Foundation. “The business experience and community connections he brings will undoubtedly further the mission of the foundation.”

Fort Collins Native & CSU Graduate

Rice is a native of Fort Collins and a graduate of Colorado State University (CSU) with a degree in construction management. Since 1989, he has been instrumental in the success of Hydro Construction, Inc., which specializes in water and wastewater treatment, serving as general manager before taking on his current responsibilities as president and CEO. He has also continued to support his alma mater, assisting the CSU Construction Management program in course curriculum, internship placement, and industry needs analysis.

Outside of work, much of Rice’s time is focused on ways to give back to the community.

He has served on several boards including:

  • First Western Trust Advisory Board
  • RamStrength Board
  • And currently serving on the Eastern Larimer County (ELCO) Water District Board

Additional Charitable Funds

Rice is also one of the founding members of the Hydro Construction Charitable Fund, which benefits children, the elderly and families.

“I’ve enjoyed making a difference as part of the Hydro Construction fund and look forward to continuing that impact elsewhere through the PVH and MCR Foundation,” said Rice. “There are many innovative healthcare programs that require strong champions to ensure they are reaching the people who need help the most.”

With the addition of Rice, the members of the PVH and MCR Foundation Board devoted to sustaining its mission for a healthier community include:

  • Chair, Mike Dellenbach (Dellenbach Motors)
  • Mark Driscoll (First National Bank)
  • Jay Hardy (McWhinney)
  • Don Marostica (retired, Loveland Commercial)
  • Robert Marschke, MD
  • Yvonne Myers (Columbine Health Systems)
  • Rodney Rice (Hydro Construction, Inc.)
  • Chris Richmond (Flood and Peterson)
  • Miki Roth (The Group, Inc.)
  • Mike Sanders (Great Western Bank)
  • Kevin Unger (Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies)

Click here to make a donation or learn more about the Foundation.

Cancer Center Raises 6.1 Million

February 25, 2015

harmony-cancer-center

We are proud to announce that as of last week our fundraising campaign for the University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) Cancer Center in Fort Collins has reached its final goal, raising $6.1 million thanks to the generosity of donors.

The third phase of the campaign, which concluded at the end of December, will enable an 8,000 square foot renovation to create the Survivorship and Wellness Center, slated for completion in 2015.

“We are extremely thankful for support we received for the cancer center. It is a shining example of how healthcare philanthropy enables a community to accomplish so much more than any single individual or organization could on its own,” said Kevin Unger, president and CEO, Poudre Valley Hospital (PVH) and Medical Center of the Rockies (MCR). “Philanthropy enhances our standard services, enabling us to offer healing amenities, like the cancer center, for the benefit of patients in our community.”

Thank You to the 4,000+ Donors

Over the course of the foundation’s campaign, more than 4,000 individuals, businesses and foundations came together to raise the funds that were needed for the cancer center. Visitors to the facility can see many of the donors recognized on various plaques throughout the grounds, as well as on the donor wall in the main hall of the building.

The largest commitment to the project came from an anonymous donor.

Additional lead contributions were given by the following:

– Griffin Foundation
– Miramont Lifestyle Fitness
– Dellenbach Motors and the Dellenbach Family
– Bank of Colorado
– The Unger Family
– The Count on Me Golf Tournament
– The Houska Family/Poudre School District
– The Branzell Family
– The Richmond Family
– Colorado Eagles Pro Hockey

Collectively, contributions from UCHealth employees made up more than $1 million of the total contributions for the cancer center.

“People in northern Colorado really invested their hearts this campaign,” explained Erica Siemers, senior director, PVH and MCR Foundation. “Many donors shared the ways they have been touched by cancer, and it has been moving to see their passion put into action.”

Gifts to the PVH and MCR Foundation, such as those given during the cancer center campaign, provide opportunities for the community to help advance health close to home. Philanthropy can build a bridge between standard services and those that enable cutting-edge medical care, healing spaces, and patient assistance which help foster whole patient and community wellness.

Combined Clinical Care, Single-Entry Access and Whole-Person Care

Thanks in part to the generosity of the thousands of supporters of the campaign, UCHealth’s cancer care program is able to serve northern Colorado by combining innovative clinical care, single-entry access and whole-person care. The facility offers access to national clinical trials, state-of-the-art treatment, expert physicians and seamless integration to University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora, the top cancer research institute in the Rocky Mountain region and one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S.

Another distinctive feature of the cancer center is the emphasis on providing most of a patient’s treatment and care under one roof. Because patients with cancer have, on average, more than 100 appointments in various locations during their first year of diagnosis, UCHealth’s cancer center was designed to reduce this burden, enabling patients to combine several appointments at the same visit.

State of the Art Survivorship and Wellness Center

In addition, the idea of “whole-person care” is demonstrated on the campus with features such as the outdoor healing garden and departments that go beyond physical treatment, such as emotional counseling and support groups, and patient navigation. The final stage of the building now underway, the Survivorship and Wellness Center, will help support recovery of the cancer patient, providing complementary therapies such as massage, speech and occupational therapy and lymphedema treatment. A demonstration kitchen also will offer nutritional counseling, and a physical therapy gym will house equipment and specially-trained therapists to help patients regain many faculties lost during treatment.

“The jewel in the crown of this cancer center is the Survivorship and Wellness Center,” said Vikki Wagner, chair of the survivor advisory council. “I believe the focus and planning that was put into this aspect of the facility sets it apart from not only local, but national, cancer centers.”

Tours of the final phase of the cancer center will be offered to the public once it is completed. The foundation will share details as they are available.

“This cancer center was custom built to fit the needs of the people it serves,” said Matt Sorensen, MD, medical director of oncology for UCHealth in the north region. “We are so grateful to have had such strong support for this facility that is an investment in the health of the people of northern Colorado for years to come.”

State of the Heart Event

February 17, 2015

State of the Heart Event - generosityheals.org

We are proud to be hosting “State of the Heart,” an engaging educational event about heart health at Medical Center of the Rockies (MCR) in Loveland on February 28 from 8:00 to 10:30 am. MCR, part of the University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) system, is the region’s leader in cardiac care and the largest and most comprehensive heart and vascular center in northern Colorado.

The Saturday morning program at MCR will include:

  • Free screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. Stroke and heart attack risk assessments will also be offered. (Please note: 12 hours of fasting prior to arriving is required for screenings)
  • Heart healthy breakfast
  • Keynote speaker
  • Breakout sessions with Dr. Wendy Austin, Dr. Patrick Green and other specialists in cardiac research trends, women’s cardiac care and sports cardiology
  • Tours of state-of-the-art, life-saving procedural areas

“During February we think of hearts and romance, but it’s also a month designated by the CDC to raise awareness about heart health,” said Erica Siemers, senior director, PVH and MCR Foundation. “We wanted to create an event that allows people to show love for themselves and their family members by learning how to stay heart healthy.”

Staying heart healthy is important for everyone. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) – including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure – is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States (CDC) and the number 2 killer in Colorado (American Heart Association). In addition, it is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. CVD costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. (CDC)

“The event will focus on the services MCR provides the community,” explained Siemers. “But the ultimate goal is for people to take away information about prevention, so that they don’t need cardiac care.”

From clinics, hospitals and rehabilitation programs to education and cutting-edge research, MCR serves patients with one important goal in mind – to keep hearts healthy. The heart team at UCHealth Heart Center and MCR includes 20 cardiologists, four electrophysiologists and five cardiovascular surgeons, all with multiple certifications in various heart-related specialties supported by over 300 clinical specialists. UCHealth offers a wide range of clinical support for patients including prevention, nutrition, psychological counseling, research and rehabilitation programs.

MCR performs four times as many cardiac surgeries as any hospital in northern Colorado and leads the region in pacemaker implantations, cardiac interventions and valve replacements (Source: Colorado Hospital Association).

Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to 970.237.7400 or register HERE no later than February 26th, 2015.

Please include whether you wish to participate in screening when you register.

Miramont Pledges $100,000 to Cancer Center

February 3, 2015


harmony-cancer-center

We are delighted to announce that Miramont Lifestyle Fitness has pledged $100,000 toward the complementary therapies main area, included in the Survivorship and Wellness Center at the UCHealth Cancer Center on the Harmony Campus in Fort Collins.

This part of the cancer center (expected to be completed in mid-2015), will help support recovery of the cancer patient by providing complementary therapies such as:

  • massage
  • speech therapy
  • lymphedema treatments

Miramont has also supported earlier phases of the cancer center and has been recognized for its commitment with a plaque in the main lobby of the facility.

Cliff - MIramont Fitness

“Miramont is passionate about supporting cancer survivors in our community, and also about fitness and wellness programs that help to foster a happy and healthy quality of life,” explained Cliff Buchholz, Owner of Miramont Lifestyle Fitness. “There could not be a better fit between the goals of the Survivorship and Wellness Center and the goals of Miramont.”

This past September, Miramont hosted the Colorado Moves to End Cancer event, raising $23,500 to support the cancer center through the PVH and MCR Foundation. In addition, the club offers a complimentary Cancer Wellness membership. Any northern Colorado resident who is living with cancer or has undergone treatment within the last two years is eligible to apply for the 6-month Premier membership. A complimentary 6-month membership is available for the patient’s workout buddy as well!

Additionally, through its Cancer WellFit program, the club offers free guest passes to those treated at the cancer center – and their friends and family who may be traveling with them, if they are not northern Colorado residents.

“Miramont and its staff have been steadfast and enthusiastic supporters of the cancer center and the patients we serve in northern Colorado,” said Erica Siemers, senior director, PVH and MCR Foundation. “Donors like Miramont help us fulfill the mission of UCHealth by bridging the gap between standard services and those that enable us to provide world-class healthcare for our community. We can’t do it alone, and we appreciate their partnership.”

If you are not familiar with Miramont, please learn more about this company that we are so grateful to have a relationship with:
Miramont Lifestyle Fitness has been family-owned and operated since 1979, Miramont Lifestyle Fitness is committed to helping people choose to make the most of their fitness and wellness experience. The Miramont Lifestyle Fitness team works to engage, energize and inspire clients to explore the personalized fitness activities that are right for them, and to help them achieve their wellness and fitness goals. With four distinct locations, each with the services clients expect, but each with a unique culture and amenities to meet their personalized lifestyle, a personal fitness destination is easily within reach. For more information, please refer to http://www.miramontlifestyle.com or call 970.282.1000.

Please visit our website to stay up to make a donation, stay up to date on events, and more.

Safe Kids Gets a Boost for Car Seat Program

January 29, 2015

Safe Kids Larimer County Gets a Boost on Car Seats - generosityheals.org

Safe Kids Larimer County, is a coalition made up of over 35 groups in Larimer County with an interest or mission related to injury prevention. The partnerships include businesses, school districts, municipal police departments, county departments, parent groups, and non-profit organizations – all are committed to preventing childhood injuries.

The funding that Safe Kids receives allows them to continue their mission of educating parents how to properly travel with their children and provide car seats to families in financial need.

Safe Kids provides education about vehicle and car seat safety and provides car seats to about 500 low-income families per year!

Recently, Safe Kids received funding from the Northeastern Colorado Regional EMS/Trauma Advisory Council (RETAC) in the amount of $10,000!

The money will go directly toward purchasing car seats to distribute to families in need through the Safe Kids program. Safe Kids is the only organization that provides this service to families in the community.

“This funding will help with a large part of our $25,000 annual budget,” said Janet Werst, injury prevention coordinator for University of Colorado Health, northern region. “We are tremendously grateful to organizations like Northeastern Colorado RETAC who appreciate the impact this program has on public safety – especially for children.”

Did you know?

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the number one leading cause of injury to children in Larimer County.
  • Strong evidence shows the effectiveness of child safety seat distribution and education programs in improving car seat use.
  • Healthcare cost savings of over $1.24 million in Larimer County due to decreased risk of injury are also associated with the program.

Car Seat Education & Classes

Safe Kids offers public education through car seat inspection stations that its partner agencies operate throughout the county. In addition, four classes (three in English, one in Spanish) are offered each month in Fort Collins and Loveland.

Families with demonstrated need may attend the one-hour class to receive education and an appropriate car seat for their child. A small donation is requested, but not required. Classes are marketed through agencies that work with low-income families including Healthy Beginnings, Larimer County Department of Human Services, fire departments, EMS agencies, Loveland Community Health Center, Salud Family Health Center, the Family Center and more.

“Through our partners, we know that there are many low-income families in northern Colorado who need this program and will benefit from this grant,” explained Werst. “Unfortunately, our work can’t be accomplished in a year – as kids grow and babies are born, families’ needs for safety seats are renewed and our financial need continues.”

Donations of any size are helpful to the program; just $50 can purchase a car seat and potentially save a life.

Interested in supporting Safe Kids?

Please contact Anna Waser (970.624.1870) for more information, or visit supportinghealth.org.

Learn more about car seat safety & resources on the Safe Kids website.

Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Pink Shirt Fundraiser

January 14, 2015

For 11 months of the year, red is the color most commonly associated with fire departments. However, during one month of the year – October – the Windsor Severance Fire Rescue (WSFR) goes pink to support breast cancer awareness.

Firefighters-fundraiser

WSFR firefighters and staff wear pink t-shirts every other day throughout the month of October to raise breast cancer awareness and sell the same shirts to raise money for the cause. Proceeds from their efforts this year benefitted our PVH and MCR Foundation, with the money being allocated to the UCHealth Cancer Center in Fort Collins.

“The firefighters, emergency care providers and staff at Windsor Severance Fire Rescue already do so much to keep our community safe and well that we were touched by their extra efforts to help fund services at the UCHealth Cancer Center,” said Erica Siemers, senior director, PVH and MCR Foundation. “This has become an annual fundraiser for them and we greatly appreciate their support.”

WSFR raised more than $2,000 with proceeds from its t-shirt sales! T-shirts sold for $15 and long sleeved tees sold for $20.

We are grateful that this year’s contribution is being used toward finishing the third and final phase of the cancer center, the 8,000 square foot renovation to create the Survivorship and Wellness Center!

Firefighters-fundraiser2

“It’s fulfilling to see the money raised being used locally,” said Chief Herb Brady, WSFR. “It seems everyone knows someone who is fighting cancer so we always look forward to this opportunity to impact the community we serve in a different way.”

Thank you, Windsor Severance Fire Rescue!


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