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Employees Go Above and Beyond

January 10, 2019

Not only is Denver Health a great place to work, it’s a place where great work is done in service to others.  The recent holiday season brought out the best of this giving spirit in Denver Health’s workforce.  Along with many community volunteers, the employees below represent some of the good work done after-hours for our patients.

Denver Health Foundation organized the inaugural journey of Denver Health’s Santa Express to bring gifts and cheer to pediatric patients across our health care system.  On December 15th, Santa himself arrived via helicopter to begin a festive series of visits to celebrations in Denver Health clinics spanning the city of Denver. The following Denver Health crew proved indispensable:

• Chief Paramedic Gary Bryskiewicz, in full costume, played the role of Santa, and was transported through Denver in an ambulance staffed by Paramedic Erin Munger and EMT Katie March.
Laurie Wohlscheid, Food and Nutrition Services Manager, supplied every community health center with cookies and water bottles.
Mike Jones, James Levay and dozens of Information Technology staff donated Christmas toys.
Sharon Mushkin recruited teams of volunteers to help wrap donated toys and books.  These volunteers joined 60 Denver Health employees and their families who worked shifts during lunch hours and on weekends to get the job done.
• Dozens of Community Health Services clinic staff came to work on their day off to host pediatric patients for the special parties, where every child received a Christmas present and had the chance to hug Santa. How wonderful!
• Finally, the Santa Express would never have left the station without the enormous contribution of Hugo Bertaud, Ron Vigil and Jeff Simpson from Materials Management.  They loaded 6,000 toys for gift wrapping and delivery, and made multiple trips around town to make sure our patients had a fantastic holiday.

In another example of keen engagement from Denver Health employees, the Foundation’s Adopt a Refugee Family for the Holidays food and clothing drive was a tremendous success. The Foundation matched employees and their families with newly arrived refugees who are patients at the Denver Health Refugee Clinic in Lowry. Employees volunteered to provide gifts for each member of the matched refugee family and/or the entire family.  In all, employees including Julie Kell and 14 other donors from Managed Care, Dr. Eric Schmidt, pulmonologist, and Amy Berens with her clinical nutrition team put together extraordinary Christmas packages. Gifts included new coats, warm hats, toys, food, blankets, household items and toiletries for 57 families.  Thanks to Lowry patient navigators Adrien Matadi and Kuang Oo, all the gifts arrived in time for Christmas.

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