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Garfield County communities support health care workers

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One of the bright lights during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown has been the kindness of our communities.

Both Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and Grand River Health in Rifle have been inundated with donations.

Individuals and businesses have donated masks, meals and money … and even serenaded health care workers with bagpipes.

Stacey Gavrell, chief community relations officer for Valley View, said, “Our team has definitely been feeling the support from the community, and it makes a difference for those who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.”

Feelings are very much the same at Grand River.

“The outpouring of support from the community has been tremendous,” said Annick Pruett, administrative and community relations director for Grand River Health. “It has been heartwarming and has meant so very, very much to the staff here. These are very trying times for most people, yet the generosity has been flowing. Our cup truly runneth over.”

Not every donation has been typical. “Every single thing the community has done for us has been deeply appreciated, from donations of food and supplies to Colorado River Fire Rescue coming out and playing the bagpipes at sunset for us,” Pruett said.

For people looking for ways to help, Gavrell said, “Our first answer is always to follow public health guidelines — e.g. physical distancing, stay at home. But there are four key ways in which the community can help us,” as detailed in a new page on Valley View’s website, http://www.vvh.org/news/help-our-fight-against-covid-19/. In brief: Donate personal protective equipment, send a note of thanks, donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund and/or buy lunch or dinner for the 45 people on each shift.

Mark Fischer of The Pullman restaurant in Glenwood Springs has been following those last guidelines, preparing and delivering 50 meals each Wednesday evening since April 15 to Valley View medical staff.

“We were approached by friends who wished to provide meals for the front line workers at VVH. Given that our Family Meal Fund was well-funded, we reached out to those donors for permission to broaden the reach,” Fischer said.

Grand River has received mask donations from numerous sources, including Walmart (2,000 masks), Angela Rodela, Jack Austin and Cody Anderson of Outwest Drywall Supply, Brandon Chauvin, Colorado State Patrol, Peter Kiser, Clark’s Market, Nanci and Gary Noffsinger, and Deb Nickison, according to Pruett.

Lowell Walter of Pacific Sheet Metal in Carbondale donated masks and eye protection because most of his employees live in the Silt and Rifle area, and he heard Grand River needed masks. “We’ve got to help our community. Our community supports us, and we need to support them. We had extras, and it was the right thing to do,” he said.

“N95 masks have come from FCI as well as Gould Construction and just about everywhere else. They just appear at the front desk. We have also had several individual community members who have sewn masks for us as well,” Pruett said.

Kim Wesson of Sopris Alpaca Farm donated two bags of scrubs, and New Castle Dental donated masks, gloves, goggles and toothbrushes.

Valley View has had several donations of personal protective equipment, including from A Sanctuary Spa; Aspen Meadows Resort; Linda Beckwith; Berthod Motors; Sophia Clark; Jay, Lisa and Grace Mcglade; Garfield & Hecht PC; Cecilia Hadley; Kaegebein Fine Home Building; Nate Klingenstein; Marble Institute of Colorado; Dustin Mazon; Nancy Morey; Napa Auto Parts; Dana Niles; Sherrie and Dr. James Setterberg; The Green Joint; Kathy Thissen; Dana Underwood; and Gwendlyn Vaughan. Murray Dental Group donated toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste and treats.

Valley View thanked its most recent food donors on its Facebook page on Sunday: Richard and Debbie Jelinek — dinner from The Pullman; Valley View employee Peggy Scone — Uncle Pizza; Valley View employee Susan Goldberg — Chomp’s Delicatessen; Kirstie and Cathie Ennis of Engel & Völkers — Sweet Coloradough; Avanos Medical — Qdoba; and Martha Peralta — Taqueria El Yaqui.

“That’s a cool part of all of this — the donors are helping to support local restaurants and also feeding frontline staff,” Gavrell said.

Grand River food donations include Capitol Deli, Domino’s Pizza (“Several times they have delivered to all of our facilities in Rifle and Parachute,” Pruett said), Dunkin Donuts, and 20 $15 gift cards for Dickey’s Barbecue Pit from Lighthouse Electric owner Steven Turney. “El Tapatio fed our clinic in Battlement, and The Little Coffee Shack delivered coffee to the staff,” Pruett added.

As part of Alpine Bank’s Coffee for the Courageous program, this Friday health care workers can get a cup of coffee or any beverage up to $6 at Deja Brew and The Expresso Hut in Glenwood; The Little Coffee Shack in Parachute and Rifle; and Burning Mountain Pizza and Subs and Misty’s Coffee Shop in Silt. All that’s necessary is a badge, shield, credential or business card or just wear a uniform, according to the website (www.alpinebank.com/coffee-on-us).

One common expression of thanks, homemade food, both hospital representatives said they are sadly unable to accept.

cwertheim@postindependent.com


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