The UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation Greatest Need fund makes a significant impact on addressing pressing challenges and meeting diverse needs within the UCHealth northern region. This fund has provided crucial support to various initiatives, including the groundbreaking UCHealth EMS Paramedic Program, aimed at addressing staffing shortages while investing in employee development. Additionally, the fund has enabled the expansion of vital programs such as community health improvement initiatives, car seat distribution for families in need, and the Sunshine Cart program, which enhances patient experiences and comfort.

UCHealth Emergency Medical Services paramedic training program
UCHealth EMS is addressing staffing shortages and investing in employee development with the launch of the UCHealth EMS Paramedic Program, funded in part with a gift from our Greatest Need fund. The program offers current employees the opportunity to enhance their skills, secure a full-time paramedic position within UCHealth upon completion, and maintain their full-time employment throughout their education.

Two cohorts will be offered annually, with up to 18 employees per cohort, resulting in up to 36 employees completing the program each year. Upon completion of the program, these employees will be awarded a full-time position as a paramedic within the UCHealth system, thus filling a critical need within the department and providing a long-term career opportunity within UCHealth.

UCHealth Community Health Improvement – Eight-week course to teach older adults how to control high blood pressure
The funding will help the UCHealth Community Health Improvement team increase services for older adults by offering a program to address the prevalent chronic condition of high blood pressure. The Clemson Institute for Engaged Aging developed an evidence-based program called Health Coaches for Hypertension Control. This program has been proven to help improve the health of people diagnosed with high blood pressure. The eight weekly classes teach participants to manage the condition by focusing on nutrition, physical activity, stress management, and more. Trained facilitators guide the small-group program, and participants receive a free electronic blood pressure monitor and other educational materials, such as cookbooks and pedometers, among others.

UCHealth Community Health Improvement – car seats for families in need
Safe Kids Larimer County (SKLC) was founded in Larimer County in 1999 and is led by UCHealth. Additional members within the coalition include UCHealth EMS, Poudre Fire Authority, Colorado State Patrol, and many others. SKLC is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of coalitions dedicated to preventing accidental injury.

SKLC’s car seat education and distribution program provides 150–200 car seats annually to Larimer County families facing financial hardship. SKLC teaches a one-hour educational car seat safety class, three times a month, to families in need and provides free to low-cost car seats after course completion for each participant.

The recent gift from our Greatest Need fund will empower SKLC to purchase approximately 50 car seats and expand into additional areas of the county.

UCHealth Medical Group Palliative Care – Sunshine Carts
The Sunshine Cart program began in 2018 with funding from Women Investing in Strategies for Health (WISH), a giving circle that is a program of the foundation. Since then, the Sunshine Carts have grown from three carts in two hospitals to 24 carts in three hospitals—UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital, UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies, and UCHealth Greeley Hospital.

Sunshine Carts are filled with meaningful activities and tools, such as coloring books, coloring tools, stuffed animals, fidget toys, reading glasses, and other items that help staff and family keep patients engaged in meaningful, positive activities while hospitalized. These supplies help reduce the risk of confusion and decrease distress in dementia patients as well family members and other hospitalized patients. The supplies are single-use only for infection control, so each item is a gift to the patient.

Previous funding has enabled the carts to serve an average of 1,400 patients and family members annually. With the recent gift from our Greatest Need fund, the carts will be able to serve approximately 2,800 patients over the next year.

Your gift to the Greatest Need fund makes a difference

Thanks to the generosity of donors, the Greatest Need fund continues to bridge gaps and make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and communities served by UCHealth. To make a gift to the fund, please use our online donation form and choose Greatest Need as your designation. Thank you.