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Our Heart is in the Home – Mount Evans

Our Heart Is in the HomeOur Heart is in the Home. When Mount Evans was founded in 1980 our motto was “Mountain people helping mountain people.” It’s who we were then and it’s who we are now. Our heart has always been and will always be in the home and with our patients. Our mission is special and there isn’t a day that passes that we don’t realize how lucky we are to know, love and care for the extraordinary people in our mountain community. We also recognize that we couldn’t do what we do without the backing of a remarkable community.

Throughout the next year, we plan to share our stories. We hope to touch your heart in much the same way as our patients touch ours. We also want you to know us and why we do what we do.

Please follow along in Colorado Serenity Magazine, Canyon Courier, Clear Creek Courant and the 285 Hustler as well as our social media pages to learn why Our Heart is in the Home. We think you’ll be inspired.

Our Patients – Our Heart

Gil Schaenzle on the Cover of Serenity Magazine - Our Heart Is in the Home

A Mother’s Love Runs Strong – Gil Schaenzle’s Story

In 2016, Gil Schaenzle’s daughter Anna Rose was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroendocrine (NET) cancer. After surgeries to remove nearly 10 pounds of tumors from her body and intense rounds of chemotherapy, Anna Rose died age 21. Below you’ll watch as Gil shares her incredibly personal story; how Mount Evans helped her cope with the heartbreak; and her inspiring journey to help other families facing NET cancer. This story is also featured as the cover story in the July 2019 edition of Colorado Serenity Magazine.

“They took the most horrible experience in the world and made us feel cared for, loved and listened to. I’d always been afraid of the word hospice until we had our encounter with hospice, and now, to me, hospice is one of the most beautiful words in our language.” –Gil Schaenzle

Watch Gil’s story here


The Will To Walk – Nancy Mood’s Story Nancy Mood with Mount Evans' Care Team - Our Heart Is in the Home

Nancy Mood is a fighter. The long-time Indian Hills and now Evergreen resident recently celebrated her 65th birthday. In order to get to her birthday party, she did something doctors told her she would never be able to again, she walked.

The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other is one of those things that most of us take for granted. It’s not until we are faced with the prospect of losing this ability or having to relearn it that we realize how it important it is to our health, happiness and independence.

Click here to read Nancy’s story

Our Family – Our Heart

Mount Evans Hospice Nurse Kristin Bailiey - Our Heart Is in the HomeKristen Bailey
Registered Nurse

Kristen primarily cares for hospice patients who live in facilities. When she visits, she often brings a bouquet of blooms or a plant to cheer up their room.

“The end of life is a very emotional time and my goal is to help make it comfortable and peaceful. Families will remember this time for the rest of their lives and I want those memories to be as pleasant as they can be.”

To read more about Kristin and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Hospice and Home Health CNA Brenda Barrett - Our Heart Is in the HomeBrenda Barrett
CNA, CHPNA – Certified Nurse Aide

Brenda, a ‘Bailey girl’ through and through, has been caring for patients in her mountain community for 32 years.

“My patients mean the world to me. I connect with them because I really listen to what they have to say. I couldn’t do anything else. I love what I do. It’s my calling. I go home every night and my heart is full.”

To read more about Brenda and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Nurse Practitioner Judy ConradJudy Conrad
Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner

Judy is part of a specialty team that cares for mountain residents diagnosed with serious illnesses who are seeking treatment for a cure or better ways to manage their condition.

“I do feel I make a difference in my patient’s lives. I have believed for many years that a majority of health problems can be mitigated if not healed by a caring, listening ear. Many of my patients live alone and in remote areas and having someone take time and make the effort to come to them is special.”

To read more about Judy and Why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Mount Evans Insurance Specialist Kim Elliott - Our Heart Is in the HomeKim Elliott
Insurance Specialist

Kim is a perfect example of what makes Mount Evans special. She believes everything we say or do should be a benefit to the greater world. “There’s a part of me that really loves giving back to the community that I’ve been in for 32 years. Finance is a huge thing when you are sick or passing away. I take a lot of pride in handling the insurance so that families don’t have to worry about it. It’s been an honor to work here.”



Mount Evans Volunteer Peggy Fetchenhier - Our Heart Is in the HomePeggy Fetchenhier
Mount Evans Volunteer

Whether it was putting metal shelving together for the office, working on the Gala for 22 years, helping with the Freedom Run, or crafting Mount Evans Angels, Peggy Fetchenhier has been a treasured part of the Mount Evans family since 1980.

“It has been so rewarding to work with the staff and other volunteers. Many of the volunteers have personal stories with Mount Evans and our time together is often a healing and comforting experience.  It’s all about relationships.”

To read more about Peggy and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Sam Harwood, LSW
Palliative Care and Hospice Social Worker

Sam is a cup of comfort to patients and their families. She warms their hearts, lifts their souls and eases their minds during some of the most complicated, intimate and fearful times of their lives. “Serving our mountain residents means meeting people where they’re at – both figuratively and literally. I am just so humbled and softened by being afforded the privilege of witnessing people’s innate bravery and wonder as they navigate through matters of life and death.”

To read more about Sam and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Keri Jeager - Director of Clinical ServicesKeri Jaeger, BSN, MBA
Senior Director of Clinical Services

Keri is the matriarch of the Mount Evans family. She oversees every aspect of patient care and nurtures a team of more than 60 clinicians.

“Our family of employees are all aligned to support the mission of Mount Evans. That’s unique and special and what makes us great at what we do. We make a difference every day caring for friends and neighbors in our close-knit mountain communities – whether that’s rehabilitation, empowering them to manage a complex illness or end-of-life care.”

To read more about Keri and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Mount Evans Finance Director Doug Linn -Our Heart Is in the HomeDoug Linn
Finance Director

Doug is a wizard with numbers. He’s been forecasting Mount Evans’ financial future since 1998.

“I feel good at the end of the day because people are getting services. I can’t draw blood. I faint, so I can’t do that stuff, but I can be the person in here supporting our caregivers, making sure payroll happens and managing the finances so that Mount Evans can be here for the community and take care of patients.”

To read more about Doug and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Teri McLaughlinHospice and Home Health Care Nurse Teri McLaughlin - Our Heart Is in the Home
Registered Nurse

Teri’s medical bag often is often stocked with a piece of handcrafted jewelry for her patients. As a hospice and home health care nurse, she takes care of mountain residents who are ill, injured or need help to be comfortable in their body and spirit as they leave this life.

”I have always been drawn to hospice care. I spent 30 years caring for the elderly in long term care facilities. For many of them, their fondest wish was to be home … because home is the best place to be. I wanted to work for a place that helped to make being home possible.”  To read more about Teri and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Mount Evans CNA Abby Moles - Our Heart Is in the HomeAbby Moles
CNA – Certified Nurse Assistant

When Abby sees a smile on a patient’s face, she knows she did her job.

“A lot of patients tell me how grateful they are. Often patients think that entering into hospice means they have to go into a facility. Our care allows them to keep their independence. It makes me feel good knowing I am there for them and that my care allows them to stay in their home and not be uprooted near the end of life.”

To read more about Abby and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Mount Evans Intake Coordinator - Katie MullenKatie Mullen
Intake Coordinator

Katie Mullen started working with Mount Evans 10 years ago as a Home Health Aide because she wanted to give back to the community she grew up in. Now she’s part of the team that coordinates Mount Evans’ extraordinary care.

“Being that voice on the other end of the phone, I can help patients who are scared or anxious by answering questions and assuring them that we are coming to see them.”

To read more about Katie and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Mount Evans Hospice Social Worker Mary NoonanMary Noonan
CHP-SW, MA – Hospice Social Worker

For more than a decade, Mary has been helping mountain residents and their families navigate the hospice waters in a way that is meaningful and provides the greatest comfort.

“People have a hard time talking about death, yet those that are dying and their loved ones need to talk about it. Providing people the space to open up and not feel so alone is what I find rewarding.”

To read more about Mary and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Kristy Plenter
Support Services and Community Outreach Manager

Working and serving in her community has always been a priority for Kristy. She waited patiently for a social work position at Mount Evans. When a job in palliative care opened, she spent a year counseling patients coping with illness and supporting them throughout their journey.

“Every day I can say that what we do here makes a difference; we help our community in restoring health, coping with illness, allowing for a peaceful death, and finding hope in times of grief.”  To read more about Kristy and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Michelle Quihuiz
Hospice and Home Health Care Nurse

Michelle joined Mount Evans more than a decade ago because she wanted to work in a spiritual environment that would feed her soul.

“There are so many rewards: the healing I witness at the end of life; the joy I receive from having deep, meaningful conversations with my patients; the wisdom they impart upon me; the awareness of what really matters in life; and the ability to provide peace and comfort to patients and their families.  It has no end.”

To read more about Michelle and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Pam Reitan, Mount Evans VolunteerPam Reitan
Mount Evans Volunteer

“I became aware of Mount Evans and the services they provide when they helped a family with a young daughter who had a terminal illness. That was 27 years ago. I started as a respite volunteer in 1993. I sewed buttons on my first angel 25 ago and traded being a respite volunteer with helping to make decorations for the Annual Gala in 1997. I continue to give my time and skills to this organization as their services are a tremendous gift to so many in our mountain community.”

To read more about Pam and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Shannon Savocchi
Registered Nurse

Shannon Savocchi knows how much it means to patients to live on a mountain. That’s because she lives on one herself in Idaho Springs.

“For people who don’t want to leave their mountain, our hospice care means a lot. It’s a gift to be in your own home, in your own bed with your family around. It’s really an honor to help them on their final journey.”

To read more about Shannon and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.

Debbie Schwartz Mount Evans Memory QuilterDebbie Schwartz
Customer Relations

Debbie Schwartz is the first person and the first smile people see when they walk through Mount Evans’ doors. Since 2012, she’s been greeting visitors, clients and staff. When she’s not working at Mount Evans, she gives her time as a volunteer with the Mount Evans Memory Quilters.

“Our quilts, pillows and bears help families heal and remember their loved ones. They are so much more than pieces of fabric. Families entrust us with the clothing of a loved one who has passed. What we sew keeps them warm and gives them something to hug.”

Wendy Snow
LSW – Social Worker

For 27 years, Wendy has been helping patients and their families adjust to health issues and identifying ways to make their lives easier.

“I love being able to serve our mountain residents wherever they live – in neighborhoods, up winding steep roads, in cabins, in RVs, in skilled nursing facilities, in assisted living, and in every corner of the vast, diverse mountain area we serve.  I am thrilled when we are able to provide needed care and to connect them with other services they need.”

To read more about Wendy and why Our Heart is in the Home, click here.