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Staff Spotlight

Social worker Wendy Snow is recipient of Mount Evans’ 2014 Mountain Journey Award

Wendy has been a social worker at Mount Evans since 1992

Wendy has been a social worker at Mount Evans since 1992

Wendy Snow was chosen to receive Mountain Evans Home Health Care & Hospice’s highest honor for one very simple reason. “Wendy lives our mission,” says Kathy Engel, Mount Evans’ executive director and the woman privileged to present Snow with the organization’s 2014 Mountain Journey Award.

Indeed, Wendy Snow, LSW, has been living Mount Evans’ caring mission to provide help, hope and comfort to Colorado’s mountain-area residents since before the nonprofit came into being in 1980. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, Snow headed west for the University of Denver and a master’s degree in social work. Armed with those hard-won credentials, the resources of the Denver Regional Council of Governments, and an unwavering determination to be of material assistance to folks who could use some, Snow landed in resource-poor, but community-rich, Clear Creek County.

“I was there with DRCOG’s office on aging,” Snow remembers. “At the time there were no programs – nothing – in Clear Creek. I had a background in county organization and planning, and my job was to help start programs for seniors.”

Working alongside a devoted core of local Clear Creek advocates, Snow helped launch that county’s meal program, assisted in the creation of the much-needed Project Support Senior Center in Idaho Springs, and was instrumental in forming the Clear Creek County Medical Advisory Council.

Joining the Mount Evans team in 1992, the longtime Golden resident quickly re-established those fortunate Clear Creek associations, and Snow remains among their most steadfast friends and effective champions. Clear Creek County health educator Linda Trenbeath puts it this way:

“For many years Wendy Snow has been an active supporter and participant in health and safety prevention and education services in Clear Creek County. She is a highly valued and respected health professional, providing both direct care services to our residents, and as a participant and leader on numerous community health advisory committees and boards.”

If that sounds like plenty to fill a work-day, consider that Snow does all of those things while still giving a full measure on behalf of mountain-area residents in crisis throughout Mount Evans’ vast service area.

“Wendy wears many hats,” says her supervisor, Sallie Wandling. “She can be a counselor, care coordinator, financial advisor, or resource manager.  She can be a confidante, an assistant, and even, occasionally, a director. She can walk alongside a patient or family, or lovingly push them into making a good decision. Wendy goes above and beyond at every turn.”

“She embodies compassion in all of her interactions, and she’s never met a challenge she wasn’t willing to meet head-on,” Engel agrees. “Our clinicians know they can call upon her at any time. If a patient dies at 3 a.m., Wendy will be there to support the family. It’s difficult to find that kind of commitment.”

Still, not even Snow can work around the clock, and on those occasions when she’s not laboring in the service of mountain-area families, she can often be found relaxing with a good book, contentedly puttering in her garden, or simply recharging her mental and spiritual batteries in the warm company of her husband, Chedd, and their four children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Indeed, the day will surely come when Snow gives up the long days and even longer nights, and finds ways to occupy her time and energy that don’t demand the physical and emotional sacrifices that are part and parcel of her chosen vocation. But if Mount Evans has anything to say about it, that day won’t come for a long, long time.

“I always tell Wendy she can’t retire,” smiles Engel, only half kidding, “because I don’t know what we would do without her.”