Members of Leadership Fort Collins (LFC), a program of the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce established in 1981, spearheaded a community project to support patients at the Pathways Care Center at McKee Medical Center. Pathways is a local nonprofit providing expert hospice care for individuals navigating the last months of life, as well as complete palliative care services and grief and loss support. Each year, members of Leadership Fort Collins complete a small project to fill a need in the community. Six members of the 2017-18 Leadership Fort Collins class chose to work with Pathways for their project.
The genesis of the project began with one member in particular. Quinha McBride, CSU Corporate Relations, had personal experience with hospice care for her mother. While visiting her mother in hospice at McKee, McBride noticed that another hospice patient had no visitors and looked out at a brick wall. This experience led to her idea to bring art into the hospice rooms for patients to enjoy in their last days, and the hospice staff loved the idea.
“My mother was an artist and lived every day to share the love of art!” said McBride. “While she was undergoing chemo treatments she would bring all her art supplies with her and paint pictures for the nurses. She brightened up any room she walked in and would have been so delighted to see this project come to life.”
Nate Lamkin, president of Pathways, expressed enthusiasm for the idea and noted that, while Pathways receives great support from the community, this is the first time Pathways worked with an outside group in service to the patients themselves.
Collaborating with local artists, the LFC team gathered artwork and worked with Marsha Sesskin, Director of Development at Pathways, to arrange for the artwork to be installed at McKee Medical Center, which has six hospice patient rooms.
Artists in the area responded immediately to the request. Team member Nick Smiley, Maintenance/Electrical Supervisor, City of Fort Collins, said, “We were thrilled at the number of artists who wanted to support this project, many of whom had been personally affected by their own hospice experience with a family member.”
Donating artists included:
- Diane Edwards
- Pam Holloway
- Joani Fischer
- Lillian Hargrave (age 10)
- Jennifer Spencer
- Beth Lighthouse
- Kevin Steinbock
Leadership Fort Collins small group team members included:
- Nick Smiley, City of Fort Collins
- Quinha McBride, CSU
- Mary Baird, Hach
- Marketa Jankar, CSU
- Nancy Kepner, Crafted Leadership
- Brad Ward, City of Fort Collins
About Leadership Fort Collins
Leadership Fort Collins, a program of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, was established in 1981. The program is designed to broaden participant knowledge of the community while enhancing leadership skills, encouraging contribution to the betterment of the Fort Collins community, increasing the strength and effectiveness of community leaders, equipping participants to respond to the current and future challenges of the community and to provide opportunities for direct contact with influential people, businesses and organizations while achieving the goal of educating and motivating leaders who are committed to shaping the future of our community. Thirty current and emerging leaders are selected to participate in the program every year. For more information, visit fortcollinschamber.com/program/leadership-fort-collins.
Established in 1978, Pathways is a nonprofit agency providing exceptional hospice care in the last months of life, complete palliative care for those with long-term serious illness and community-wide grief support for residents of Larimer and Weld counties in northern Colorado. For more information, visit www.pathways-care.org.