Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Chelsea O'Day - September Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award Recipient

Congratulations Chelsea O’Day, recipient of Imagine!’s Excellence in Customer Service Award for September. 

Chelsea has developed genuine friendships with the residents at Imagine!’s Foothills Group Home. When she walks through the door, it brightens their day. Chelsea has been practicing a Johnny Cash song with one of the residents for a long time. She helped him learn the lyrics and then brought in her personal recording equipment to record him singing. She provided background music with her ukulele. Check it out below.


This is just one example of the meaningful work Chelsea does with the residents. She promotes a team-focused environment and is a wonderful role model.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Erica Berridge - Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero

Congratulations Erica Berridge, selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero.

Erica embodies all of Imagine’s customer service values. She is a pleasure to work with and always goes above and beyond for her clients. Erica is such a great advocate for her clients and puts her heart into everything that she does. She is an amazing asset to her SLS team and steps up to take on new and challenging cases. She is also the first to volunteer to cover a case or IP and always does so with a smile and a positive attitude. Any task that is put in front of Erica is met with great attention to detail and care. She has become a strong Case Manager and it is evident in every case that she touches.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Imagine! CEO Completes IRONMAN

Imagine! CEO Mark Emery recently competed in the 2018 IRONMAN Boulder, his first ever long distance triathlon. Two months prior to the race, he suffered a hip injury and had to modify his training to manage the pain. Two weeks before the race, Mark could not walk a full mile, and the race was the first time he had run in nine weeks. Despite the setback, he stayed the course and gave it a go.

Mark is no stranger to adventures and stepping out of his comfort zone. Hiking from Aspen to Crested Butte and back again in one weekend, summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and peaking Mount Ben Nevis in Scotland, a rim to rim day hike in the Grand Canyon, and a handful of national and international bike tours. This is just a taste of Mark’s drive for adventure.

Before committing to the race, Mark was fascinated by the IRONMAN. “Look at these folks doing this, why on earth would anyone do this?” wondered Mark. He talked to friends and colleagues, picking their brains about the race and why they did it. This included co-worker Heather Forsyth, who competed in her third IRONMAN this year.

His curiosity and admiration snowballed into serious consideration, so he took a few evaluations to see if he was capable of such a feat. “Mentally, I was pretty sure I could put myself through this. Physically, I wasn’t so sure.” The evaluations came back positive and Mark made the commitment in fall of 2017.

A month after committing, Mark experienced one of worst things any father could go through, the passing of his daughter at age 25.

“Training became my therapy,” said Mark. He incorporated grieving into the training and wanted to be by himself. “I hired a coach to help me organize my workouts, but anytime she asked me if I wanted to join groups, I said ‘absolutely not.’ For me, training was pure solitude, solace, alone time. And terrific for me.”

Training went as planned until early April when he started to feel pain in his hip. Mark adapted his routine to manage the pain, but as the race drew nearer, he didn’t know if he would even be able to run.

It was HOT on IRONMAN race day. It reached a high of 93 degrees and a constant intake of fluids was a must. He had a smooth swim and was very pleased when he exited the reservoir. The bike ride was when the sun showed its ugly side and beat down on all the riders.

“I constantly felt depleted and didn’t know if I had enough fluids in me, until I rode past a tree that gave me a small allergic reaction and my eyes started to water. I said to myself ‘Thank goodness! There ARE fluids in my body!’”

Mark dismounted the bike and began his biggest challenge of all, managing the pain in his hip. He was prepared to pull the plug at any moment, knowing it wasn’t worth it to extend the injury. “If I was in Vegas, I would have bet on me quitting the run before six miles,” said Mark.

But then, something happened. He found a certain rhythm and cadence to his step that bypassed the pain. “It was mechanical, almost like a robot,” said Mark. “I knew that if I could avoid any mistakes and maintain that rhythm, I would make it.”

Mark used the newly founded mechanical motion and crossed the finish line at 14 hours, 54 minutes, and 27 seconds. “I probably could have finished with a faster time, but I wanted to soak in everything going on,” said Mark. He stopped to chat with people, rested up at aid stations, and took in the mountain views.

After asking Mark what major lesson he took away from his IRONMAN experience, he responded:

Mark and his wife, Judy, at an Imagine! event. 
“The human condition is interesting because people are given a variety of gifts. It is my judgement that if you don’t take advantage of those gifts, then that’s not okay. Something as simple as reading, writing, thinking clearly, formulating ideas… if you’re not taking advantage of that because you have that gift, something is wrong. Physically, it’s the same thing. If you’re not challenged physically, and you’re not demonstrating the gifts you are given, in my opinion, that’s not okay. I’m lucky at my age to do what I’m able to do. It would be wrong for me to not take advantage of that and do uncommon things, like the IRONMAN.

“When these gifts are not acted upon, what a loss to the rest of us. Leave your legacy. Exercise that. Demonstrate that. Everybody’s got something. In our line of work, it’s a challenge to find what somebody’s something is, but it’s there.”

Monday, August 20, 2018

Imagine! Innovations Super Hero: Katy Pape

Every month, Imagine!’s Innovations department presents the “Super Hero of the Month” award to the employee or provider who has best demonstrated excellence in one or more of our Innovations Quality Standards:
  • Health, Safety, and Wellbeing 
  • Effective and Efficient 
  • Respect and Dignity 
  • Opportunities 
  • Integrity 
  • Care 
This month, the award was presented to Katy Pape.

Katy is the only Primary Residential Counselor for the Timber Ridge site. During the month of June, her Supervisor was away on paternity leave and the Timber Ridge Residential Assistant Site Supervisor was also away on vacation. Katy basically coordinated and stayed on top of everything for all six individuals for about three weeks. She scheduled and coordinated follow-up for all medical appointments, she spent a number of days and long hours getting one of the individuals unpacked and moved into their new apartment, and she kept up with outings, shopping trips, and cooking activities for all the individuals. She consistently worked late, well after her shift should have ended, to ensure everyone had what they needed and the proper information was communicated to the right people.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Imagine! Softball Superstars

Congratulations to Team Imagine! – softball superstars! For the second year in a row, the team took home the Boulder Rec League Championship in their division. The final game had it all! Imagine! fell behind by six runs early, but fought their way back and eventually triumphed in an extra inning, nail biting, 11-10 victory! Way to go team, and thanks to the fans who cheered them on!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Out & About Bike Block Party: Ways To Participate

This coming Saturday, Imagine!’s Out & About department is hosting its 4th Annual Bike Block Party, sponsored by First National Bank. There are several ways you can be part of this amazing event:

Join Us: Saturday, August 18, Erie Community Park, 450 Powers Street, Erie CO, 11am-3pm

Sponsor a Rider: Riders will participate in an adaptive bike race to take as many laps as they can during our 4th annual Bike Block Party. All donations will help to provide community inclusion opportunities for people with developmental disabilities! Get started here.

Volunteer: Volunteers are needed to help with variety of activities including; set-up, station support, general event support, food service, clean up, etc. Volunteers needed from 10am-4pm. Contact Elizabeth Hill if you are interested.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Elizabeth Crimmins - Imagine! Early Intervention Rockstar

Imagine!’s Early Intervention (EI) program has a terrific team working to create a world of opportunity for all abilities. To show their appreciation, this team chooses a “Rockstar” each month within their program. Team members submit nominations describing what the nominee has contributed, going above and beyond to support those we serve.

We would like to recognize Elizabeth Crimmins as this month’s Rockstar.

Elizabeth recently joined the Early Intervention team and has already proven to be a stellar addition to the team! Coming from a background of EI in a different state, she has picked up really quickly to Colorado’s EI model. She brings a positive attitude to our team and shows passion for the work she does. She’s motivated and has a contagious positive attitude with everything she does. We are lucky to have her on our team!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Michelle Shanley - Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero

Congrats to Michelle Shanley, selected as an Imagine! Case Management Unsung Hero.

Michelle has been a pleasure to work with since she came here only 4 months ago. She always very pleasant and eager to learn new jobs. She has literally done the majority of the Questys scanning and has learned how to streamline that process. She has helped all of the Business System team every day doing little things before we get a chance to do them.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Jamie To The Rescue!

When Jamie Zimenoff (Imagine! Nurse Case Manager) was growing up, his father was a volunteer fireman and would get calls on his pager that needed immediate attention. His father would hear the loud tone and instantly stand up to leave the house. As a youngster, that sense of urgency was ingrained in Jamie’s DNA.

Therefore, on July 11, during a softball game in Boulder, it is no surprise that when Jamie heard the words “first responder,” he did not hesitate and immediately jogged over to the scene.

Jamie was playing for the Imagine! employee softball team when a player from another field rushed over and asked for help. A man had collapsed on the pitcher’s mound from a heart attack.

Jamie is a licensed practical nurse with five years experience. Another nurse who was playing on a different field also got word of the situation and ran over as well. She was performing chest compressions as Jamie arrived. A third responder was also present, and the three of them took turns with compressions and breaths.

“I didn’t know this was a heart attack. I just knew he didn’t have a pulse and he wasn’t breathing,” said Jamie.

After a few sets of CPR, the gentleman still had no pulse. The automatic external defibrillator (AED) arrived and after putting on the pads, the machine advised to give a shock. Still no pulse.

Two police officers arrived after the first shock and walked up to the pitcher’s mound. They observed Jamie and his partner's teamwork and efficiency and let them continue. 

“The officer told me afterward that it was clear we knew what we were doing and he wanted us to keep doing our thing, no need to jump in and takeover,” said Jamie.

After two more sets of compressions and breaths, the AED advised a second shock and shortly after that was given, the gentleman’s legs, arms, and head started to move slightly, and he sighed. As he started to come to, the EMTs arrived and took over, relieving Jamie and his partners of their CPR duties.

As the Fire Department EMTs took over and treated the gentleman with an oxygen mask, an ambulance drove onto the field and pulled up to the pitcher’s mound. He was taken to the hospital and received open heart surgery that very night. We have learned that he is recovering and doing well.

“Honestly,” said Jamie, “I don’t think he would have made it without the AED.” Giving two shocks and almost a third, the AED jumpstarted the gentleman’s heart when he had no pulse.

It was an emotional incident. All the fields paused their games and walked over to support. Unlocking the back gate, directing emergency vehicles to the scene, standing by to give compressions if needed, and offering emotional support to family and friends of the gentleman were of the many ways people pitched in.

“It was a group effort,” said Jamie. “It’s really cool to be in a community where something arises and boom, three or four people are there ready to help.”

Jamie also admired the fact that everyone remained calm, even while their peer was unconscious and not breathing. “No one freaked out,” said Jamie, “but rather looked around for something to do and support us.”

Jamie teaches CPR/First Aid at Imagine! and it was clear that he knew what he was doing. There was a sense of confidence and stability watching Jamie and his partners execute CPR and use the AED. His voice projected as he announced to the group what was happening next or when to step back. “You never know when you’re needed to help out,” said Jamie. “I’m just glad I could and that it was a good outcome.”

Jamie and his two partners were the MVPs of the night, and everyone at the fields made sure they knew it. Receiving hugs and heartfelt sentiments, Jamie walked away feeling supported after a very emotional evening. We thank Jamie for his heroic actions, rushing to the scene and effectively using his skills when someone’s life was on the line.

Jamie and his softball community at Stazio Fields in Boulder

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dan Fox - Recipient of the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award

Congratulations to Dan Fox on being selected for the Imagine! Excellence in Customer Service Award.

Dan has been a wonderful asset to Imagine!. Dan manages the greater Imagine! fleet and works directly and supports our internal vehicle coordinator in all ways. Dan has been known to drop everything to help a program with anything big or small that might come up. We rely heavily on a well maintained and safe fleet and Dan has shown in many ways how that is his first priority. Dan has always said the safety and comfort of the participants and staff in our program (and all services at Imagine!) are his number one objectives and priorities. Dan has demonstrated nothing but kindness, support, and advocacy for all those working alongside him and participants being served by Imagine!.