Vail Valley Medical Center Dinner Dance raises funds for Howard Head Sports Medicine initiatives |

Vail Valley Medical Center Dinner Dance raises funds for Howard Head Sports Medicine initiatives

Daily staff report
George Johnson, event chairperson Mary Sue Shannon, Vail Health Services Board Chairman Mike Shannon, Tim Shannon, Susanna Johnson Shannon and Geordy Johnson.
Zach Mahone | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — Vail Valley Medical Center commemorated its 50th anniversary in 2015, and what better way to culminate the celebration than an event that has supported the hospital’s initiatives and growth for the past 35 years? The Family Dinner Dance is a tradition that brings more than 460 guests of all ages together for an evening of food, lively bidding, dancing and family fun. All proceeds from this year’s event will help fund research, education and patient care at Howard Head Sports Medicine.

“The Dinner Dance has always inspired a spirit of giving during the holiday season,” said Doris Kirchner, president and CEO of Vail Valley Medical Center. “It was so nice to see families celebrate with old friends and new, and we are grateful to everyone who made the event possible and whose generosity will help further advance the quality of care patients receive at Howard Head Sports Medicine.”

The Family Dinner Dance is the hospital’s signature fundraiser and the only black-tie event in the valley for all ages and generations. Children enjoyed games, art and crafts and movies at the Winter Funderland Carnival, while adults bid on unique items such as a four-night stay for two couples at Amangiri in Utah and a San Diego getaway at the exclusive Beach Village at The Del.

The Family Dinner Dance takes place on Dec. 28 each year to honor the birthday of Thelma Brittan, a good friend to the Vail Valley Medical Center and the wife of hospital pioneer Gordon Brittan. This year, Dr. Tom Steinberg was the event honoree and was recognized for his years of service as Vail’s first full-time doctor. Mary Sue Shannon served as the event chair and was acknowledged for her active involvement in the Family Dinner Dance.

“Mary Sue and her family have been longtime supporters and friends of the hospital,” Kirchner said. “They are passionate advocates for (Vail Valley Medical Center), and we are grateful for their support.”

Shannon collaborated with a committee of dedicated hospital volunteers and supporters, including Kathy Borgen, Kelly Bronfman, Doe Browning, Kathleen Eck, Susan Frampton, Donna Giordano, Lisa Greenberg, Marty Head, Susu Johnson, Elaine Kelton, Sarah Millett, Senenne Philippon, Sara Resnick, Ann Smead and Susan Suggs. Together with Vail Valley Medical Center staff, they planned each detail, secured auction items and ensured the event was a night to remember.

“(Vail Valley Medical Center) is an invaluable asset to our community, and I’m honored to be involved in an event that celebrates the history of our hospital and supports its future growth,” Shannon said.

In an active mountain community such as Eagle County, injuries are common, and Howard Head Sports Medicine’s goal is to rebuild and return its patients to the things they love to do the most. Since 1990, Howard Head Sports Medicine has been developing extensive therapy protocols for rehabilitation, setting new standards for research and innovation in the physical therapy field worldwide. The Howard Head Sports Medicine Fund will help promote and encourage clinical research projects and educational fellowships to advance the quality of care its patients receive.

Proceeds from last year’s Family Dinner Dance helped fund the hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Lab, which opened in February 2015 and has saved eight lives in less than a year. Historically, patients requiring the life-saving intervention of a cath lab traveled to Denver to receive treatment. The cath lab has ensured timely treatment when minutes matter the most.

Each year, the Family Dinner Dance supports the hospital’s mission to provide superior health services with compassion and exceptional outcomes.

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