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Bolos and Boots Event Raises Funds for Local Cancer Center

At the 15th annual Bolos and Boots event on Friday, July 20, 2018, over 150 supporters showed their generosity in supporting the local San Luis Valley Health’s Foundation in raising funds for the cancer center. Kelly Gurule, Foundation Director, commented, “We raised over $30,000 and my board did a fantastic job once again.  I want to thank everyone for attending, donating and volunteering to make this successful." Each year, outstanding community partners are recognized at this annual dinner for their contributions to the community and to the SLV Health Foundation.  The board recognizes businesses, groups, or individuals who have shown support, commitment and dedication in helping the foundation make exceptional healthcare possible by honoring them with the "Adamson Award."   

Foundation Chair Sheila Hicks welcomed the supporters to the event.  She acknowledged many of the donors and thanked them for their trust.  “As the healthcare needs of the Valley continue to grow, so will our commitment, dedication, and support to San Luis Valley Health,” Hicks stated.  Gurule also highlighted that Alamosa State Bank, Valley-Wide Health Systems, and SLV Federal Bank have been sponsors each year.

SLV Health CEO Konnie Martin recognized Cindy Palmer with a special personal award for all that she has contributed to improving access to healthcare in the San Luis Valley. “Cindy has worked in healthcare for over 30 years. She spent the last 18 years as the CEO for the organization, known first as SLV HMO and then Colorado Choice Health plans. In 2017, it became Friday Health Plans, from which she retired earlier this year. Cindy always considered the Valley her home even though she didn’t grow up here and spent some of her years professionally in California and the Front Range.”  Martin acknowledged that there is an interesting tension that can occur between a payer and a provider, but “when leaders keep the community’s best interest at heart, good things can happen. Cindy is a community-minded leader.” Both Konnie and Cindy recall conversations that they had with former SLV RMC CEO Russ Johnson about the amount of care that was leaving the community and how to strategically plan to allow for patients to be cared for locally. “It was Cindy’s commitment to these values that brought the concept of supporting cancer services to the forefront.”

Sal Gentile and Kelly Gurule

Sal Gentile, CEO of Friday Health Plans, receives the Adamson Award from Kelly Gurule

Cindy Palmer and Konnie Martin

Cindy Palmer (L) was acknowledged and thanked by Konnie Martin for her contributions to improving access to healthcare for residents of the SLV

Kelly Gurule awarded the 2018 Adamson Award to Colorado Choice Health Plans - Friday Health Plans for their outstanding commitment to the SLV Health Foundation. CEO and Co-Owner Sal Gentile accepted the award on behalf of these organizations. Sal thanked Cindy and the previous board for their time and passion for providing an example of being a great community partner and said he hoped to continue that mission of giving back.

As a special part of the “thank you” to Cindy, the Colorado Choice board members, and Friday Health Plan’s donation to the SLV Health Foundation, a beautiful art piece was commissioned from Carol Fennell for the occasion. The piece reflects the Constructive Healing Cycle which connects the five fundamental elements of nature: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire with balance, support, and harmony in our lives.

The members of the SLV Health Foundation Board are Sheila Hicks, Jeff Motz, Russell Achatz, Duane Bussey, Jacki Kennedy, Rosalie Martinez, Mary Motz, Erica Romero and Roxann Sittler. The members who were present at Friday’s event unveiled the art at the end of the evening and would like to extend an invitation to the public to come and view it on the wall by the entrance to the SLV Health Cancer Center in the Regional Medical Center at 106 Blanca Avenue, Alamosa.

Steven and Jacki Kennedy with friends

L to R: Steven and Jacki Kennedy enjoy fellowship with Rosalie and Leroy Martinez, all local business owners who give their time and resources to the Foundation and many other great causes in the SLV

Loreyt and Duane Bussey

Lorey and Duane Bussey are long time supporters of the SLV Health Foundation. Duane is the President of SLV Federal Bank and member of the Foundation Board.

Cindy Palmer and family

Cindy Palmer, second from right, is joined by her sisters and brother-in-law for this special evening.

foundation supporters

L to R: Shalini, Julia Bryant, Dr. Lee Grigsby and Dr. Nuwan Pilapitiya encourage others to bid on auction items at the event at Cattails Golf Course, Alamosa

foundation chair and members

Foundation Chair Sheila Hicks (L) is joined by her husband, Shawn and Dr. Defee and his wife Nichole.

foundation members

L to R: Connie Spencer, ASU President Dr. Cheryl Lovell, Lori and Brittany Laske enjoy the beautiful evening.

Joelle Boos-Medina

Joelle Boos-Medina, Cancer Survivor and SLV Federal Loan Officer, has been a long time supporter of many fundraising efforts in the SLV