The Leadership Fund for Healthcare Heroes Award helps colleagues get back in the game 

We all need a little help sometimes – especially this year.  

For the last six months, COVID-19 has meant not only general stress and strain, but financial challenges, for many people in our Northern Arizona Healthcare family. That’s why our Senior Leadership Team created the $350,000 Leadership Fund for Healthcare Heroes Award, designed to help those who bear the biggest brunt of these challenges. 

94 percent of managers, directors, and SLT members participated in raising the funds, as did many supervisors. 

“The thought that many of us were able to contribute to those who had significant financial need was incredibly meaningful,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Dick Sharp. 

Nutrition Services Supervisor Mely Montgomery is one of 200 colleagues who received assistance from the Fund, and it made a dramatic difference in her life. When Mely became ill with walking pneumonia in May, it took her out of work for weeks – and burned up all her PTO. The Fund meant she needed to worry less about making it through the pandemic.  

“’Nice’…doesn’t sum up how much it meant to me,” Mely said. “For leadership to come up with this plan in the midst of all this, it speaks volumes: They do actually care about each and every one of us. I want to thank them…it gives people like me a sense of, ‘OK, I do belong here.’ I’ve never been in a place where leadership actually takes the time to listen to us. 

“It’s really great to be heard.” 

Being a recipient of the Fund has further inspired Mely to do amazing work for her community. 

“It has increased my empathy and compassion for people even more,” she said. “Everybody’s having a battle right now, whether at work or outside of work. We’re all battling with something due to this pandemic. It just inspires me to help people more.” 

Mely is now back in her regular professional role, healthy and happy – and with a brand-new interest in disc golf. She can play five games in a single day. 

“Everything’s OK,” she said. “I just stare at the mountains, take a deep breath and just stand in the sun for a minute and realize that it’s going to be OK…honestly, I feel very blessed right now.” 

NAH managers, directors, senior leadership team, employed providers, the NAH Board, and NAH certificate holders would like to thank each and every awardee for all the hard work and dedication they provide to our patients and communities we serve.