Swire Coca-Cola partners with NAH Office of Philanthropy

A variety of characters have come to the doors at Flagstaff Medical Center’s Emergency Department, but never a stuffed polar bear bringing gifts of soda and water. 

That is what happened today when the Coca-Cola bear arrived with a big red cooler and cases of Coke, Sprite, Body Armor, and water for staff as an appreciation for the work they do in the community. 

“Today we’re here to show our gratitude to the Emergency Department employees and staff,” said Jamie Bellar, Food Service On-Premise Manager for Swire Coca-Cola. “We just want them to know how much we appreciate them and how much the community appreciates all their challenging work.” 

Bellar said she can only imagine how stressful their jobs can be and hopes they’ll enjoy taking a break with a free ice-cold beverage.  

“We came here to support the staff and help put a few smiles on peoples’ faces,” Bellar said. 

Swire Coca-Cola will refill the cooler through the month of March as part of its sponsorship through Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Office of Philanthropy

“I can think of no finer partnership we are creating in the community than with Coca-Cola,” said Larry Kushner, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Northern Arizona Healthcare. “Today was deeply special – to our front-line staff who are, in my mind, real health care heroes, providing compassionate care to our patients and family members, day in and day out.” 

Ryan Wallace, Emergency Department Clinical Manager, rallied up a handful of staff to take a photo with the Coca-Cola Bear and to help bring in the cases of drinks. Before carting in the beverages, they took turns taking selfies with the bear, high-fiving, and getting a big furry hug. 

“It’s amazing to see this kind of support from this community,” Wallace said. “Everyone has been through a lot, and I know my department is super thankful for this. It shows us we make more of a difference than to the person we may be seeing in front of us – it’s a difference felt through the whole community.”