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Annual Dinner Dance Celebrates Hospital's 50th Anniversary

emily tamberino

VAIL CO — Vail Valley Medical Center commemorated its 50-year 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 over 460 guests of all ages together for an evening of delicious 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 (HHSM).

“The Dinner Dance has always inspired a spirit of giving during the holiday season” said Doris Kirchner president and CEO of the 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 and priceless items like 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 December 28 each year to honor the birthday of Thelma Brittan a good friend to Vail Valley Medical Center and the wife of VVMC 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 over the years.

“Mary Sue and her family have been long-time supporters and friends of the hospital” said Kirchner. “They are passionate advocates for VVMC and we are grateful for their support.”

Shannon collaborated with a committee of dedicated volunteers and fellow supporters of VVMC 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 VVMC staff they planned each detail secured each auction item and ensured the event was a night to remember.

“VVMC 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” said Shannon.

In an active mountain community like 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 HHSM 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. VVMC's 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.

About Vail Valley Medical Center
From modest beginnings in 1965 VVMC has grown into one of the world's most advanced mountain hospitals providing Olympic-quality sports medicine leading evidence-based research modern cancer care and extensive cardiology services – all top-quality services with exceptional outcomes. An independent nonprofit medical center VVMC keeps hundreds of jobs and resources local better serving our community and visitors. Providing superior health services with compassion and exceptional outcomes VVMC offers expanding services low infection rates free community services and top-rated patient satisfaction scores. For more information please visit