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Vail Valley Surgery Center Supports Local Nonprofits

Emily Tamberino

In the last six years, Vail Valley Surgery Center has reinvested $764,000 back into the community. Nearly every year since 2005, the Surgery Center has increased its community give-back, and in 2016, it donated the most ever.
2016 – $250,000 
2015 – $150,000
2014 – $100,000
2013 – $100,000
2012 – $97,000
2011 – $67,000
VAIL, CO— In the last six years, Vail Valley Surgery Center (VVSC) has reinvested $764,000 back into the community. In 2016, the Surgery Center increased its donations to local nonprofits by $100,000, totaling $250,000 in give-back to community organizations. The company added 13 nonprofits to its charitable list last year, bringing the total number of nonprofits it serves to 29.
Vail Valley Surgery Center offers world-class, multi-specialty ambulatory surgery centers in Vail and Edwards. A joint venture between Vail Valley Medical Center and approximately twenty-five physician-investors, VVSC handles more than 6,400 cases annually. Specialties include orthopaedics, pain management, gastroenterology, general surgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology (also known as ear, nose and throat), plastic surgery and podiatry. 
“Our staff is proud to carefully select a group of local nonprofit organizations each year and donate substantial dollars that, in many cases, help them meet their budget,” says Michael Westmiller, VVSC’s administrator. 
One of the biggest monetary recipients is Vail Mountain Rescue, which provides public education, in addition to its life-saving search-and-rescue missions in the backcountry. VVSC’s $30,000 annual donation funds snow machines, radios and general rescue service necessities.  
The Surgery Center’s $10,000 donation to Eagle Valley Humane Society goes a long way toward treating the animals’ illnesses and injuries, from parasites and eye infections to spaying and neutering to manage stray populations. 
Last year, the Humane Society endured a rough patch when many of its animals got sick with treatable problems. As a result, the nonprofit went over budget. The Humane Society relies completely on donations and grants. “We have to work hard for our donations and grants,” said Char Gonsenica, CEO, adding that earned grant money usually only lasts a certain amount of time, and then it’s back to more grant writing. “It’s been really wonderful to be able to rely on benefactors like the Surgery Center; they have been generously donating to us for many years, which we greatly appreciate.”
Walking Mountains Science Center receives $5,000 from VVSC. “The donation helps support our programs that awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education,” said Patty White, VP of Development at Walking Mountains Science Center. 
The Eagle Valley Skating Association relies on VVSC’s donation to purchase uniforms and other equipment. VVSC also contributes to Jack’s Place, Eagle County School District, Vail Valley Charitable Fund, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, The Youth Foundation, Swift Eagle and more.
The Surgery Center’s physicians and staff actively support nonprofits not only through the dollars they give, but also through the time they volunteer in the community. For example, the “VVSC Vixens” is typically comprised of 20-25 employees who raise funds for Pink Vail to benefit cancer patients at Shaw Regional Cancer Center. Since Pink Vail began in 2012, the Vixens have placed amongst the Top 15 fundraising teams and have raised over $82,000. 
“VVSC staff feel honored to live here, and we want to contribute to Eagle County in a meaningful way,” Westmiller said. “It’s a great feeling to see our dollars helping the community through so many wonderful local organizations.”
VVSC has helped support nonprofits since 2005. Without its donations, some of the area’s health, recreational, cultural, emergency and environmental nonprofits might struggle, and perhaps not even be able to support, or expand, their programs.
“As the valley grows, Vail Valley Surgery Center has been bringing so much to people in terms of healthcare, and on top of that, contributing to nonprofits,” said Tom Boyd, director of communications for the Vail Valley Foundation. “They do so much for the valley. It’s a positive feedback loop. They (and other community members) support us, we in turn raise the quality of life for people, and some portion of those helped, in turn, are in a position to give back.”
And that’s what creates a strong, healthy community.
Vail Valley Surgery Center is a world class, multi-specialty outpatient surgical center offering the finest state-of-the-art technology, treatment and physician expertise. Centrally located on the campus of Vail Valley Medical Center and next to Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards, the Surgery Center offers patients a warm atmosphere, individualized attention and the ability to return home the same day or stay up to 23 hours for observation.