Frontline Heroes: Chris Freeby, Adam Alspach, Rachel Murphy, Kathie Jacobsen, Matt Johnson, Shawn Breaze
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — To mark the one-year milestone of the COVID-19 pandemic in Routt County, Steamboat Pilot & Today asked people to nominate local individuals who they believed went above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chris Freeby is always at City Market working as hard as he can through personal challenges and the challenges everyone has faced due to COVID-19.
Adam Alspach is senior vice president at Alpine Bank in Steamboat Springs. He spearheaded Alpine Bank’s PPP loan and forgiveness program. His tireless efforts helped local businesses navigate federal rules and regulations, allowing businesses to continue operations and support the local economy.
Rachel Murphy is one of the many health care workers working so hard to keep people safe and healthy during this pandemic. She has worked many long and exhausting days helping keep people healthy as a nurse at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center and Pediatrics of Steamboat. She has worked with COVID-19 patients or has always kept a positive attitude. Just like all other nurses and health care workers in our community, Rachel has been there through it all to help loved ones in the community to recover and stay safe.
Kathie Jacobsen has worked tirelessly to bring the wedding community together during the pandemic, and she figured out how to host COVID-19 compliant, fun events during the pandemic. She wrote the request for a variance for Routt County and worked to reschedule wedding plans at serious financial hardship to her business, La Joya Dulce, a popular wedding venue outside of Steamboat Springs. By working to host compliant events during a pandemic, she was also able to support all of the additional businesses required for a wedding.
Matt Johnson bought Lyon’s Drug right before COVID-19 hit. He has managed to not only continue taking care of his patients but changed the entire business model to adapt to the special circumstances of this pandemic. Matt used the delivery service to reach those who couldn’t leave their homes. He would do anything for his patients. He volunteered his time and knowledge to assist Routt County Public Health in the roll out of the vaccine. He made sure he was on top of all the requirements needed to be the first pharmacy offering clinics in the valley. He is teaching his children valuable life lessons in community service, as they assist him at these clinics. He works tirelessly, seven days a week, to take care of the community as a business owner, health care provider and family man.
Shawn Breaze of Double J Heating and Service in Steamboat Springs is the pure definition of an unseen hero, especially during this pandemic. He always goes out of his way to be on call non-stop, always returning phone calls and making sure to do as many jobs as he humanely can despite the danger to himself or his family. He makes sure Steamboat has hot water and heat through the cold winter even with the pandemic. He is always available 24/7 to help those who need him.
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