Frontline Heroes: Kimberly Gladding, Meghan McNamara, Katie Keller, April Sigman, Clark Davidson
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.
Kim Gladding works at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. She has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was 17, is married and has an eighth-grade daughter. And despite her autoimmune disease, she still volunteered to test patients for COVID-19 while knowing the risk. YVMC was one of the first places to be testing in Steamboat, and Kim was ready to help her community even though she would be at extreme risk if she contracted COVID-19.
Meghan McNamara has worked tirelessly over the past year as the residential coordinator for Horizons Specialized Services. She works to protect adults with developmental disabilities — a particularly vulnerable population — from COVID through testing multiple times a week, developing new policies and procedures, coordinating vaccination clinics for the clients and staff and supporting her employees and residents through the ever-changing and incredibly challenging pandemic. She has truly been on the front lines for the past year — something her job would not typically require. While the residential coordinator position was already a full-time job before COVID, dealing with COVID-related issues has absolutely taken over. She has had to find ways to comply with constantly shifting guidance from the state and translate that guidance to the several group homes she manages under Horizons. She coordinates and works multiple testing clinics a week. She jumps in to cover staff in the homes who have to quarantine. Meghan’s efforts are a huge benefit to the community. By putting in place so many precautions, she has been able to protect the clients and staff who work in the group homes. She has led them through an incredibly difficult time and provided guidance and reassurance, especially to those who many not understand fully what’s happening in our world. She not only talks the talk, but walks the walk — with boots on the ground, in the thick of testing and clinics and covering shifts in homes.
Katie Keller has worked tirelessly through the pandemic with resident families while also caring for her own family and being a wonderful friend. She helped to keep Casey’s Pond open in her role as social services coordinator and cared for some of the most valued and important residents in the community — our grandmothers and grandfathers.
April is executive director of the Routt County Council on Aging, and over the past year, she has worked hard to maneuver through the changing county requirements to ensure the senior population of Routt County continues to receive daily meals. In the past, the council has provided group meals to seniors daily in Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Oak Creek. When the changing rules ended the group meals, April enlarged the Meals on Wheels program to take up the slack. In 2020, April oversaw the creation and delivery of 13,289 Meals on Wheels deliveries, up from 3,819 in 2019. She also organized grocery shopping services for seniors and personally made calls to check on seniors to make sure they were OK. The senior citizens of Routt County are dependent upon April for services, especially during the pandemic.
Clark Davidson, an accountant, has been working day in and day out to help locals and small businesses in Steamboat Springs stay afloat. Clark and his staff have helped people apply for unemployment and PPP loans during the pandemic and helped many small businesses stay open by helping them navigate new pandemic resources, offering financial advice and keeping everyone informed on their options.
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