Jane Howell recipient of Hazie Werner award
February 19, 2017
Steamboat Springs — A longtime Steamboat Springs resident who spent her career helping and caring for others is the recipient of this year's Hazie Werner Award for Excellence.
Jane Howell will be honored during a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Haymaker Clubhouse.
"It's very humbling," Howell, who came to Steamboat in 1980, said. "I was very surprised."
Each year, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. honors a female community member who represents the ideals of Hazie Werner, a legend in the Yampa Valley known for her dedication, giving philosophy, volunteer work and tireless commitment to a multitude of children, families and organizations. Howell is the 29th woman to be recognized.
"What an honor to be with that cadre of women," Howell said.
Recommended Stories For You
Howell spent her career working in social services for Routt Memorial Hospital, Yampa Valley Medical Center and the Doak Walker Care Center.
In the early 1990s, Howell recognized a community need when a family visiting Steamboat was in crisis in the emergency room, which led to the birth of the crisis support team.
"I noticed the parents didn't have support, and I sort of jumped in," Howell said.
She helped arrange for transportation for the family to Denver, found lodging for them, gave directions around the city and helped them contact out-of-state friends and family.
Today, Howell leads a team of seven to provide on-call crisis support.
"We are called in to help families navigate through the immediate crisis and try to hook them up with their support system," Howell said.
Carol Gordon, who works with Howell on the crisis team, said Howell is compassionate and caring to complete strangers and a great friend.
"So caring, and she has a wonderful sense of energy," Gordon said.
Howell is also able to add a sense of humor to her compassion, when appropriate.
Gordon worked with Howell when she was a volunteer on the Child Protection Committee of the Routt County Human Services Department.
The purpose of the committee was to review cases of suspected child abuse.
"Jane was an engaged participant, making heartfelt, non-judgmental assessments, comments and suggestions," Gordon said.
In addition, Howell has worked with Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide and the Wellness Conferences and has served on the Steamboat Mental Health board and YVMC ethics committee.
She and her family have been involved with 4-H and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
"When you read that Jane did all these things, it doesn't capture the zest and energy she brings with her," Howell's daughter, Katie Keller, said. "She would remind anyone who meets her of a hummingbird. She loves deeply, lives deeply and exemplifies what the Hazie Werner award signifies."