Don’t Panic

Candy Drop Mustangs 2015

St. Vincent Healthcare team members hand out first aid kits at local baseball game.

When Billings resident, Bill Renney, broke his leg while on a solo backpacking trip in the rugged, Beartooth mountains, he wasn’t sure what his fate would be but he knew he couldn’t panic. Luckily, Renney packed a first-aid kit he’d received from St. Vincent Healthcare at a promotional event last summer and used the medical tape from the kit to write the word “HELP” in large letters on the outside wall of his tent. Twenty hours after his injury, a couple hikers passed by and saw Renney’s distress signal and hiked out to call 911. Renney was rescued and carried down the trail by the Red Lodge Search and Rescue team to a clearing and was picked up by St. Vincent Healthcare’s HELP Flight helicopter.

Click here to read the full story written by Billings Gazette reporter, Zach Benoit.


Saint Joe’s Budding Relationship with Metro Caring

The Cancer Center of Colorado at Saint Joseph Hospital has been hiding something.  Okay, so they haven’t been hiding something, rather they have been working hard on a project that lies behind the courtyard walls. This project has been in the works for months now with Metro Caring and is finally coming to fruition – a community garden.

If you are unfamiliar with Metro Caring, they are located across 18th Ave from the Cancer Center and are Denver’s leading hunger-relief organization.  Their mission is to provide healthy food for those in need, as well as educate people on how to be self-sufficient so they can provide healthy foods for themselves and their family.  In addition to food access, Metro Caring offers training for those interested in working in food production and distribution, financial literacy assistance and programs to help people get back on their feet and find employment.DSCN3078

Jeanice Hanson, a social worker at the Cancer Center, had a vision to transform the wasted space behind the center into something more useful.  When she heard about the great work Metro Caring does, she contacted Reuben Gregory, their Sustainability and Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, and the two began to make plans for a garden.  After this partnership was formed, the Cancer Center was blessed with a donation to fund the construction of the garden by the hospital to make it all happen!  Jeanice ordered all the supplies that would be needed, and Reuben took the lead on maintaining the garden.

Now, after months of planning, planting, and harvesting, there are ten raised beds behind the Cancer Center.  This allows plenty of room for food and flowers to flourish and feed Denver’s hungry.

“At the end of this growing season, Metro Caring and our Cancer Center team will review the operation and determine if the growing operation can be enhanced to serve patients and/or staff,” says Jeanice Hansen.  “The concept of a “Healing Garden”  in which staff and patients could participate is certainly a consideration.” In anticipation of patient use, the layout of the beds was configured to allow room for wheelchair access.


To ensure this garden was off to a good start, the Saint Joseph Hospital Mission Council made a visit early this month and gave a blessing.  Many volunteers and associates of Saint Joe’s gathered around and said a prayer that the garden be blessed and fruitful.

“This garden is an oasis amidst the bricks and concrete.  I hope folks from both Metro Caring and Saint Joseph Hospital can enjoy the serenity and beauty that it offers.  I hope that it can produce almost year-round—this can help Metro Caring provide fresh and (very) locally grown produce for anyone that needs it,” said Reuben Gregory.

The garden will be documented throughout its growth over the next coming months.  Stay tuned for further updates on how the garden is coming along and how it is impacting the community.