Craig Hospital Foundation

To advocate for and provide exemplary rehabilitation care to people affected by spinal cord and traumatic brain injury so that they can achieve optimal health, independence, and life quality.

Organizational Overview

Craig Hospital Foundation
3425 South Clarkson Street
Englewood, CO 80113
To advocate for and provide exemplary rehabilitation care to people affected by spinal cord and traumatic brain injury so that they can achieve optimal health, independence, and life quality.

It is that time of year again. Why should you choose to donate to Craig Hospital?

The outcomes our patients achieved this past year and the accolades they earned are remarkable,

• Unparalleled patient outcomes - 91% of patients returned home after rehabilitation instead of to a tax-payer funded assisted living facility or nursing home.
• High standards of excellence - Craig was ranked the #1 Rehabilitation Hospital in the U.S. by the American Nurses Association (ANA) for achieving outstanding nursing quality.
• Transforming lives in countless ways - Craig graduates return to work in greater numbers and have a higher satisfaction with life compared to other individuals with spinal cord and brain injuries treated at other hospitals.
• A legacy of incredible care - Craig was ranked one of the top Rehabilitation Hospitals by US News and World Report for the 24 consecutive year.

The stats and figures that our patients achieved are certainly impressive. But this Holiday season, I ask you to give to Craig because of our patients. Nearly 30,000 individuals with spinal cord and traumatic brain injury have returned to independence, benefiting from our innovative programs, which equip patients with the tools to succeed. Each of these inspiring patients has a story to tell.

Patients like Stephanie Martinez, who was eighteen years old and four months pregnant when she sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident.

Through Craig Hospital's Adaptive Child Care Program, Stephanie learned functional adaptive skills-like how to change a diaper from a wheel chair and how to pick a baby up out of a bassinet-skills she would need to be a nurturing and caring mother.

Derek was born perfectly healthy five months later and he is the joy of Stephanie's life. She has gone on to finish high school and will start college in the next few months. Stephanie says, "I was surrounded by love at Craig Hospital. I learned the skills I would need to take care of Derek once he was born. I learned how to be the best single mom I could be."

Ken Santistevan was a high-powered community and public relations executive who reinvented himself through Craig's Community Reintegration Program following his traumatic brain injury. With guidance from the Craig Hospital staff, he launched, and continues to teach, an adaptive yoga class for other Craig Hospital patients, grads, and community members.

"Sometimes it takes a smack in the head to wake up and realize what is important in life," Ken says. "What I was doing before my accident was not my purpose. Now I am dedicated to my family and helping other patients-I have an 11-year-old son and I am giving him the time I didn't have to give him before my accident. Now, I am the dad I want to be."

An unexplained brain hemorrhage left Terry Miller with severe memory loss and extreme difficulty speaking. He had no memory of his phenomenal musical ability when he met with Craig Hospital's Music Therapist to work on his speech production. Upon picking up a guitar, Terry's fingers immediately started to play classic jazz and blues songs perfectly. Over the next three months, Craig Hospital's creative and innovative therapists coached Terry to speak again by having him sing countless songs as part of the donor-funded Music Therapy Program. Now, Terry's speech production is near perfect and he can communicate with his wife and kids once again.

Kaleb Wilson worked in water search and rescue for the Coast Guard when a diving accident resulted in a spinal cord injury and paraplegia. Newly engaged to his fiancé Brittany and continuing his rehabilitation at Craig Hospital, Kaleb's goal is to walk down the aisle at his wedding in June. Through donor-funded programs like the PEAK Center, an adaptive health and wellness center with state-of-the-art rehabilitation technology, his dream just might come true.

Kaleb says, "Craig is the right place for anyone who has survived a catastrophic accident; it's the atmosphere of encouragement from the staff and the great rehabilitation programs. They've encouraged me to continue the lifestyle I had as best as I can. Nothing has changed; I can do everything everyone else can, I just need to have some ingenuity and persistence. It's hard work, but the staff believe in me and push me."

This Holiday season, let's make sure that people like Stephanie, Ken, Kaleb and Terry can access our world-class comprehensive rehabilitation services. Your generous contributions help patients and families receive unmatched care and access to programs like Patient Financial Assistance, Adaptive Child Care, Community Reintegration, Music Therapy, the PEAK Center and more.

When you are deciding which organization to support this holiday season, please choose Craig. Your generosity will help patients and their families achieve their dreams.

For our patients,

Mary Konrad Feller
Executive Director
Craig Hospital Foundation

Impact Statement

Craig Hospital's functional patient outcomes are superior in comparison with almost every national average in the most important measures of rehabilitation outcomes. On average, Craig graduates are more dependent when they are admitted, make greater functional gains during their initial treatment, are discharged home at higher rates, return to work or school in greater numbers, are more functionally independent and require less attendant care, have fewer re-hospitalizations, have higher levels of community re-integration and satisfaction with life, and have higher earning power than their national peer group treated in other rehabilitation programs.

Needs Statement

As one of the first rehabilitation hospitals in the U.S., Craig Hospital is the only free-standing facility in the country that focuses exclusively on spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) - two of the most devastating and life-changing injuries one can experience. Since 1956, Craig has helped more than 27,500 injured individuals and their families, including more SCI patients than any other single facility in the world. Annually, Craig serves more than 450 inpatient patients annully and more than 2,300 outpatient clients for health maintenance, medical-surgical care, education, and preventive care.

Background Statement

Founded in 1907 by namesake Frank Craig, the hospital started as a tent colony for victims of tuberculosis. This mission continued into the late 1940's, until medical advances eradicated the disease. Shortly after, Craig transitioned into a treatment facility for polio, and then in the 1950's, into a hospital focused on rehabilitation for people with SCI. TBI was added as a second specialty in the 1970's. Since 1956, Craig has helped more than 27,500 injured individuals and their families, including more SCI patients than any other single facility in the world.

Craig Hospital is a one of a kind medical institution, not just in the state of Colorado, but also on a regional and national level. This is because Craig is more than a hospital; we are an educational institution that teaches patients and families how to live the fullest lives possible after a catastrophic injury. Our focus is on fostering as much independence as possible for our patients, and finding new and innovative ways for them to be self-sufficient, take responsibility for their futures, and succeed in spite of surface limitations.

Craig is also a family; we seek to educate patients, their families and even the community. We nurture a family culture where staff tenure is exceptional, and our graduates stay connected, supporting one another. This strong familial culture, in conjunction with our adherence to innovative rehabilitative approaches, generates patient outcomes that are remarkable and proven. Studies that compare the outcomes of Craig patients to those rehabilitated elsewhere show that patients arrive at Craig with more severe impairments, yet 91% of them return to home, work, and school, compared to 69% from other rehabilitation centers.

Executive Director Statement

Message from the Mary Feller, Executive Director Craig Hospital Foundation:

"Return on Investment (ROI)" is most often connected to the business world, and even when associated with nonprofits, the focus is on getting the most for the money you invested or contributed. However, ROI at theCraig Hospital Foundation refers to the return of independence for Craig patients. Craig Hospital is recognized internationally for the superior outcomes our patients have in the areas of functional independence, as well as the percentage of patients returning to home, to work and to school.

Many of our programs would not be in existence but for the support of our donors. Therapeutic Recreation, our Nurse Advice Line, our research collaborations and our assistance provided to patients to purchase equipment or modify their homes are all possible through the generosity of those individuals, families, corporations, organizations and foundations who have donated. So it is true that your contribution to the Craig Hospital Foundation receives an outstanding return on investment by providing a powerful impact in the lives of our patients as they return to independence. You are an important part of the Craig family, and we thank you.

Board Chair/President Statement

Message from Mike Fordyce, President and CEO Craig Hospital:

Craig Hospital continues along its' award-winning trend. We were privileged this year to be ranked for the 22nd consecutive time as a Top Ten Rehabilitation Center by US News and World Report, and recently received the prestigious El Pomar Spencer and Julie Penrose Award for the Outstanding Nonprofit in the state of Colorado. We once again achieved Magnet® status for nursing excellence and were awarded the NDNQI® designation for nursing quality.

Thanks to our exemplary staff, physicians and volunteers, Craig sets the rehabilitation standard for people affected by brain and spinal cord injury. There are many things that set Craig Hospital apart, but the minute you walk in the door you're surrounded by the healing, compassionate culture for which Craig has become known.

There are some exciting things happening in Craig's future that you should watch for. We're working on a dynamic, campus vision that will enhance privacy, promote family inclusion and education, and integrate state-of-the-art technology so we can remain the leader in rehabilitation for spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, ensuring the best possible outcomes for generations to come.

Fundraising For This Nonprofit

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Rayce Joseph Calvaresi

by Pay It Forward :: Greg Brandt :: Campaign CEO

Rayce Joseph Calvaresi has always been good at just about everything he has ever attempted. As a rebellious teenager and young adult he was feared and respected for his quick temper and ruthless combatant skills. As a musician, his adroit ability to write music coupled with his soulful voice and gifted talent to play keyboards and guitar has won him many competitions and accolades from any who have had the pleasure of seeing him perform. His brilliance as a member of the automotive finance and sales industry has resulted in him becoming well respected member of that community, all while being a loving husband, father of four and stepfather of three.

Now, as he enters his middle years, he is faced with a challenge that would bring most people to their knees in defeat, but the word defeat has never been part of Rayce's DNA or his vocabulary. On October 28, 2012 Rayce fell from a third story balcony resulting in a crushed C6 vertebrae and leaving him categorized as a functional quadriplegic. His lower body from mid chest down is presently not functioning at all, and although he can move his arms and hands, the dexterity in his hands has been extremely affected.

At this point it might be good to rewind back to his young adult years when he made the amazing transition from ruthless self centered "Sonny C" (which was the alter ego and nickname by which he was known back then) to Rayce Joseph Calvaresi the God fearing church worship leader who spent the majority of every waking hour giving honor and praise to the Source of his extraordinary musical talent. Needless to say, a lasting transformation of this magnitude takes a special spiritual touch, and in Rayce's life. it can be solely attributed to his unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

His exceptional positive attitude and determination to get victory over his present circumstance can also be attributed to his unwavering faith. And, that couldn't have been more evident than on the very night he fell, while still on the ground and at the first recognition that he couldn't move his legs, he prayed "If this is your will for me Lord, so be it". Any professional involved in traumatic injury recovery will agree that "taking ownership" and accepting ones condition is, if not the most important, certainly one of the most important elements of recovery and rehabilitation. While at Craig Hospital, one of the most highly regarded spinal injury hospitals in the world, Rayce set records for his quick movement through the various levels of occupational therapy while being an inspiration to all those around him. He was credited with helping at least two of his fellow patients who had never totally come to grips with their injury completely change their attitudes about interacting with other patients and to explore the many special programs and equipment available that focused on all the things they could do, instead of all the things they couldn't. As a result, he has been invited back as a patient mentor.

It is very obvious that God has trusted Rayce with a journey that He is confident he can complete, and he has already accomplished much in fulfilling that commission. It is the goal of this fund raiser to give him assistance in that journey.

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