Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.  He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.  One day he was walking along the shore.  As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.  So he began to walk faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?"
The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean."
"I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing them in the ocean?"
"The sun is up and the tide is going out.  And if I don't throw them in, they'll die."
"But, young man, don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all
along it.  You can't possibly make a difference!"
The young man listened politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said- “It made a difference for that one.”

Design by Leah Lentz

All of our volunteers (medical and non-medical) make the clinic successful.  We couldn't survive without them and our patients appreciate the love and kindness they show.  Starfish awards are given to volunteers for their outstanding service and are nominated by their fellow volunteers.  Starfish awards are presented by Heart Mountain Free Clinic (HMFC) Board Chair, Ruth Edge, who honors our volunteers with her gifted presentation of the "Starfish Story", a wonderful narrative of each recipient, and a gold starfish pin and certificate.  Every quarter HMFC expresses gratitude to several of our volunteers.  

The starfish story explifies why we all work so hard to assure every patient feels they are cared for individually: 

The 2019 Starfish Awards have been given to the following volunteers: 

Stephanie Weed:

 Stephanie has been volunteering at HMFC for about 3 years.  She has volunteered on Thursday nights at the front in eligibility and registration.  She always has a friendly smile to offer to patients.  Last year she volunteered to sit on the Fundraising/Marketing Committee.  Stephanie has brought us many fresh ideas to help us raise money for the clinic and has connected us with people who can help social marketing and fundraising.  Watch for her new Domino’s Pizza Fundraiser starting this month!  This year, Steph helped us secure a page in the Cody Living Magazine, which helps us to spread the word about what we do at HMFC.

Thank you Stephanie for all you do for HMFC. 

Laurene Torczon:

Laurene has been a nurse volunteer for HMFC since 2015.  Not only does she sign up regularly to volunteer at the clinic, she is one of the nurses we can call at the last minute when we have a cancelation.  She also volunteers on some of those really difficult days to fill – like holidays! 

In the last year, Laurene became the director of Surgical Services where we hold our clinics.  That has been an added benefit for HMFC because she is so dedicated to the people we serve that she is always generous with supplies and equipment needed at the clinic.  For example, if our copier goes on the frizz she allows us to make a few copies in their department; this year when construction reduced our front registration area she offered additional office space for the front desk volunteers; and if a provider needs something to check out a patient (like equipment to check out their ears) she is running to the back to find an otoscope.  Having a dedicated volunteer who is also willing to accommodate in so many ways is such a blessing!  Thank you Laurene.

Gregory McCue:

 Dr. McCue has faithfully volunteered his time and talent with HMFC since the clinic began operation in Cody.  He is one of a tiny group of doctors without whom HMFC would not continue to exist.  The previous Director, Jack Webb, appreciated his “consistent willingness to help.”  The new Director, Dawn Garrison, appreciates that HMFC can call him at the last minute if a provider has to cancel suddenly.  Dr McCue brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and good humor to the clinic.  He has ridden his bike into all of our grateful hearts! 

The 2018 Starfish Awards can be viewed by clicking here.  The following volunteers were awarded in 2018:

Doug McMillan

Carol Torbit

Jack Webb

Wanda Webb

Nancy Winkler

Richard Anderson

Tom Anderson

Ruth Edge 

Georgina Hopkin

Linda Johnson

Amanda Luther

2018 Awards

Second Half of the Year

Starfish Nomination for Luanna Atnip:

When Luanna first came to HMFC, the Director, Dawn Garrison, was concerned she might be too shy or quiet to work the front desk.  Dawn quickly discovered she was sorely mistaken!  Luanna takes on the details of the work and makes the job hers.  In fact, if the Director shows Luanna a possible mistake, she (Luanna) is quick to let her know that the mistake must be the Director’s, not hers… and she is always correct in that assumption!  She is one of those people you can call at the last minute, if needed.  But more than likely she is already signed up for the evening.  She has volunteered to help with other tasks outside of clinic also. 

In 2019, Luanna has worked a total of 91 hours in the clinic. She has also volunteered to help outside of the clinic helping with events, like the Paint the Town Red event in Powell, and at the office.  She is a joy to work with and is always pleasant to volunteers and patients.  If children come in with their parent’s she is quick to open her purse, pull out balloons and make them into a dog or other animal for them to play with. 

If it were possible, we would clone you, miss Luanna!  Thank you for working with HMFC.

Starfish Nomination for Laura Williams:

 Laura is one of our nurse volunteers.  She has been a volunteer at HMFC for two years.  We are blessed to have her!!!  She is a rock.  When Laura walks into the room you feel a little more secure knowing she is there.  You immediately feel calmer and grounded in her presence.   I can only imagine how much better it makes our patients feel when she walks into take that medical history.  

Laura is also one of the volunteers we can always count on, which is evident by the number of our she has volunteered this year (35).  She signs up to volunteer for months in advance and if she isn’t working, she will jump in at the last minute to help if we have a cancelation.   

We thank you for your service.

Starfish Nomination for Troy Brown:

Troy has only been a volunteer for about a year.  He joined the Board in August of 2018.  He was also assigned to chair of the Fundraising Committee.  The Fundraising Committee merged with the marketing committee, so now he chairs of both.  At the meetings he occasionally finds himself the only man sitting at a table full of women, which means he must suffer through listening to the women joke and complain.  He takes it all in stride and patiently waits for our tirades to end, moving us on to marketing plans and donations. 

Troy has also become the second in line when the treasurer is busy.  He looks at the budget or the quarterly statement and determines the next steps, makes recommendations and/or explains the numbers.  He has been a blessing on the Board and for this clinic. 

Thank you, Troy for all you do.

First Half of the Year

Starfish Plaque for Stephen Mainini:

Nine years ago, Dr Stephen Mainini spear-headed the opening of the Cody clinic. This year, he announced that he was moving on to a new church project and would be retiring from HMFC. He has been the medical director at HMFC for 5 years. We are so appreciative of his years of hard work and dedication. In November, HMFC honored him during the volunteer luncheon.  Dr Mainini was provided a Star Fish plaque in gratitude for his years of service.