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Sky Ridge's first volunteer still going strong at 90

Sue Heinz honored as a Denver7 Everyday Hero for 18 years of volunteering at Sky Ridge Medical Center
Posted at 9:42 AM, Jan 24, 2022

LONE TREE, Colo. – Even before the ribbon was cut opening Sky Ridge Medical Center in August 2003, volunteer Sue Heinz knew her way around the building.

“I came in a couple of weeks before and did whatever they needed — pamphlets, running around, delivering things,” Heinz recalled.

Heinz was the hospital’s first volunteer. More than 18 years later, she’s still the most popular.

“She is so appreciated here,” said Volunteer Director John Penn. “What she offers and continues to offer the hospital's phenomenal.”

Now 90 years old, Heinz was in her early 70s when the hospital opened and said she needed something to do.

“I had a little time on my hands,” she said. “And the hospital was open-minded. Steve was coming down here.”

The Steve she is referring to is her son, Dr. Steve Heinz, the first president of the Sky Ridge medical staff.

“It was a little strange for both of us to occasionally see each other in the hallway,” Dr. Heinz said of those early days. “I quickly realized that she was as valuable a member of the team as I was.”

When the pandemic started, volunteers weren’t allowed in the hospital. But the moment Sue Heinz heard volunteers were coming back, she was ready.

“I emailed John and said, ‘I'll be in on Monday,’ and he said, ‘No, you won't. You have jumped the gun,’” she remembered. “Anyway, came back as soon as I could.”

“Sue has kind of done it all from working in our lobby, in our surgical waiting rooms, to helping deliver blankets to patients, and administrative support. She has done it all and seen it all,” Penn said.

Heinz said she hopes to volunteer at the hospital for 20 years. That means she has no plans to stop until the summer of 2023.

Denver7 features a different 7Everyday Hero each week. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.