Red Cross Honors DaVita Employees who Saved Coworker's Life

DaVita Ceremony
This heartwarming story shows us someone who is alive today because his company has a culture of caring and invested in lifesaving devices, preparedness training and plans,” said Gino Greco, CEO of the Red Cross Mile High Region.

The American Red Cross and Cardiac Science presented Lifesaver Awards today to a group of DaVita Teammates (employees) who recently saved the life of a coworker suffering sudden cardiac arrest.

Rick, an IT worker on the 7th floor of DaVita, collapsed of sudden cardiac arrest on March 11, 2013.

His coworkers immediately responded; Doug Miller called 911, while James Clark ran to retrieve DaVita’s 7th-floor Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Steve Hammond and Jennifer Colosimo, who has been Red Cross trained in CPR for many years, performed chest compressions to keep oxygenated blood flowing to Rick’s brain while other teammates prepared the AED. Brandon Ordonez, Russ Bohl and Shane Samborsky attached the AED to Rick and delivered a life-saving shock to restart his heart. Meanwhile, Alex Easton had gone down to the street to meet and escort paramedics to the 7th floor. Other employees also helped in the response.

Rick was transported to the hospital for emergency care and is already back at work at DaVita thanks to the lifesaving work of his coworkers.

“We like to explain to folks that the DaVita Village is a unique community. When we choose to become ‘citizens’ of DaVita, we make a decision to engage our head, heart and hands for the greater good of those around us,” said Shane Samborsky, Safety and Security Coordinator for DaVita. “This amazing story illustrates our teammates literally using their head, heart and hands for the good of their coworkers, and we couldn’t be more proud of them.”

DaVita has Cardiac Science AEDs on all occupied floors of its two Denver headquarter facilities – twelve total – including the device used to save Rick’s life. In addition to the AEDs, DaVita trains teammate safety wardens for each occupied floor of its buildings, and in 2012 DaVita became an Authorized Provider of Red Cross first aid and CPR training – meaning they have a fully trained Red Cross CPR instructor on staff to train their own workers in lifesaving skills. DaVita offers the training free to its teammates and asks only that participants provide a food or clothing donation to the 9NEWS “9Cares Colorado Shares” program. They expect to have more than 10 percent of their Denver workplace certified in first aid and CPR by the end of this summer.

“We know that planning, preparedness and training save lives. This heartwarming story shows us someone who is alive today because his company has a culture of caring and invested in lifesaving devices, preparedness training and plans,” said Gino Greco, CEO of the Red Cross Mile High Region.

Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the U.S., with an estimated 350,000 out-of-hospital fatalities occurring each year. An Automated External Defibrillator is a portable device that can provide an electric shock to restore a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s heart back into a normal rhythm. The AED that DaVita employees used is specifically designed to be easy to use and helped guide the first responders as they provided critical therapy to their coworker.

“The importance of implementing AEDs in all workplaces cannot be emphasized enough,” said Kent Hrubala, Cardiac Science Territory Manager for the Rocky Mountains. The national SCA survival rate when an AED is not present is a mere 6%. “When companies like DaVita make AEDs available to their employees, we have seen a survival rate that is nearly ten times that of the national average,” Hrubala said. “We commend DaVita for making employee wellbeing a priority, and it is an honor to be recognizing a team of heroes that literally saved a life just a year after we helped to deploy the organization’s program!”

Representatives from Cardiac Science and American Red Cross Preparedness, Health & Safety Services presented awards to:

  • Buck Garrett
  • James Clark
  • Kama Mitchell
  • Steve Hammack
  • Jennifer Colosimo
  • Doug Miller
  • Kristin Hayek
  • Brandon Ordonez
  • Alex Easton
  • Jeremy Eaves
  • Barbara Giddings
  • Russ Bohl
  • Shane A Samborsky
  • Caption: Photos by Patricia Billinger

    Red Cross worker Linda Krikorian presents a Lifesaver award certificate to one of the 13 DaVita employees honored today for saving their coworker Rick's life.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/colorado or join our blog at http://coloradoredcross.blogspot.com.