Don Bergem, assistant director of facilities and grounds at Beatitudes Campus, has been named a finalist in the First Responder category in the 2014 Phoenix Business Journal’s Health Care Hero awards program. The program honors individuals and organizations in the health care industry who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in a life-saving endeavor.
“Beatitudes Campus is so proud that Don is being honored as a Health Care Hero finalist. Don gives 150 percent to make the campus safe for the people who live, work and visit here,” says Michelle Just, president and CEO at Beatitudes Campus. “He always has a ready smile and helping hands no matter what circumstances may arise. His compassion and drive to serve our residents influences everything he does. He treats the Beatitudes family just like his own.”
Bergem joined Beatitudes Campus three years ago and from the first day, he showed compassion and drive to serve our residents, where the average age is 82 years old. He and his team is always on alert, particularly to health emergencies that naturally arise in our community
As first responders, Bergem and his team respond to approximately 40 emergency calls a week at Beatitudes Campus. These calls range from falls to trouble breathing to other medical or safety issues. Bergem’s first responder position at Beatitudes Campus is unique in that he personally knows the people that he serves; however, his strength still enables him to respond with a clear head.
Don and his team respond within one minute of receiving an emergency dispatch and it is up to Don to quickly assess the emergency and provide immediate assistance. Several months ago, Don responded to an emergency call and grabbed his medical bag and a newly acquired automated external defibrillator (AED). Quickly assessing the emergency, Don knew the resident was not breathing and had no pulse, so he immediately treated her with the AED, which allowed her heart to re-establish rhythm so he could perform CPR. His quick thinking and action kept the resident alive until the City of Phoenix paramedics arrived to take her to the hospital to get further treatment.
One of the reasons that this life-saving endeavor is so remarkable is that Don had just received the AED a few days earlier – it was donated by the RightCare Foundation, and had not yet been put to use. It was Don’s quick action, measured thinking and experience that made him grab the AED.
Bergem does not like being singled out for his work as a first responder. He insists that the positive outcomes from the first responders at Beatitudes Campus rely on coordination and teamwork. Once you watch Don serve the residents at the campus, you know that being a first responder is not a job to him, but an urgent calling that he has been answering all his life.
Bergem has a rich history as a first responder – he was a volunteer firefighter, a “hot shot” and a medical unit leader for the US Forest Service. He led a fundraising effort for the Yarnell Hill firefighters last year. He volunteers with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Posse Program in his “off hours” as a member of the Techno Cop Warrant team. He insists on knowing the Phoenix firefighters and police officers who serve our campus.
Bergem and other Health Care Hero finalists will be recognized and the winner in each category will be announced during a Phoenix Business Journal awards breakfast on August 21, 2014.
555 W. Glendale Ave.
Phoenix, Ariz. 85021
Links: Beatitudes Campus (www.beatitudescampus.org)
Beatitudes Campus Foundation (www.beatitudescampus.org/giving)
RightCare Foundation (www.rightcare.org)
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (www.mcso.com)