Tuesday, July 12, 2011 12:49 PM

Terry’s House leaders honored as two of Community’s “Ultimate People”

When it comes to Terry’s House a lot of people are responsible for the successful campaign to build a home to help families of critically ill or injured patients stay close to their loved ones while they’re healing at Community Regional Medical Center. But two “ultimate” people stand out as leaders – Jim Christian and Jeff Kroeker – both successful businessmen with local construction companies who serve as Development Council co-chairs for Terry’s House.

Jim Christian, Jeff Kroeker, Christa Short
(From l to r) Jeff Kroeker, Terry's House Management Christa Short & Jim Christian

Community Medical Foundation is honoring Christian and Kroeker’s dedication and generosity by naming each of them one of Community’s “Ultimate People” for 2011.

Both men are being recognized for their extraordinary efforts to build the best “home away from home” for families who are in need.

The co-chairs have seen the tragedy first hand and recall incidents where friends or family needed to be close to their loved one.

“That one phone call changes lives forever,” says Kroeker of getting that unexpected emergency call too many families have experienced. “They’re up there grieving and trying to cope and Terry’s House is just one less obstacle for them.”

Standing outside Terry’s House last January at its grand opening, Christian, listening to multiple sirens, was reminded how fast the unexpected can happen.

“Those sirens never stop. That’s 24/7 in this vicinity and behind every siren there’s a tragic story for some family,” he said. “That’s what this house needs to be here for.”

Terry’s House manager Denise Goodman says the two co-chairs stop by the house often.

“One week Jeff will stop by to see if we need anything and how the families are doing and the next few days Jim shows up with special food for one of the families or a patient,” Goodman said.

In the six months since Terry’s House has been open, 454 families have benefited from what these two worked so hard to build. Goodman says people stop to thank her each day for all those – like Christian and Kroeker – who built and continue to support the mission of Terry’s House.

“Ultimate People” honors those from Community Medical Centers who have distinguished themselves with service to Community and its Foundation. This year’s “Ultimate People” will be recognized at the upcoming “Ultimate Party” at Weber BMW in Fresno.

This story was reported by Mary Lisa Russell. She can be reached at MedWatchToday@CommunityMedical.org.