In June of 2022, Care Ring celebrated the two decades of service, contributions and accomplishments of its Medical Director,
Dr. Kaaren Sailer, with a series of surprises and tributes.
Working anywhere for 20 years is an incredible milestone, but in the nonprofit sector it's extra special. Having a consistent, committed, and passionate leader to help guide Care Ring through the many changes and challenges of the community health landscape (not to mention a pandemic) has been invaluable in ensuring the agency has not only survived, but thrived. To that end, the Care Ring staff worked with Dr. Sailer's husband and friends to honor her - all in secret!
PROCLAMATION OF "DR. KAAREN S. SAILER DAY"
On June 22, 2022, Dr. Sailer was surprised at the Board of County Commissioners meeting with a Proclamation from the BOCC, lead by Commissioner George Dunlap, lauding her for her 20 years of service to improving the health of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's most vulnerable citizens. Dr. Sailer thought she was there to answer questions about funding, and many of her colleagues from Care Ring sneaked into the meeting to cheer her on from the audience and celebrate afterwards. If you'd like to see footage of the meeting, you can watch it here. Our segment begins at the 18:40 mark.
A SURPRISE CELEBRATION WITH HER BIGGEST FANS
On June 28, 2022, after months of Care Ring staff planning in secrecy with her husband Dr. Toan Huynh (top photo, on right) and her friends Rosalyn and Dr. David G Jacobs, Dr. Sailer was again surprised with a celebratory reception at the UNC Charlotte Dubois Center. Her friends Anabel Aliagua-Buchenau and Jurgen Buchenau provided the ruse by pretending it was a party for his work anniversary. Dr. Sailer's son, Ryan (top photo, on left), flew in to surprise her as well.
After greeting and catching up with the guests in attendance, Dr. Sailer and attendees were invited to the auditorium for more surprises.
Care Ring's Executive Director, Tchernavia Montgomery, welcomed guests and there were remarks from Corporate Champions and Physicians Reach partners OrthoCarolina and Atrium Health, provided respectively by Michael Paloski, MD and former Care Ring Executive Director Don Jonas, PhD.
Then it was time for the highlight of the evening. For several weeks leading up to the event, a secret tribute video was shot, featuring well-wishes and thank you messages from Care Ring staff and Board members from past and present, Dr. Sailer's family members, peers from the medical community and community partners. It was finally time to reveal the video! Thank you to Duvale Murchison for his hard work and talents in producing the video.
After the video, Dr. Sailer was called up to the podium to receive just a few more surprises. The first was the presentation of a gift of a custom-made pottery set created by Judith Wood, who has volunteered in the Care Ring Low-Cost Clinic for several years as a Diabetes Educator.
The second surprise was informing Dr. Sailer that there would be articles about her appearing in the July issues of Mecklenburg Medicine magazine
(a publication of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society), and Medical Professionals Charlotte magazine. Special thanks to Sandi Buchanan with MCMS and Denise Hurley for arranging!
The surprises continued as it was revealed that the building at 550 S. Tryon Street (formerly the Duke Energy Building) would be lighting up that night in honor of Dr. Sailer in Care Ring blue!
The final surprise of the evening was the announcement that Dr. Sailer's friends, family, and supporters in the community had donated $16,235 in her honor and to further her work at Care Ring. THANK YOU to everyone who donated!
After all this excitement, Dr. Sailer was invited to say a few words. She shared that she was very thankful for the recognition and for the opportunity to serve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community all these years, and for the unwavering support of her husband and children. She concluded, "Thank you so much for such a special celebration! The video was so nice and it was lovely to see so many people who value what we are doing in the community. I am grateful to be working with all of you and inspired to continue all of our great work."
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
This event would not have been possible without the financial investment and support of our Corporate Champions. Thank you to Atrium Health for being our Presenting Sponsor and to all the other champions who recognize the importance and value of our mission.
Thank you to our volunteers for the evening, Esteban Flores and Zoe Karunakar (pictured), and to the Care Ring Fund Development team and NFP team members Ana Cevallos and Geneva Anglero for assisting with set-up and break down.
EVENT PHOTOS BY DANIEL COSTON
Hover and click on each photo for more information and to enlarge.