Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Care Foundation Dede Fluette, Chairman of the Board LaMar Bangerter

Rocky Mountain Care Foundation is helping Utahns take care of themselves.

We're here to facilitate healthcare services for the vulnerable individuals who can't do it on their own,” says Dede Fluette, executive director of the foundation, “and foster a passion for service in the community.” 

To do this, the Bountiful-based nonprofit pays for healthcare, arranges it or finds it at a reduced fee for low-income or vulnerable Utahns. They also run Do Unto Others (DUO), where youth volunteers and handymen do minor, but critical, home repairs for seniors and people living with disabilities in Davis County. “And we do that in an effort to keep them in their homes living independently as long as they can.” Fluette says.

The organization's reach also extends to local schools, where they get kids to do service projects through The Good Deeds Challenge. “A child might think that doing something for a couple hours isn't making that big of a difference,” Fluette says, “but when you're in a school of 500 kids and they each choose something that takes them three hours, that's 1,500 hours of service to the community.”

We chatted with Fluette to find out more about the organization and its goals:

How did all of this get started?

Our parent company that started this is Rocky Mountain Care. It was started by brothers Lee and Dee Bangerter in 1999, and at that time, they started the foundation as well, just wanting to give back to the community. The foundation became its own entity and received its 501 c3 designation in 2006, and we operate very separately from Rocky Mountain Care.”

Will anything be changing for the foundation with the Affordable Care Act?

It's really going to depend on Utah's interpretation of the law and how they decide to meet the law. If they do have full Medicaid expansion, that's really going to help us a lot, because people are suddenly going to have health insurance coverage. But what a lot of people don't know is a lot of what we cover isn't covered by insurance—eyeglasses, dental care, hearing aids, dentures, things like that." 

What's going on with your elementary school work this year?

This year, we've got four or five schools on board already. We'll take any schools that are interested. It's not a prime strain on us, because really, they're doing all the work; we just kind of help celebrate it. We go in and give every kid a ribbon and a little certificate thanking them for their work. We'll take as many schools that are interested.”

What's your fundraising goal right now?

We're trying to hit $100,000 in private donations this year. We're currently at $80,000, so we really hope to get that and we really hope to get a lot of sustainable supporters who will give to us monthly.” 

In what areas do you need more volunteers?

We'll always take on more handymen. I know a lot of our guys work outside of their volunteer work, so they're fitting in these repairs in their spare time. So, we'll always take more of those—we don't want to overwhelm any of our guys.”