Remembering Gina Toothaker
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our dear colleague, Gina Toothaker. Less than two weeks ago, Gina was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, and she died early this morning, surrounded by loved ones.
Gina had a love of the arts – especially dance and theater. The style and grace she learned as a dancer came through in her professional life as well, as she led the Steamboat Springs and Walden offices with compassion, empathy, and joy.
Gina began her journey with Mind Springs Health 28 years ago as an intern, as she earned her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education at the University of Colorado. Through the years, her roles included clinician, coordinator, and clinical supervisor prior to becoming a program director, first in Craig and then in Steamboat Springs/Walden. She was well-respected and admired by not only her staff in the Steamboat Springs/Walden offices, but of the community at large. Her feisty spirit and drive for success helped lead the Steamboat Springs team, which included the Steamboat Springs Police Department and other community partners, to be the top performing outpatient office in this past September’s Pedal for Prevention Suicide Awareness event.
During her time at our Steamboat Springs office, Gina created school-based mental health programs in Steamboat Springs, Yampa Valley, South Routt County, and Hayden School Districts. She created strong partnerships with United Way, the Craig Scheckman Family Foundation, Routt County, Yampa Valley Community Foundation, and many other entities to expand services in Routt and Jackson Counties. Most recently, Gina worked with law enforcement to create a very successful co-responder program in Steamboat Springs.
Gina’s commitment to those in her community who are suffering with mental illness and/or substance use disorders only stood second to her true loves – her children, Brandon and Abby, and her husband, Michael. Our hearts are with them as they mourn the loss of a truly remarkable woman.
Tom Gangel, a longtime employee in the Steamboat Springs office, has graciously stepped in to oversee the supervision of the Steamboat Springs and Walden offices. In the days and weeks ahead, we hope that you will give Tom and the Steamboat Springs staff the support they may need from you and your organization to get through this time of grief. Tom can be reached at 970.879.2141 or via email at TGangel@mindspringshealth.org
In the days ahead, our leadership team will be discussing ways we, as an organization, can honor the work Gina has done and her memory. We welcome your comments, thoughts, and memories of Gina and encourage you to share those with our Communications Director, Stephanie Keister, at 970.384.3028 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org