Runner Profile: Kate Giere
Food Services Operations Manager, Patient Services
First-Time Boston Marathon Runner
Kate Giere says she’s not the same person she was two years ago when she started working at BIDMC. And she means that in a good way.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Giere was initially uncertain she would find her place here. “I admit it, Boston intimidated me,” she says. But, it didn’t take long for those fears to subside.
“Within the first week, I had met countless nurses, patient care technicians, and even Dr. Tabb, who welcomed me warmly to the hospital and introduced me to BIDMC's mission. There hasn't been a day that I haven't felt the love and commitment from the BIDMC team.”
A Registered Dietitian, Giere is now the Food Services Operations Manager for patients. Each day she and her team work to find creative ways to meet patients' nutritional needs, feed a craving or, as she says, just make them smile.
When Giere walked into the medical center lobby after the Boston Marathon bombings, she recalls seeing family members frantically looking for the location of their loved ones and the feelings of anxiety circulating throughout her department. Overwhelmed, she remembers stepping into one of the kitchen’s walk-in freezers to find a private place to cry. And then, for the sake of herself, her co-workers and the families, she learned to lean.
“It was in the midst of the marathon tragedy that every BIDMC employee's shoulder became a shoulder to lean on, to cry on, not only for our patients, but for each other,” she says.
Planning meals and delivering comfort food to the affected patients, families, and medical providers gave Giere and her co-workers a chance to do their part. It was their opportunity to participate in the recovery process, both physically and mentally.
“I can't put into words the pride I feel working for this hospital,” says Giere. “In these times of weakness and vulnerability for the hospital, the city, and even the nation, was when BIDMC's true colors shined.”
This will be Giere’s first marathon.
“To be honest, I thought that running in the Boston Marathon was out of reach, until the tragedy,” she says. “After seeing the bravery at BIDMC and the bravery throughout Boston, I realized that I too have this courage inside me, and I plan to use it to run this marathon for all of those brave people affected.”
Giere spends 10 to 12 hours each week training for the Marathon, though she’s likely to ramp that up as April 21 draws closer. Her day starts early at BIDMC, so afternoon caffeine is key to getting her through her evening workouts, which include cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training.
She says, “some days are harder than others to make it to the gym, but the number 26.2 is a constant reminder that being ready for this marathon cannot happen overnight.”
TeamBIDMC|Tread Strong: the 2014 Boston Marathon Team
Funds donated on behalf of Kate Giere will benefit the Bowdoin Street Health Center’s Healthy Champion program. Now in its fifth year, Healthy Champions is an anti-obesity education, fitness and community-building program serving primarily low-income children ages 7-14 from the surrounding Boston’s Bowdoin/Geneva neighborhood.
To donate to Kate or any BIDMC runner, visit bidmctreadstrong.org.
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Our colleagues in the Social Work Center for Violence Prevention and Recovery have worked with patients, family members and staff who have experienced trauma. They have created some resources that you may find helpful as we think about the Boston Marathon bombing anniversary.
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