Kevin Messick

May 12, 2022
Kevin Messick
Kevin Messick

He goes out of his way to treat people kindly and maintain a safe environment

Kevin Messick grew up in the Midwest and when it snowed in his Wisconsin neighborhood, he was out shoveling the neighbor’s walks and clearing windshields.

That’s just the kind of person that he is.

After a long career in public service, Messick now works as a security officer outside a UCHealth COVID-19 testing center in Colorado Springs. During the height of the delta and omicron surges, 500 to 600 cars would pass through the tent each day.

During a particularly nasty weather day, when the sky turned the color of pewter and a sleet-rain that turned to ice began pummeling the tent and the cars around it, Messick did what he has done his whole life. He helped out.

Messick scraped ice off of the car windshields of UCHealth employees – a small act of kindness that Messick didn’t think twice about.

“It was about 3:30, and I knew the employees were getting off at 4 o’clock and I thought, well, ‘I’ll just scrape the windows,’’’ he said. “I know how hard these people work, and when their shift is over, they’re tired and they want to go home.”

“They’re moms. They have to pick up their kids; they’ve got to run errands; they’ve got to cook dinner. So instead of having them out there in the cold scraping their windows, I thought, ‘well, I’ll just do it.’’’

“Helping out the phlebotomists and patient representatives took about 15 minutes,” Messick said. He didn’t do it for a pat on the back or to be recognized, it’s something that is in his nature.

“I just try to do the right thing, and I try to help people out when I can. I think it is a good reflection on the company and what we’re about. We are in the business to help people,’’ said Messick, who works for Pikes Peak Security, a Colorado Springs company providing security for UCHealth at its testing tent in Colorado Springs.

The security company provided 24/7 coverage of the site, a feat unto its own during a time when employees or their family members were contracting COVID-19.  At times, the owner of the company covered shifts to ensure that UCHealth could continue to provide vital coronavirus testing for the southern Colorado community.

Messick and other security personnel became a force multiplier for UCHealth, helping to communicate essential information to patients waiting in their cars in lines that at times stretched several hundred yards.

“When we’re really busy, we go car to car to make sure that the people have an appointment or a doctor’s order so they didn’t wait, only to find out that they needed an appointment,’’ Messick said.

He also directed high-profile vehicles and medical vans that were too tall to clear the tent opening, to a parking spot outside.

Mary Sandland, who works in patient access, said Messick is terrific with patients.

“He keeps us safe. He runs a tight ship. I don’t know that it is his job, but he’s very informative, he’s just great with the customers and he keeps us safe,’’ Sandland said. “He gets along with everybody.  He goes above and beyond every single day. He knows his business.’’

On snowy days, Messick and his co-workers often throw ice-melting salt over icy surfaces to keep the area in and around the tent safe for the UC Health staff.

“We’re pretty protective of the staff,’’ Messick said. “We keep a close eye on them and maintain a safe environment.’’

For Messick, it’s just what he does.

 

About the author

Erin Emery is editor of UCHealth Today, a hub for medical news, inspiring patient stories and tips for healthy living. Erin spent years as a reporter for The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and Colorado Springs Sun. She was part of a team of Denver Post reporters who won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting.

Erin joined UCHealth in 2008, and she is awed by the strength of patients and their stories.

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