Janis Chico is extraordinary!

No, she hasn’t broken the internet, time traveled, or even climbed Mount Everest. But what she has done in the world of philanthropy is a truly remarkable feat – she has annually supported the Washington Health System Foundation for more than 30 consecutive years!

It all began in 1993. Janis cannot recall the exact circumstances that led her to making that first gift, but she vividly remembers why she did it. It was a feeling of gratitude. She reflects, “My dad always said to us when we were growing up that we should give back to the things we feel most deeply about, and I felt so honored to be given a position here.”

A lifelong Washington County resident, Janis spent her youth in the Meadowlands. Her father was a farmer and an iron worker. While a high school student, Janis had an interest in healthcare and even considered nursing. But after graduation, she enrolled in a medical assistant program, and it was then that she knew she had found her true calling.

For seven years, Janis worked for a local private physician, then she joined the Family Medicine team in 1982. From holding roles in the back office to serving as the front office coordinator, her caring demeanor and keen eye for detail allowed her to flourish. “I feel that I was given the opportunity to grow my career here, and I enjoyed everything from helping patients to working with the physicians.”

During her 35-year tenure with the Washington Health System (now UPMC Washington), Janis took great pride in watching the organization progress. “It always made me feel good to see the hospital advance, to see it grow.”

Additionally, her involvement enabled her to see the value of its educational opportunities. “It’s so exciting to have the School of Nursing and the Residency Program . . . these teaching programs are just fantastic! Both my sister and my daughter graduated from the School of Nursing.”

Janis loved her career, and she only recently retired to help care for her grandson, Lincoln. But she continues to look forward to all that the future holds. “I think that it’s a great thing that through the affiliation, we will grow . . . UPMC Washington is something that the community needs, and we’ve got to build on it. I believe that from the bottom of my heart.”

The Foundation receives a gift from Janis each month, like clockwork, and in recent years, she has been committed to supporting UPMC Washington’s greatest needs. Not only does Janis give an amount that is meaningful for her, but the act of giving is her way to maintain her connection to this local healthcare provider.

She remarked, “There’s always a need. And if you give, you are going to get something in return . . . It is still my pride and joy to be part of this organization.”