ēCO Credit Union has a strong commitment to the communities where our members live, work and play. Through the #ēCOmmunity program, we are proud to recognize people and community groups who go above and beyond for their community. Each month in 2020, members of the community who embody the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” will be nominated by ēCO employees to be “Credit Unioned.”
In April, we asked the community to nominate people or groups working in the medical field who are making a difference during the pandemic. After honoring Roderick Watkins of Rehab Select at Shelby Ridge in April, we are excited to honor another deserving nominee for May. Dr. Heinz Dueffer is a doctor in the Emergency Departments at UAB Medical West in Hoover and Bessemer, Alabama. He says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been seen and felt in both his career and personal life.
Linda Wenndt, who nominated Dr. Dueffer to be “Credit Unioned” says, “I've known the Dueffer family for a while and knew Heinz was a doctor. What I didn't know until the COVID-19 pandemic was how much he puts in to caring for his patients. He has spent his time doing research and in contact with other doctors around the country to be sure that he knows what is working and what methods he should be using to help patients. He isn't just waiting for COVID-19 to come into his emergency room. He is planning an attack”.
“In the first couple of months, COVID-19 affected me by decreasing the number of patients I was seeing. People have been more careful about coming to the hospital. They have been waiting to come to the emergency room for illnesses that they should have been coming in for immediately. When they do come, they tend to be much more critical that they would have been,” says Dr. Dueffer. “It has also affected my career by forcing me and my colleagues to be more careful about personal protection; I have to wear an n95 mask for 8 to 12 hours straight. Personally, it has affected me in the same way as everyone else. I and my family rarely leave home. It means we play more games and do more experiments. I think it’s brought us closer together.”
Ms. Wenndt continued to praise Dr. Dueffer for his passion and commitment to serving others. “Dr. Dueffer is a dedicated doctor that chooses to practice emergency medicine. I think he chose this path because there is a need that he can fill. He is going to help every patient that walks in that door. Every day and every patient is different,” says Ms. Wenndt, who nominated Dr. Dueffer.
She also praised him for his leadership. “He was the first doctor I heard that recommended not going out without a face mask. It was nearly three weeks later before I heard it on the news. His wife started making masks and offering them to friends and family,” says Ms. Wenndt.
Wenndt says that Dr. Dueffer is a true example of the “People Helping People” philosophy. “What strikes me the most about Dr. Dueffer is that he puts 100% into everything he does—whether it is being a doctor or building a treehouse with his kids,” says Wenndt.
ēCO was proud to provide the Dueffer family with a meal delivered from Zoe’s Kitchen to their home on Friday, May 22nd.
“Being “Credit Unioned” was an unexpected surprise. It’s wonderful to know that people appreciate the hard working people in the health care community. Thank you for your generous gift. My family and I enjoyed and appreciated it very much. I am honored that our friend, Linda Wenndt, nominated me,” says Dr. Dueffer.
ēCO Credit Union is grateful for the commitment and investment Dr. Dueffer and his colleagues in the medical field provide to the community, especially during these uncertain times. Thank you, Linda Wenndt for nominating a community leader like Dr. Heinz Dueffer for ēCO’s #ēCOmmunity program. Thank you Dr. Dueffer for your leadership and dedication to the health and safety of the community!