Denise Cozzoli at her office in Montgomery Tower

Employee gives back to healthcare system

Denise Cozzoli takes pride in her work as compliance coordinator for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. But, for her, it’s about more than individual effort. She identifies with the institution and its mission. And she cares about her co-workers.

For these reasons, she has been a dedicated donor to the annual Employee Campaign. And not surprisingly, one of the programs Cozzoli has supported over the years is the Employee Emergency Fund, which provides short-term financial assistance for employees in need.

When Cozzoli started at Spartanburg Regional in 1990, she managed the business office and led a team of more than 45 staff members. She worked with employees who battled serious illness or whose spouses were in poor health.

“They had real financial issues,” she recalls. “We don’t think about employees suffering, but they can, just like anyone else.”

Over the years, Cozzoli has spread her donations among numerous funds. She has had friends and family who received care at Regional as heart or cancer patients. She’s known people who died in Hospice care. The Heart, Cancer, and Hospice divisions of the Foundation have each benefited from her generosity.

“I’m interested in so many areas” of the system, Cozzoli says. “I wish I had enough money to do more for all of them.”

Foundation executive director Kristy Caradori says that people like Cozzoli are the backbone of the Employee Campaign:

“The contributions of employees across all areas of the system is really impressive – especially those who, like Denise, give year after year. It speaks to their commitment to Spartanburg Regional and the patients we serve.”

In turn, Cozzoli believes that employees feel good about their donations to the Foundation because “they know where it’s going. They know it’s going to help someone and that resources will be available here if they ever need it.”

Cozzoli is proud of the many improvements she has seen in her 25 years at Regional and the expanded treatments that are now available. She believes physical additions and upgrades – including Gibbs Cancer Center, Regional Outpatient Center, and the Montgomery Tower – have transformed the public image of Regional from “the county hospital” to a modern, top-flight healthcare system.

Behind-the-scenes aspects of the system have changed a great deal, too. When Cozzoli began work at Regional, the business office was only just beginning its conversion to an electronic billing system. She helped lead that process before going to work in the compliance arena, where federal regulations over matters such as privacy have become more stringent and complex.

Cozzoli is pleased that she has had the opportunity to make Spartanburg Regional stronger through both her work and her contributions to the Foundation, and she is sure that she’s not alone.

Regional employees, she says, have “a sense of purpose, a sense of pride in our community and especially the role of our employer.”