Muftics to receive National Samaritan Award
October 25, 2010
Dr Michael Muftic and Felicia Muftic of Fraser will be honored Thursday night, Nov. 4, by the Samaritan Institute and Centus Counseling Consulting and Education for their lifetime devotion to community causes, each having made significant contributions to human health and growth. The Awards Dinner will be held at the Marriott City Center in Denver with a silent auction beginning at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.
Funds raised at the event will benefit The Samaritan Institute and Centus Counsleing. The Samaritan Institute is the international headquarters of a network of nonprofit, professional counseling Centers. Centus Counseling is the largest and oldest Samaritan Center in Colorado. Centus offers counseling on a sliding scale for those without insurance, based on need.
Dr. Michael Muftic and Felicia Muftic, longtime residents of Fraser, were selected for the 2010 National Samaritan Award for their dedication to causes that help change systems, communities and individuals for the better.
Michael Muftic grew up in Croatia (Yugoslavia). During the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe he lost his father at age twelve. He learned first-hand the hardship of poverty and loss of social justice. Michael moved to the United States after medical surgical training in Europe. Michael and Felicia, married by then and moved to Denver where Michael set up his private Ob-Gyn practice. He and Felicia quickly dove into community work. Among the many achievements Michael made over time were to the design of Denver’s neighborhood public health care clinics and to support special services for the homeless.
Felicia Muftic used language to influence people and systems to change. She led the way to consumer protection and consumer affairs in Colorado. She was the first woman to run for Denver Mayor and was Denver’s first female talk show host. She served the City of Denver as Clerk and Recorder and as Mayor Pena’s liaison to City council. All along, Felicia and Michael raised a family of children who are now active in their own communities.
Felicia too believes her strength and many of her skills were formed in childhood. Her only sibling, Phil, was born prematurely and subsequently had numerous physical challenges. “I learned to raise myself,” says Felicia, “I found it to be a gift – I became independent and stubborn.” Phil developed severe bipolar illness in early adulthood. After their parents died, she became Phil’s one and only family member. Her experience as a caring sibling taught her the importance of coordinated care connecting the medical and mental health systems – a formidable task that is still to be accomplished.
To purchase tickets to the dinner or, to make a contribution in honor of the Muftics, please call Susan Geissler at 720-841-8384 or, visit http://www.samaritaninstitute.org. All donations will support subsidized counseling services for those in need.