Kaleida Health relishes the unification opportunity of Corporate Challenge hospitality

BUFFALO, April 24, 2023 – Kaleida Health faced the biggest non-stop game day of its existence, day after day, night after night, for more than two years.

Now it wants to come together and celebrate a return to normalcy.

“As we all know, the last few years have been very challenging for the healthcare industry,” said Jacqueline Bett, Director of Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing, for Kaleida Health. “Our healthcare workers have risen to those challenges and continue to provide compassionate, high quality care to our patients and our community.”

While Kaleida Health was meeting those needs of the community, the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Buffalo did the sensible thing and postponed its 2020 and 2021 events. The 3.5-mile team road race did return in a soft re-launch mode in 2022, with a reduced crowd of 5,892 entrants from 206 companies.

But it is full-speed ahead in 2023, and Bett is thrilled to be playing another role at Kaleida Health -- as the team captain for the Thursday, June 15 Corporate Challenge, with a 6:25 p.m. race start at Delaware Park. It is a role she takes on with great appreciation.

“This event brings us all together for something positive and fun,” Bett said.

Kaleida Health was one of the first companies to begin registration for this year’s Corporate Challenge, officially the 41st running of the event. Bett, along with a group of other team captains, will be shepherding to the starting line employees from each of the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York organizations – Kaleida Health, ECMC, General Physician, PC, Great Lakes Integrated Network, UBMD and Western New York Urology Associates/Cancer Care of Western New York.

“And after the race we will come together to celebrate under one big tent to celebrate,” Bett said.

Indeed. The defining characteristic of the Buffalo Corporate Challenge is its post-race party in Delaware Park. Before the pandemic, hundreds of companies would appear in the park in shorts, running shoes and with an appetite to celebrate. And Kaleida Health threw one of the biggest parties. It attracted 1,146 employees to Delaware Park between 2017 and 2019, including a whopping 413 when the Corporate Challenge set its all-time Buffalo attendance record in 2018 -- 14,145 entrants.

Hospitality reservations for 2023 are being accepted now.

Please contact Buffalo@corpchallenge.jpmorgan.com or (716) 566-9916 for support and to secure the hospitality option right for your company. Team captains may choose from shared space with team tables in the Community Zone, inclusive of catering, to tent packages with sizes ranging from 10x10 (with a capacity for 10 people) to 40x100 (with capacity for more than 400). The Community Zone option, added in 2019, offers teams the opportunity to reserve seating in an inclusive shared space with games and catering by Delaware North.

Why has the popularity of the Corporate Challenge endured since 1981, and looks poised to persevere post-COVID? Bett points to the convenience of one-stop party planning through the Corporate Challenge hospitality registration program, and how the event mobilizes and unifies the Kaleida Health family.

“We order the tents, tables, chairs, coolers and grills through the hospitality provided by Corporate Challenge,” Bett said. “We order food and beverage through the catering company that we use at our hospitals – Metz Culinary Management. We also order t-shirts every year for all our participants that includes all the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York organizations’ logos.”

And while Kaleida Health has more than its share of excellent runners and most of its entrants complete the full 3.5-mile course, Bett is quick to point out that some of the race night attendees never leave the hospitality tent. It’s that element of camaraderie that makes the event special.

Buffalo will be the sixth overall stop on the 2023 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series and is one of 15 stops in eight countries on six continents for the 47th consecutive year of operation for the Series dating back to 1977, with 45 years of in-person racing and two years of Virtual participation during COVID.

Bett and her Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health colleagues are eager to see the impact it makes on its workplace long into the future.

“We always get a team photo before the race starts, and I love seeing how our team has grown over the years to include more affiliate organizations,” Bett said. “It really speaks to what Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health System of Western New York are working toward: providing more seamless, easy-to-access care across the entire region and the entire continuum of health care.”