Children’s to receive special Health Care Heroes award for teen vaping investigation

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:34 pm

BizTimes Media will recognize Children’s Wisconsin for its work on identifying a serious public health concern for vaping teenagers at the annual Health Care Heroes awards program on Dec. 13.

Children’s Wisconsin, formerly known as Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, will receive a Special Impact Award for its work on teen vaping.

Earlier this year, Children’s admitted several otherwise healthy teenagers with mysterious severe respiratory problems. Each patient went through a battery of tests, but a cause could not be determined.

Hospital staff conducted an investigation, examining the patients’ history and discovered that vaping was a common thread among them. Children’s shared that information with the state Department of Health Services and went public with information about a possible link of vaping to teen respiratory problems.

Soon after, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert, putting the teen vaping health issue on the national radar. Some states have since banned the sale of e-cigarette products.

Also to be recognized during the 2019 Health Care Heroes program, former Wisconsin Gov. Martin Schreiber will be honored with a lifetime achievement award for his advocacy work on issues related to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

All award winners will be honored at an awards breakfast on Friday, Dec. 13, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. M3 Insurance is the sponsor of the Health Care Heroes program.

The complete list of 2019 Health Care Heroes awards winners includes:

Advancements in Health Care

Dr. Katja Kovacic, gastroenterologist – Children’s Wisconsin

Behavioral Health

Crisis Resource Centers

Dr. Terri deRoon-Cassini, associate professor – Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Adel Korkor, founder – A.B Korkor Foundation for Mental Health

Community Service

Monica Hebl, dentist/owner – Burleigh Dental

Joshua Knox, physician assistant/clinical associate professor – Marquette University

Executive Leadership

Cheryl Maurana, PhD, professor of population health and senior vice president for strategic academic partnerships – Medical College of Wisconsin

First Responder

Ladonna Davis, licensed practical nurse – Community Care

Health Care Staff

Fabiola De Chico, community health coordinator – Ascension St. Francis Hospital

Bryan Lewis, assistant to the dean for health-related professions – UW-Parkside


Barb Burmeister, registered nurse, Froedtert Hospital

Jeffrey Couillard, registered nurse, Advanced Pain Management


Dr. Madelaine Tully, family practice physician – Progressive Community Health Centers


Dr. Peter Geiss, medical director – Lake Area Free Clinic

Lifetime Achievement

Martin Schreiber, former governor of Wisconsin, author of “My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver”

Special Impact Award

Children’s Wisconsin

Get more information, or register to attend, at

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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