With all of the heat generated from this nation’s spirited debate over the future of its health care system, it’s all too easy to lose track of the contributions so many people make on a daily basis to improve the lives of others.
They’re providing comfort to sick children. They’re providing care to the indigent. They’re performing state-of-the-art surgeries to improve the quality of life. They’re conducting research that ultimately will save lives.
In sum, they’re making a positive difference on the front lines of health care. And today, we honor them as our 2009 Health Care Heroes.
Now in its sixth year, this program has become an annual uplifting of the spirits, just in time for the holidays.
This year, we salute 16 Health Care Heroes.
The recipient of our Grand Achievement Award this year is Dr. Stephen Duncan, who is leading a team that is making groundbreaking discoveries in stem cell research that ultimately could save the lives of people with liver disease, which is the fourth-leading medical cause of death among middle-aged adults in America.
The recipients of our Health Care Heroes Awards were selected by an independent panel of judges, including: Karen Ordinans, executive director of the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin; Dr. Sarah Pratt, a pediatrician who is the past president of the Medical Society of Milwaukee County Board of Directors and a past member of the Wisconsin Medical Society Board of Directors; Connie Roethel, R.N., wellness expert and president of Core Health Group in Mequon; Phyllis King, Ph.D., associate dean, professor and associate director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Ergonomics; and Heidi Mayer, executive director of the Lutheran Home Foundation.
I personally want to thank the judges who took time out of their busy schedules to diligently wade through the record-setting amount of nominations and select the recipients of the awards.
Finally, I want to thank our sponsor, Humana, without whom we could not present this worthy and inspirational program.
We salute all of our Health Care Heroes. It’s an honor that acknowledges your achievements and your selfless acts of compassion. We present their stories in this special section as a Christmas gift to our readers.
Publisher, BizTimes Milwaukee
The winners of the 2009 Health Care Heroes Awards include:
- Grand Achievement Award: Dr. Stephen Duncan, Marcus professor in human and molecular genetics at The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee
- Advancements in Health Care: Dr. Madan Kandula, Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists (ADVENT)
- Advancements in Health Care: Dr. Robert Truitt, Medical College of Wisconsin
- Advancements in Health Care: Rev. Dr. Patrick Ferry, Concordia University of Wisconsin
- Community Service: Delta Dental of Wisconsin
- Community Service: Dr. Francine Feinberg, Meta House Inc.
- Corporate Achievement: Dr. Raymond Zastrow, QuadMed LLC
- Health Care Staff: Rev. Fletcher Simpson, Horizon Home Care and Hospice Inc.
- Health Care Staff: Heart-to-Heart mission team
- Nurse: Virginia Fisher, R.N., Wheaton Franciscan Home Health and Hospice
- Nurse: Sue Dummer, R.N., Froedtert Hospital
- Physician: Dr. John Fangman, Medical College of Wisconsin
- Physician: Dr. Bruce Camitta, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW)
- Physician: Dr. John Gordon, Special Needs Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
- Volunteer: Dale and Ellen Jante
- Volunteer: Mary Brennan-Druml