Health Care

2017 Health Care Heroes Finalists

By Vicky Janowski, posted Oct 20, 2017
What makes someone a Health Care Hero?

That was the question facing a panel of judges, which had the daunting task of wading through stacks of nominations for this year’s awards from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

Do they go above and beyond in their daily work? Have they contributed an idea or formed an organization that impacts the community? Are they heroic – whether in big, life-saving ways or quiet, everyday ways?

In many cases, the standouts were clear. In others, the deliberations were tough.

But, following the links below, you can read more about the health care providers, administrators and community volunteers those judges deemed above and beyond.

They are this year’s Health Care Heroes, nominated by patients, peers, co-workers and families.

Their common thread: their impact on patients in southeastern North Carolina.

Included in the awards special section is the finalists in 10 categories: Community Achievement, Community Outreach, First Responders, Innovation in Health Care, Health Care Executive, PA/ NP, Physician, Nurse, Health Care Professional and Volunteer.

Read about their accomplishments in their nominators’ own words in the links below.

These finalists are addressing some of the most pressing health issues facing the community – from the opioid epidemic to cancer treatment to CPR education.

Others stepped into action in the wake of Hurricane Matthew to protect area residents. And still more might not have daily interaction with patients but are helping through innovations such as automating lab processes to adopting new approaches to how underserved populations access treatment for hepatitis C.

The category winners will be announced Nov. 11 at the Health Care Heroes awards event.

Also at the event surgeon Charles Kays, who has helped thousands of area women recover from breast cancer through breast reconstructive procedures, will be honored as this year’s Lifetime Achievement award recipient. Peers honored Kays not only for the innovation he has brought to his field but also for the compassion he has shown for his patients and their families. Click here to read more about his work.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of this year’s Health Care Heroes awards.
-Vicky Janowski, editor

Here are this year's Health Care Heroes finalists:

Health Care Heroes: Community Achievement

Jana Jones Halls, Executive director of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence

Olivia Herndon, Director of Mental Health and Public Health Education at SEAHEC-NHRMC

Sunrise Kids Program, Childrens bereavement counselors at Lower Cape Fear Hospice

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: Community Outreach

Patrick Lockamy, Physical therapy assistant at New Hanover Regional Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital

Montrel Miller, Prevention specialist at Coastal Horizons Center Inc.

Leshonda Wallace, Advanced nurse practitioner at New Hanover Regional Medical Center; executive director and founder /Seeds of Healing Inc.

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: First Responder

Philip Jewett, Care Coordinator and Team Lead for EmergeOrtho/ Paramedic

Aaron Kasulis, EMS manager/battalion chief at New Hanover Regional Medical

Woody Sullivan III, Chief of Pender EMS & Fire Inc.

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: Health Care Executive

John Devaney, CEO of Cape Fear Clinic

Henry Hawthorne III, Administrator of oncology services at NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center

Althea Johnson, CEO of MedNorth Health Center

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: Health Care Professional

Sarah Bishop, Social worker at The Davis Community

Kevin Briggs, Administrative director of pathology and laboratory services at New Hanover Regional Medical Center

Deak Walden, Orthopedic physician assistant at EmergeOrtho

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: Innovation

Kevin McNabb, Director of microbiology, immunology and molecular testing at New Hanover Regional Medical Center

Sarah Towne, Chief medical officer at MedNorth Health Center

Austin Yeargan, Doctor at the Regenerative Medicine Clinic of Wilmington

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: NP/PA

Daryl Turlington, Physician assistant-inpatient care specialist at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center

Bruce Williams, Family nurse practitioner at Black River Health Services

Erin Williamson, Family nurse practitioner at MedNorth Health Center

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: Nurse

Deb Goughnour, Grief and wellness RN, health adviser and CPR instructor at Wilmington Healing with Hope

Traci Hammer, Nurse-Breast Care Clinic coordinator at Wilmington Health

Lowell Higgins Jr., NHRMC pediatric infusion coordinator at New Hanover Regional Medical Center

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: Physician

Joanne “Anne” Allen, Doctor at Allen Spine and Sports Medicine and EmergeOrtho

Catherine Daum, Doctor/internist at Wilmington Health

Scott Visser, Doctor at Wilmington Health

Click here for more info about their work.

Health Care Heroes: Volunteer

Common Thread Ministry at Pine Valley United Methodist Church

Gloria & Mike Foss, Volunteers at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center

Amy Hermann, Founder of Wilmington Childhood Cancer Support Group

Click here for more info about their work.

About The Judging

Each year, the Business Journal opens up the nominations process to the community for the Health Care Heroes awards.

Our outside judging panel combs through the nominations and applications to pick the finalists and winners in each of the 10 categories as well as the Lifetime Achievement honor.

Judges who know or work with the nominees disclosed any potential conflicts. In the cases in which judges were nominated in a category, they were recused from the deliberation process.

Judging Panel:

Joanne “Anne” Allen, Allen Spine and Sports Medicine and EmergeOrtho

Alfreda Carrington, Delta Dental

Johnsie Davis, New Hanover Regional Medical Center

Kelly Erola, Lower Cape Fear Hospice

Charles Hardy, UNCW College of Health and Human Service

Henry Hawthorne Jr., New Hanover County- Pender Medical Society representative

Jim Hundley Sr., retired physician and businessman

Brian Stillmock, PNC Bank
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