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Announcing Health Care Heroes Award Winners

By Staff Reports, posted Apr 4, 2022
Well Care Health CNA Cassandra Taylor (left) received the Health Care Professionals award, which was presented to her by Cathy Millsap. (Photo by Terah Hoobler)
The latest group of Health Care Heroes award winners were announced Friday night during a ceremony at the Country Club of Landfall.
 
The winners were among those nominated last year in the awards program. The awards event, which typically takes place in November, was postponed during the winter’s uptick in COVID activity. Friday’s outdoor event marked a return of the full awards program.
 
JOHN POWELL, a retired OB/GYN physician, gynecological oncologist and professor emeritus, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
 
Recipients were also honored for excellence in 10 categories in the awards from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. Each category had three finalists, except for the community outreach category this time (details below), and the following were chosen as the overall winners:
 
COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT: CARLA TURNER, public health assistant director for New Hanover County Health & Human Services
 
FIRST RESPONDER: TOMMY BATSON, Pender County’s emergency director
 
HEALTH CARE EXECUTIVE: JOHN GIZDIC, executive vice president and chief business development officer for Novant Health
 
PHYSICIAN: PAUL KAMITSUKA, infectious disease/internal medicine physician with Wilmington Health
 
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL: CASSANDRA TAYLOR, CNA with Well Care Health
 
INNOVATION: MEENA RAO, medical director for Cape Fear Heart Associates Atrial Fibrillation Clinic and EP Lab medical director for Novant Health
 
NURSE PRACTITIONER/PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT: MCKENZIE KLINE, Wilmington Health physician assistant
 
NURSE: ERYN DAVIS, COVID intensive care unit and medical intensive care unit staff nurse with Novant Health
 
VOLUNTEER: LAURA HOLMES, occupational therapy assistant with Well Care Health
 
COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Our panel of judges chose to make the Community Outreach category a spotlight on the different teams, from team leaders to public health officials to school nurses, who played roles in the community’s response to COVID and vaccine rollouts. In presenting the category award Friday night, Charlie Hardy, the 2019 Lifetime Achievement award recipient and outgoing dean for UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services, announced that all four finalist teams received the honors. Those went to NEW HANOVER COUNTY HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES; NOVANT HEALTH NHRMC COVID MANAGEMENT TEAM; SCHOOL NURSES OF NEW HANOVER COUNTY HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES; and WILMINGTON HEALTH COVID-19 VACCINE TEAM.
 
Photos from this year's event will be posted on the Business Journal's Facebook page.
 
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