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Health Care Heroes: Innovation

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 21, 2022

Honors an individual or team behind a new scientific discovery, procedure, treatment or device that can save lives or improve the quality of life for a large number of people.


JESS AHLUM

Title: Early relational health coach

Organization: Happy Families Happy Babies

What the nominator said: “Jess has such a special niche and does amazing work with infants and families. She is constantly taking new, cutting-edge continuing education to better her knowledge and scope for the community. She has many titles, but I think her most unique and innovative work is through the Masgutova Method and through infant massage with infants. She helps infants and parents dealing with ailments that are often overlooked by pediatricians or given unnecessary medications such as reflux, colic, tongue ties (oral restrictions), excessive gas/uncomfortability, sleep issues and more.” 

– Rachael Birkenhauer, Lactation Counseling Services

WILLIAM LEWIS & ERIN LAMBERT

Title: Pulmonary Embolus Response Team

Organization: Novant Health Coastal Market

What the nominator said: “Pulmonary Embolism is the third leading cause of cardiovascular death in the United States. In addition, this devastating and often life-threatening illness is quite common in our area – in 2021, almost 500 patients were admitted to Novant Health New Hanover Regional Hospital with the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. In response to this, Dr. William Lance Lewis, a cardiologist with Novant New Hanover Heart and Vascular Institute, and Erin Lambert, RN, worked to develop a Pulmonary Embolus Response Team (PERT). This team developed a treatment algorithm that includes a novel cath lab procedure to manually extract the blood clot from the patient’s lungs, thus restoring normal blood flow and decreasing the likelihood of death or morbidity. In the first three months of 2022, the PERT team treated more than 3 patients a week with a 50% decrease in hospital length of stay, no deaths, and no hospital readmissions. The PERT team’s work has been widely recognized and was presented nationally at the American College of Cardiology Quality Summit in September.” 

–  Frederick Meine, Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute-Wilmington

AMY NOLAN

Title: Owner and director

Organization: Therapy Works of Wilmington

What the nominator said: “Amy is a dedicated therapist and exemplary employer. … She will go the extra mile for anyone. She runs a business, but her first priority in the business is getting her patients (her kiddos) what they need. Their progress in their therapy means more to her than the bottom line. She has gone as far as getting needed equipment for kiddos out of her own pocket so they get the full scope of treatment they need. When kiddos walk into the office or the developmental gym, Amy lights up. You can hear the kiddos all throughout the office yell, ‘Miss Amy!!’ She was recently out of state for a family emergency. The entire time, she was constantly checking on her kiddos. The kiddos who come to her practice/gym all made pictures and videos for her because they missed her so much! She is an angel walking among us all.” 

–  Rebecca Webster, practice manager, Therapy Works of Wilmington


Read more about all of the 2022 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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