Health Care

What Makes A Hero?

By Vicky Janowski, posted Oct 21, 2022
That was the question facing a panel of judges, which had the task of wading through stacks of nominations for this year’s awards from the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. The challenges in health care are significant, from the pandemic to workforce shortages.
So in deliberating this year, the judges focused on some fundamental questions for the nominees. 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 choices were tough. 
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.
The Greater Wilmington Business Journal has put on the Health Care Heroes awards program since 2013 to honor the people and organizations making an impact on the quality of health care in the region.
Included in this year’s awards special section are the finalists in eight categories: Community Achievement, Health Care Executive, Innovation in Health Care, PA/NP, Nurse, Physician and Volunteer. A new category to the awards program is the Unsung Hero category, recognizing anyone who works in health care but not necessarily fitting the other traditional award descriptions.
The category winners will be announced Nov. 11 at the Health Care Heroes awards event. Info:
Also at the event, retired physician Richard Tamisiea will be honored as the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement award.
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of this year’s Health Care Heroes awards.
-Vicky Janowski, editor
Greater Wilmington Business Journal
[email protected]

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 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.

Sarah Arthur, Novant Health
Danielle Clark, PNC Bank 
Johnsie Davis, retired nurse 
Peter Freeman, Atrómitos 
Charles Hardy, UNCW College of Health and Human Services 
Jim Hundley Sr., Retired physician and businessman 
Alexis Hunter, Wilmington Health 
Zac Long, Well Care Health 
Elaine Loyack, Delta Dental 
Justine Reel, UNCW College of Health and Human Services

Meet the 2022 Health Care Heroes finalists:

Community Achievement:
  • Kelly Ezzell, Child medical evaluation provider, The Carousel Center
  • Candy Lee, Memory Partners program manager, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare
  • Sarah C. Ridout, Healthy Opportunities Program director, Cape Fear HOP, Community Care of the Lower Cape Fear
Health Care Executive
  • Daisy Deweese-Gatt, Senior vice president clinical delivery, ICON
  • J. Dale Key, CEO (retired), Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians
  • Ian Tooley, Director of facility services, Wilmington Health
  • Jess Ahlum, Early relational health coach, Happy Families Happy Babies
  • William Lewis & Erin Lambert, Pulmonary Embolus Response Team, Novant Health Coastal Market
  • Amy Nolan, Owner and director, Therapy Works of Wilmington
Lifetime Achievement
  • Richard Tamisiea, Medical director of Cardiac Rehab, New Hanover Regional Medical Center
Unsung Hero
  • Sandra Dinapoli, Patient representative, Wilmington Health
  • Doug Flynn, Patient care tech/unit clerk, Dosher Memorial Hospital
  • Monique Rodriguez Marshall, Pediatric registered nurse, Maxim Homehealth Care/Bayada Pediatric Homehealth Care
  • Megan Herrington, Physician assistant, Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute - Cardiology
  • Dan Shapiro, Occupational medicine physician assistant, Wilmington Health
  • H. Deak Walden, Orthopedic physician assistant, EmergeOrtho
  • Gwen Deininger, Administrative coordinator, labor and delivery and high-risk antepartum; Registered nurse, Novant Health NHRMC
  • Anastasia Phillips, Registered nurse, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare
  • Marian Smith, LPN, Well Care Health
  • Todd Kornegay, Internal medicine physician, Novant Health New Hanover Primary Care
  • Lindsey Prochaska & Kristopher Swiger, Co-medical directors, Novant Health Zimmer Cardio-Oncology Clinic
  • Barton Williams, Physician, Wrightsville Beach Family Health
  • Boys In Blue, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare
  • Anne Patterson, Volunteer mentor, SCORE Cape Fear Chapter
  • Carol Wagner, NICU volunteer, Novant Health NHRMC


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