The dedication and achievements of our local health care community knows no bounds.
Louisville Business First’s annual Health Care Heroes program features medical professionals who go above and beyond to care for their patients and the community. We are honoring those who have made an impact on health care in our community through their concern for patients, research, innovation, management skills and rising stars in the field.
We asked our readers to submit nominations for the awards. Nominations were judged by Louisville Business First editors and publisher Lisa Benson.
There were many nominations to review and it was a task to narrow the number down to those we are honoring this year. This year, we are honoring area health care professionals in six categories, as well as our Lifetime Achievement award honoree.
Our Lifetime Achievement honoree is Gilda’s Club Member Engagement Manager Mary Gatton.
Gatton has worked for more than a decade at Gilda’s Club and prior worked for four decades at Hosparus. Gatton’s nominator wrote, “The number of lives Mary has touched in her career is immeasurable. Everywhere I go in the community, people remember the impact she made for them.”
The 2023 Health Care Heroes will be profiled in the Feb. 17-23 edition of Louisville Business First and earlier that week on our website.
An in-person dinner and awards presentation event is scheduled at The Olmsted on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. You can find more details and register to attend here.
Along with Louisville Business First honoring Gatton and the Health Care Heroes listed below, Louisville Business First Editor-in-Chief Shea Van Hoy host a fireside chat with Tiffany Benjamin.
Benjamin took over as CEO of the Humana Foundation on Jan. 3, 2022, where she is helping the foundation’s mission to advocate for health equity. The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc.
Here are the honorees broken down by category:
This award honors an entrepreneurial initiative in the health care business scene that is making strides in the industry.
- Greg Baker, founder and CEO, EmsanaRx, PBC
- Will Metcalf, associate vice president for research development and strategic partnerships, University of Louisville
- Julia Regan, co-founder and CEO, RxLightning
HEALTH EQUITY CHAMPION
This honor is for an organization or person who has worked to break down inequities in health care or health care access for underserved populations or areas of our community, including but not limited to, race, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
- Kathe Feliu, case manager/social worker, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid in Kentucky
- Dr. Kelly McCants, executive director, Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Advanced Heart Failure & Recovery Program; executive director, Institute for Health Equity, Norton Healthcare Inc.
- Melissa McElroy, clinic director, Dunn Physical Therapy
- Dr. Edward Miller, UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health, UofL Health
This award honors someone who breaks ground in the health care field by developing or implementing new technology, treatments, or programs with wide applications.
- David Cook, president and CEO, Hosparus Health & Pallitus Health Partners
- Mary Haynes, president and CEO Nazareth Home
- (joint award) Dr. Matt Holder, CEO, Lee Specialty Clinic; Dr. Henry Hood, chief clinical officer, Lee Specialty Clinic
- Dr. Arif Nazir, chief medical officer, primary care, BrightSpring Health Services
- Jessica Sharon, director of innovation programs, University of Louisville
This award honors leaders ranging from the head of a small company or organization to an executive in a major health system.
- Melisa Adkins, CEO, UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, UofL Health
- Marcie DeWitt, associate vice president, employee health, Baptist Health
- Mary Rodriguez, nursing manager, Baptist Health Louisville
- Mary Lynn Spalding, president and CEO, Christian Care Communities
This award honors a physician, nurse or other health care professional who works directly with patients and who shows exceptional achievement in his or her work.
- Tricia Cobler, senior nurse practitioner, Pallitus Health Partners
- Dr. Mini Das, cardiologist, Baptist Health Louisville
- Glennesha Mudd, senior family therapist, Family & Children’s Place
- Khaga Sapkota, nursing director, Gathering Club
- Dr. Ben Thornton, neurology hospitalist, Baptist Health Louisville
A new category this year is our Rising Star. This honor recognizes emerging health care professionals who are making an impact in their company or organization.
- Parker Lacy, vice president of facilities management, Trilogy Health Services
- Corenza Townsend, chief administrative officer, Norton West Louisville Hospital, Norton Healthcare Inc.
- (joint award) Mandi Walker, system executive director, Office of Professional Practice, Nursing Research and Nursing Education, UofL Health – UofL Hospital; Kelly Russell, director, Office of Professional Practice, UofL Health – UofL Hospital
Congratulations to all of our 2023 honorees.
Thanks to our presenting sponsors Baptist Health and Louisville Healthcare CEO Council; and our supporting sponsor Dentons.
Interested in nominating for any of our programs? All of our open nomination forms can be found here.