Three years ago, my husband suffered a gruesome shoulder injury.
During the next 10 months, he had eight surgeries, numerous procedures, physical therapy, IV therapy, many surgeon and other physician appointments.
Plus, it took a mental and financial toll on the family.
I write about this because of the physicians and surgeons that diligently worked to make sure he was going to have shoulder mobility. (After his first emergency surgery, a surgeon told me he may never use his arm again.)
On top of physicians, the compassion of the nurses on the floor that not only took care of him but me, plus the food service workers that made sure he had food nourishment and worked with his food allergies and other staff helped us through that difficult time.
We couldn’t have done it without them. They were our heroes.
Our community is full of champions in health care, and in this publication we are celebrating them. 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 again honoring those who have made an impact on health care in our community through their concern for patients, research, innovation and management skills.
A new category this year is Rising Stars. This honor recognizes emerging health care professionals who are making an impact in their company or organization. Along with the other category honorees, we share with you on the coming pages those that are truly health care heroes.
The 2023 Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Mary Gatton, of Gilda’s Club. Gatton has worked for more than a decade at Gilda’s Club, and currently is the member engagement manager. When you read about her, you will understand why she was chosen as the Lifetime Achievement honoree this year.
Below are our 2023 Health Care Heroes:
This award honors an entrepreneurial initiative in the health care business scene that is making strides in the industry.
- Greg Baker, CEO, EmsanaRx
- Will Metcalf, associate vice president for research and innovation, 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 Kentucky Medicaid
- 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, clinical director, Springhurst location, ProRehab Physical Therapy
- Dr. Edward Miller, division director maternal fetal medicine/chief diversity officer, 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
- Dr. Matt Holder, co-founder and CEO, Kramer Davis Health (dual award)
- Dr. Henry Hood, co-founder and chief clinical officer, Kramer Davis Health (dual award)
- 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 services, Baptist Health System
- Mary Rodriguez, nurse 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 director of clinical excellence, Pallitus Health Partners
- Dr. Mini Das, cardiologist, Louisville Cardiology, Baptist Health Louisville
Glennesha Mudd, licensed therapist in pediatric gastroenterology program, Norton Children’s Hospital, Novak Center, Norton Healthcare Inc.
- Khaga Sapkota, nursing director, Gathering Club
- Dr. James Thornton, neuro hospitalist, medical stroke director, Baptist Health Louisville
This honor recognizes emerging health care professionals who are making an impact in their company or organization.
- Parker Lacy, vice president of facilities, Trilogy Health Services
Corenza Townsend, chief administrative officer, Norton West Louisville Hospital, Norton Healthcare Inc.
- Kelly Russell, director of professional practice, UofL Health – UofL Hospital & Brown Cancer Center (dual award)
- Mandi Walker, Executive director, Office of Professional Practice, UofL Health (dual award)
We are recognizing Gatton and other Health Care Heroes honorees at an in-person event at The Olmsted on Thursday, Feb. 16. Honorees were chosen from nominations by LBF editors and Publisher Lisa Benson.
LBF Editor-in-Chief Shea Van Hoy hosted a Q&A with Tiffany Benjamin at the event. 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.
You can read coverage of that talk at LouisvilleBusinessFirst.com. We’d like to thank our presenting sponsors Baptist Health and Louisville Healthcare CEO Council; and our supporting sponsor Dentons.
Thank you to the health care heroes in our community!