December 5, 2016
Health Care Heroes 2016

Health Care Heroes provide healing touch for those in need

With the changing tides in Washington D.C., the healthcare industry is headed into another year of great uncertainty and, most likely, changes.

But regardless of the political and practical challenges the industry faces, the everyday efforts of those who work in the industry remain as important as ever.

This week, we are honoring nine Health Care Heroes in Greater Hartford, who are making a difference in our community every day. Our winners run the gamut from individuals who are using animal -assisted therapy to promote healing and increase patient optimism, to social workers helping cancer patients deal with the stress of their disease.

In the pages that follow, you'll also learn about an ALS patient who captured the hearts and minds of Connecticut residents and the entire country promoting awareness of his disease during the Travelers Championship.

Many of our winners this year are involved in helping patients cope with the psychological effects of their diseases. Others volunteer their time to help serve the community and local patients.

Our judges — Angela Mattie (Quinnpiac University), John O'Connell Jr. (C.M. Smith Agency Inc.) and Ellen Andrews (CT Health Policy Project) — played a key role identifying our Health Care Heroes. Using standard criteria they voted on nominees in eight different categories ranging from nurses, physicians, and volunteers to industry leaders who made advancements in healthcare prevention and innovation.

The judges were particularly adept at finding heroes who are innovators, like a Connecticut Children's Medical Center surgeon who is working with a team of UConn researchers to find a new way to treat babies born with esophageal atresia, a defect where the tube between the mouth and stomach fails to connect.

Collectively, they are an impressive class of Health Care Heroes. We recently honored them during a Dec. 1 luncheon at the Connecticut Convention Center in downtown Hartford.

Our heroes were nominated by those who know their work the best — co-workers, clients, etc. They share a common passion for the services they provide and life-changing impacts they have on the lives of others.

We hope you join us in congratulating them. And remember, it's not too early to start thinking about who you'd like to nominate for next year's class of Health Care Heroes.

Here are this year's Heroes:

Advancement in Healthcare - Prevention: Jenifer Ash

Advancement in Healthcare - Innovation: Christine Finck

Corporate Achievement - Innovation: Mark Finkelstein

Nurse: Heather Hancort

Physician: David Rosenblum

Community Service - Advocacy/Policy: Brian Savo

Healthcare Staff: Patricia Verde

Volunteers: Mary Guglielmo & Mary Alsing


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