Healthcare Heroes to Be Saluted on Oct. 25
If one were challenged to describe the Healthcare Heroes for 2018 — or any year, for that matter — with just a single word, this would be the one.
It is a common character trait within any healthcare profession, but it is certainly necessary to rise above the tens of thousands of men and women in this field and earn that designation ‘hero.’
And it is certainly a common denominator in the remarkable and truly inspiring stories. The passion comes to the fore whether that story is about a career emergency-room nurse who shifted to work at college wellness centers and completely transformed the one at American International College, or about a nurse administrator at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke who is transforming care there while also serving as a mentor and role model for other team members. It’s the same when the story is about a large, multi-dimensional effort to battle opioid and heroin addiction in rural Franklin County, or about a pediatrician dedicated not only to the residents of a community, but to making that community a healthier place to live.
• What: The Healthcare Heroes Gala
• When: Thursday, Oct. 25, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
• Where: The Starting Gate at GreatHorse, Hampden
• Tickets: $90 (tables of 10 available)
• For more Information: Email [email protected]
That we said, passion is the word that defines these heroes. And it will be on clear display on Oct. 25 at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden, site of the Healthcare Heroes Gala.
This will be the second such gala. The inaugural event was a huge success, not because of the venue (although that was a factor) or the views (although they certainly helped), but because of the accomplishments, the dedication, and, yes, the passion being relayed from the podium. It will be same in about seven weeks.
But first, the stories that begin on the facing page.
There are seven winners in all, in categories chosen to reflect the broad scope of the health and wellness sector in Western Mass., and the incredible work being done within it:
The Healthcare Heroes for 2018 are:
Mary Paquette, director of Health Services/nurse practitioner, American International College
Celeste Surreira, assistant director of Nursing, the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke
Peter DePergola II, director of Clinical Ethics, Baystate Health
Dr. Matthew Sadof, pediatrician, Baystate Children’s Hospital
The Consortium and the Opioid Task Force
Robert Fazzi, founder, Fazzi Associates.
American International College and Baystate Health/Health New England are presenting sponsors for Healthcare Heroes 2018. Additional sponsors are National Grid, partner sponsor, and Elms College MBA Program, Renew.Calm, Bay Path University, and Trinity Health Of New England/Mercy Medical Center as supporting sponsors.
Tickets to the Oct. 25 gala are $90 each, with tables of 10 available for purchase. For more information or to order tickets, call (413) 781-8600, or email [email protected]
Meet the Judges
There were more than 70 nominations across seven categories for the Healthcare Heroes Class of 2018. Scoring these nominations was a difficult task that fell to three individuals, including two members of the Class of 2017, with extensive backgrounds in health and wellness. They are:
Holly Chaffee, MSN, BSN, RN: Winner in the Healthcare Heroes Health/Wellness Administrator/Administration category in 2107, Chaffee is president and CEO of VNA Care, a subsidiary of Atrius Health. Formerly (and when she was named a Healthcare Hero) she was the president and CEO of Porchlight VNA/Homecare, based in Lee.
Dexter Johnson: A long-time administrator with the Greater Springfield YMCA, Johnson was named president and CEO of that Y, one of the oldest in the country, in the fall of 2017. He started his career at the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, and, after a stint at YMCA of the USA, he came to the Springfield Y earlier this decade as senior vice president and chief operating officer.
Dr. Michael Willers: Winner in the Patient/Resident/Client-care Provider category in 2017, Willers is co-owner of the Children’s Heart Center of Western Mass. Formerly a pediatric cardiologist with Baystate Children’s Hospital, he founded the Children’s Heart Center of Western Mass. in 2012.