Grossmont Healthcare District seeks to honor volunteers with 2017 Healthcare Heroes Awards

The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) is seeking nominees for its 2017 Healthcare Heroes Awards. Now in its 11th year, the Healthcare Heroes is GHD’s annual awards program honoring volunteers who help advance the delivery of quality health services in the East County region.

Nominees may include any individual volunteer or volunteer(s) of organizations who demonstrate selfless dedication to a healthy East region community, above and beyond their regular employment, according to Michael Emerson, 2017 GHD board president.

“The purpose of the Healthcare Heroes Awards is to recognize volunteers whose unsung work in health care might not otherwise be recognized,” said Emerson. “We solicit the assistance of all East County residents because we want to recognize healthcare champions whose work might not otherwise be recognized. We want to honor those volunteers whose extraordinary care and selfless dedication inspires others to produce outcomes that provide for a healthier community.”

Some examples of volunteers eligible for nomination include: health care educators, volunteer transportation providers, health professionals, first responders, community clinic volunteers, pastoral caregivers, grant writers, members of service clubs, members of policy or advocacy organizations, auxiliary members, and youth volunteers (healthcare related).

The 2016 winners included a vascular surgeon, a chiropractor, an attorney, a beagle and her master, and a pirate who fights for those suffering from childhood cancer. To learn more about last year’s winners, watch the 2016 video:

Last year’s honorees included: Dr. Scott Musicant, Vascular Associates of San Diego, a practicing vascular surgeon who donates his time and expertise to serve the underserved and underinsured patients who cannot afford specialty surgeries; Chiropractor Dr. Kevin Ryan who has volunteered as a team doctor for high school and college sports teams in the East County for nearly 30 years; Attorney James Byrnes who has served for 29 years on the board of San Diego Freedom Ranch, an alcohol and drug residential treatment facility in Campo; Retiree Michael Colombo and his beagle named Shiloh who have logged more than 375 hours since January 2014 visiting patients as part of Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s Pet Therapy Program; Sam Mejia, founder of Sons of Charity, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance, resources and encouragement to children suffering from cancer and who regularly visits patients at Rady Children’s Hospital dressed as a pirate resembling the lead actor in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.

Nomination forms are available at www.grossmonthealthcare.org. Deadline for submission of entries is 3pm on Friday, March 10, faxed, e-mailed or personally delivered to the GHD offices at 9001 Wakarusa St., La Mesa. For more information, contact the GHD offices at vbradeen@grossmonthealthcare.org.

Awards will be presented at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at the Steele Canyon Golf Club in Jamul.

The Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency, supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County region. It also serves as landlord of Sharp Grossmont Hospital, including ownership of the property and buildings on behalf of East County taxpayers. The District, formed in 1952 to build and operate the publicly owned hospital, is governed by a five-member board of directors who are publicly elected and represent more than 500,000 people residing within the District’s 750 square miles in San Diego’s East County region.