Phoenix Business Journal – by Angela Gonzales, Thursday, August 18, 2011, 9:37am MST
Health care professionals and volunteers from across the Valley were recognized this morning at the Phoenix Business Journal’s 10th annual Health Care Heroes awards breakfast.
Nearly 600 people attended the event at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, cheering on their unsung heroes of the Valley’s health care community.
Dr. Kipp Charlton, attending pediatrician at Maricopa Medical Center, is this year’s lifetime achievement award winner. He was instrumental in creating the first Crisis Nursery in Phoenix in the 1970s, where parents can take their children when they become overwhelmed. He has touched the lives of thousands of children either through the physicians he has trained or through the direct care he has provided over the past 40 years.
Dr. Joshua LaBaer, who was recruited from Harvard University to Arizona State University, was named the winner in the researcher/innovator category. With a medical degree and a Ph.D., LaBaer has identified a panel of 28 new biomarkers that could help in the early diagnosis of breast cancer.
Dr. Cristina Carballo, neuro NICU medical director at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, won in the physician category. Carballo, who always wanted to become a pediatrician, created the neuro NICU at PCH. Her mission is to eradicate Cerebral Palsy in hypoxic newborns.
Winning the health care education category was the team of Maricella Ortiz-Robinson and Maritsa Beltran at Maricopa Integrated Health System. Ortiz-Robinson is a family learning center coordinator there, while Beltran is a social worker. They provide free services to those who have not had the benefit of education, especially Latino immigrants in central and south Phoenix.
Angela Marie Allen, a resource nurse at Banner Boswell Hospital and clinical instructor at Arizona State University, took the nursing category. This summer, she also received the Community Service of the Year Award from the National Black Nurses Association.
Winning the first responder category was Roy Ryals, chief operating officer for Rural/Metro Corp. and Southwest Ambulance’s Arizona market. Over the past 30 years, he was instrumental in creating legislation for pre-hospital resuscitation guidelines, which allow paramedics to respect the wishes of terminally ill patients to decline resuscitation.
The community outreach winner this year was Berdette Carrasco, clinical care coordinator for the CARES perinatal palliative care program at Arrowhead Hospital. She co-founded a program to deliver support to grieving families.
Karolin Bilal, dental director for Gompers Dental Center, is this year’s winner in the dental category. With the elimination of support for oral health care for those with disabilities, Bilal assembled a portfolio of resources that includes insurers, oral health institutions and donors to serve more than 900 patients each year.
This year’s volunteer honoree is Eddie Trayler, nursing manager at Arizona Heart Institute. Trayler has organized missions to Tanzania, Africa, working with two Tanzanian villages to transform lives through health care and education.
Julie Stiak, program director at Phoenix College, is the non-physician winner. Stiak helped facilitate a partnership with Arizona State University and the Maricopa Community Colleges that allows students to complete 90 credit hours at Phoenix College and earn the remaining 30 credit hours through ASU to complete a bachelor’s degree in applied sciences.
Reginald M. Ballantyne III, senior corporate officer for Vanguard Health Systems and a member of the judging panel for this year’s Health Care Heroes winners, has a special word for the winners and finalists: Indispensables.
“In these tough economic times, when health systems desperately need to find new ways of continuing their mission of care for the entire community, I find the work of innovators indispensable,” he said.