Publisher Mitch Bettis: Honoring Heroes of Health Care

Publisher Mitch Bettis: Honoring Heroes of Health Care
Mitch Bettis

Some of our life’s most thrilling and challenging moments have been spent with our health care providers.

Whether they are caring for an aging parent, assisting with well-child checkups or being present at the death of a loved one or birth of a child, nurses and doctors have provided hope, comfort and healing.

Arkansas Business has launched its Health Care Heroes awards program to honor individuals, companies and organizations that are making a significant impact on the quality of health care in Arkansas.

Through their commitment to their profession and their community, they serve as an inspiration to others in an effort to improve the quality of health care and discover new ways to assist those in need.

Arkansas Business regularly covers the topic of health care in Arkansas, and our team has worked for more than a year to craft a program that honors health care professionals who have committed their lives to serving others.

Through these awards we seek to salute excellence, encourage innovation, offer examples of best practices for others to emulate, raise awareness in the community, enhance the quality of health care and, of course, recognize deserving individuals and organizations within the industry.

We solicited nominations from about 4,000 health care professionals throughout the state. An independent panel of health care experts served as judges to help us select those we are honoring.

At a special event open to the public on Nov. 18, we will be recognizing 31 individuals and organizations who are finalists for top honors in the following categories:

» Health Care Professional of the Year Award: Honors a health care provider other than doctors and nurses — such as first responder, EMT, social worker, hospital department staff, physician’s assistant, radiologist, lab technician, insurance expert and physical therapist — whose performance is considered exemplary by patients and peers.

» Innovation in Health Care Award: Honors a company, organization or group of individuals responsible for development of a new procedure, treatment or service that can save lives or improve quality of life. This category includes pharmaceutical companies as well as research and developmental projects.

» Physician of the Year Award: Honors a physician — such as a family physician or pediatrician and will include OB/GYN, psychiatry, osteopathy, chiropractic, anesthesiology, oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery, etc. — whose performance is considered exemplary by patients and peers.

» Nurse of the Year Award: Honors an individual from the nursing field-such as RN, LPN, CAN whose performance is considered exemplary by patients and peers.

» Hospital of the Year: Honors large and small hospitals throughout our state.

» Women’s Health & Wellness Hero Award: An individual or organization that makes women’s health and wellness a top priority and whose services benefit women of all ages in our local communities. Examples include: OB/GYNs, imaging technicians, midwives, doulas, women’s health facilities, etc.

» Workplace Wellness Hero: Celebrates an organization that has prioritized a healthy workplace environment and has developed a sustained effort to encourage a healthy lifestyle in its workforce.

In addition to celebrating finalists in each of those categories and naming an overall winner, we will also be honoring Dr. John P. Shock as our first Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Dr. Shock is a distinguished professor in the Department of Ophthalmology in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). He is a board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in comprehensive ophthalmology and retinal disease.

A talented physician and surgeon, Dr. Shock holds three patents for surgical instruments he designed, and he has served as chief of staff of UAMS Medical Center.

We are grateful to the judges who reviewed each nomination for these inaugural honors. Judges were Dr. Joe Thompson, former surgeon general for the State of Arkansas and current director for the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement; Dr. Wesley Kluck, president of the Arkadelphia Clinic for Children and Young Adults; Ron Sellers, corporate regional director of ARcare; and Holly Van Winkle, RN-BSN program coordinator at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

You are invited to join us Nov. 18 as we celebrate the careers and contributions of each of the 31 honorees at the Health Care Heroes luncheon at Embassy Suites in Little Rock. For tickets, additional information or to see the full list of honorees, visit Care.