Introducing Health Care Heroes (From the Publisher Mitch Bettis)

Introducing Health Care Heroes (From the Publisher Mitch Bettis)
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.

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. 16, we will be recognizing 37 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, etcetera — 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, etcetera.

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.

Administrator of the Year: Honors health care leaders who have distinguished themselves balancing the needs of patients and the unique operational challenges faced only by hospitals.

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

Dr. Hutchins is a medical oncologist at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) who has focused on breast cancer and melanoma the past 33 years. She is also a clinical researcher in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

We are grateful to the judges who reviewed each nomination for these honors. Judges were Dr. Sylvia Simon, Monticello Medical Clinic; Dr. Shane Speights, NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, Arkansas State University; Dr. Nathaniel Smith, Arkansas Department of Health; Dottie Highfill, The Hatcher Agency; and Jane Duke, Mitchell Williams Law.

You are invited to join us Nov. 16 as we celebrate the careers and contributions of each of the 37 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