Forty-three people or organizations from the Greater Lehigh Valley were honored this morning in Center Valley for making a difference through their contributions to the health care industry.
And 10 of those were honored as heroes in the health care industry.
They were honored at Lehigh Valley Business’ second annual Healthcare Heroes ceremony at DeSales University in Center Valley. More than 250 people attended the breakfast and awards program, created to honor the efforts of people and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of health care in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
“I am very proud and kind of overwhelmed,” Emily Stephens of St. Luke’s University Health network said after winning the nurse of the year award. “There are so many people that deserve this award.
“I am very grateful that I get to continue to work in the field that I love.”
To be eligible, nominees must work in the Greater Lehigh Valley, while organization nominees must have offices in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
After the nominations were collected, a panel of independent judges reviewed and scored each nomination – naming 42 finalists and one lifetime achievement award winner.
The lifetime award went to Frank Hyland, vice president of rehabilitative services and administrator of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in Allentown, for his more than 30 years of commitment to the health care industry.
“You can make a difference in someone’s life,” Hyland said. “And I absolutely love that.”
For a photo gallery of the ceremony, click here. Here are the Healthcare Heroes, who were named this morning, along with the nominees for all of the awards:
Education hero: Sweety Jain, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Salisbury Township.
Education hero–organization: Pocono Medical Center, East Stroudsburg.
Health care professional of the year: Larry Wiersch, Cetronia Ambulance Corps, South Whitehall Township.
Innovation hero: Lehigh Valley Super Utilizer Partnership (Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley), Allentown.
Nurse of the year: Emily Stephens, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Bethlehem.
Physical therapy/rehabilitation center of the year: Robbins Rehabilitation, Allentown.
Physician of the year: Dr. Peter Rovito, Allentown.
Women’s health and wellness hero: Coordinated Health, South Whitehall Township.
Volunteer of the year: Paul Fenstermacher, Luther Crest Senior Living Community, South Whitehall Township.
Besides the winners, the other nominees were:
Joetta Clark Diggs, Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation Inc.
David Hersh, Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters
Allen Smith, NovusACS
Jerry Werner, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network
Education hero – organization:
Miller-Keystone Blood Center
Health care professional of the year:
Thomas Balshi, Pi Dental Center
Donna Henry, The Hillside School
Michael Pechulis, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Stephen Wilson, Easton Hospital
Charles Wolfe, A.B.E. Dental
Robert Zentz, Fellowship Community
David Bub, Colon and Rectal Institute
Musa Tangoren, Pocono Medical Center
Nurse of the year:
Krisna Connors, Easton Hospital
Judy Kline, Phoebe Ministries
Donna Kukor, Easton Community Care Center
Lorillie Soleta, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network
Stephanie Stezenko, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Physical therapy rehabilitation center of the year:
Advent Speech and Feeding Therapy
Physical Therapy at St. Luke’s
Tannersville Physical Therapy & Wellness
Physician of the year:
Basil Ahmed, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Jose Amortegui, St Luke’s University Health Network
Abby Letcher, Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley
Maggie Solimeo, Feet First Podiatry
Women’s health and wellness hero:
Amy Albert, Pocono Medical Center
Elizabeth Chang, Pretty Mama Breastfeeding LLC
Joseph Russo, St. Luke's University Health Network
Volunteer of the year:
Jean Achey, Miller-Keystone Blood Center
Ada Chandler, Easton Area Community Center
Anne Frantz, Fellowship Community
The independent judging panel consisted of Tom Croyle, president of Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare; Mary Liz Doyle Tadduni, chair, department of nursing and health and associate professor of nursing, DeSales University; Judith Rex, director, health care education, Northampton Community College; Kathryn Worrilow, CEO and founder, LifeAire Systems.