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2015 Healthcare Heroes named at awards ceremony

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More than 250 people attended this morning's Healthcare Heroes.
More than 250 people attended this morning's Healthcare Heroes. - (Photo / )

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:

Education hero:

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

Phoebe Ministries

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

Innovation hero:

David Bub, Colon and Rectal Institute

Musa Tangoren, Pocono Medical Center

Phoebe Ministries

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.

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Jennifer Glose

Jennifer Glose

Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferg_LVB and read her blog, “Networking,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/networking-blog.

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