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Health Care

2020: A Year Of Health Care Heroes

By Staff Reports, posted Nov 20, 2020
Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dan Gottovi talks about helping start Wilmington Health and Lower Cape Fear LifeCare hospice. (Photo by Michael Cline Spencer)
This was certainly the year to recognize the work of health care providers, and the win­ners selected for the 2020 Health Care Heroes reflected that.
 
While some worked directly with COVID-19 patients, others made their impacts on other health issues.

Because of the pandemic, the Business Journal downsized its an­nual Health Care Heroes Awards to honor the 35 finalists at an outdoor event at Cloud 9. Category winners were announced this week with the release of a video that included surprise presentations from winners’ co-workers.
 
“Thank you for this recognition and honor. Really, the true pleasure is doing the work for the community and seeing it get healthier and stron­ger,” Ryan Estes, treatment opera­tions director for Coastal Horizons Center, said after being presented the Health Care Executive award by Coastal Horizons president and CEO Margaret Weller-Stargell.
 
The awards announcement video also includes an interview with the family of the late Henry Patel, who won the Physician category.
 
“His No. 1 passion was patient care,” said his wife, Shital Patel.
 
Henry Patel, an electrophysiologist with Cape Fear Heart Associates, died unexpectedly in August.
 
“This community has supported us especially with what happened this year,” Shital Patel said. “Cardiology was his family; it was his dream.”
 
The family set up a fund in his honor to support providing comfort and patient care; education; and ran­dom acts of kindness – pillars that Henry Patel emphasized. Click here for more info on the fund.

Click here for the video announcing all the winners.
 
Other category winners were:
 
COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT: ELIZABETH BARNES, co-founder and executive director of Hope Abounds Cancer Network Inc.;
 
FIRST RESPONDER: BETHANY HART, flight paramedic for NHRMC Air­Link/VitaLink Critical Care Trans­port;
 
INNOVATION IN HEALTH CARE: JEFF JAMES, CEO of Wilmington Health;
 
VOLUNTEER: DAN KOPCHICK, volunteer for Lower Cape Fear LifeCare;
 
COMMUNITY OUTREACH: TR NUNLEY, program coordinator for Wilmington Transgender Support Services;
 
NURSE PRACTITIONER/PHYSICIAN AS­SISTANT: LAURA QUARINO, family nurse practitioner for Brunswick County Health Services;
 
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL: NOVA SWANSTROM, therapist for Delta Be­havioral Health; and
 
NURSE: MITCHELL WATSON, RN at NHRMC
 
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: DAN GOTTOVI, co-founder of Wilmington Health and Lower Cape Fear LifeCare

To see the video, go to the Business Journal’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
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