ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
Michael Callen – Emory Johns Creek Hospital
This individual led the start-up and opening of its system’s Anesthesiology Department and has been a mainstay for 30 years. As the Lead Anesthesiology Technologist, he brings a wealth of experience that includes endoscopy, labor and delivery, interventional radiology, neurology and trauma, to name just a few. He is a Pastoral Care Committee Member and a past Hospital Nursing Council Support Person of the Year recipient.
Laura Hannah – Eastside Medical Center
It’s evident that this person is living in their purpose. For their day job, they are a Director of Volunteer Services, managing more than 300 volunteers. Over the years, this individual has supported numerous civic organizations, including: 12Stone Church, Gwinnett County Special Needs School and The Ronald McDonald House. The cause that has most captured her heart is Amigos for Christ. This person has made seven mission trips to Nicaragua for the nonprofit. Her group included a medical team that enabled them to focus on clean water as well as improved health. They built 125 houses, a church, dug latrines and wells, among many other things. What a difference this person makes in our own community and across the world.
Northeast Georgia Health System’s Opioid Initiative
Before the nation began recognizing the opioid problem in America, this organization not only recognized it, but got to work trying to battle the epidemic. Influenced by the loss of a board member’s grandson, this system created an opioid initiative that impacts the health of the community in many ways. Its Prescription Pain Management Guidelines reduce the number of opioid prescriptions written. Its foundation raised $282,000 for Project DAN (Death Avoided by Naloxone). Funds were used to train 95 law enforcement agencies in more than 50 counties on the use of Naloxone, a drug that can quickly reduce the effects of overdose. It also supplied nearly 5,000 Naloxone kits to law enforcement and EMTs. Its legislative efforts have resulted in new laws that aim to curb drug abuse, including the 911 Medical Amnesty Law House Bill 249, which strengthens the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Senate Bill 121, which allows pharmacists to dispense Naloxone over the counter and Senate Bill 88 which outlines requirements for narcotic treatment programs. To bring it home, within the last 18 months, just the Naloxone kits alone have helped save the lives of 27 people in Hall County and 82 others in surrounding counties.
Gwinnett Medical Center’s Transitional Year Residency Program
The mission of this program is to fulfill the need for a residency that was designed for physicians pursuing a specialty care as well as those who are undecided. For those physicians, this residency serves as a foundational program where they can gain first-hand clinical experience and develop an understanding of the core aspects of today’s modern medicine. What truly sets it apart is its incorporation of the Resident Rotation Program, where they are given the chance to apply their clinical knowledge in real-world settings, such as healthcare administration or policy development.
Dr. Lloyd Hofer, MD, MPH – Gwinnett, Newton & Rockdale County Health Departments
This individual has made an enormous impact in the communities he has served over the past 50 years, and we have had the honor of having him serve our great community for more than 15 years. In his current role, he is responsible for the operation of five Public Health Departments and three Environmental Health Departments in three metro Atlanta counties. Under his direction, the Health Department became one of the first in Georgia to be nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board. In addition, it is also one of only five jurisdictions in the nation to meet ALL the standards of the Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program.
In response to a growing population of uninsured residents, he spearheaded the establishment of Gwinnett’s first Federally Qualified Health Center. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks and anthrax bioterrorism, he utilized federal funding to establish a public health emergency preparedness program. The Lawrenceville Health Center gained national recognition for the innovative use of a drive-thru flu clinic to vaccinate high risk seniors during a shortage in 2004. During Hurricane Irma in 2017, he deployed a shelter medical support team to the Columbus mega-shelter that is now being used as the model across the state.
During this individual’s tenure, to say that he has made a big difference is an understatement. Our community is better because of his influence. His retirement this month will mark a long and distinguished career, both in community service and healthcare.
Amy Wheeler – Eastside Medical Center
During high school, this individual worked with a family friend who was a physician practice manager. Healthcare captured her whole heart. She then attended Trevecca Nazarene University and pursued a path that would allow her to follow her passions for both accounting and healthcare. Her desire is to change the look of accounting in healthcare, so those on the financial administrative side of the business never lose sight of their purpose and commitment to delivering quality, compassionate care to patients.
Fast forward to today, she has more than 13 years of extensive healthcare experience, serving in a variety of roles within the Hospital Corporation of America. Before making her way to Gwinnett, she served in leadership capacities at Parkridge East Hospital in Tennessee, including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Staffing Officer, as well as interim Chief Operating Officer. Currently, she serves as the Chief Financial Officer at one of our local hospitals. Not one to just crunch the numbers, she plays an active role in supporting the hospital’s community engagement efforts by participating in hospital sponsored events throughout the county. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and was selected for the 2019 Leadership Gwinnett class.
LifeLink of Georgia
This nonprofit community service organization is dedicated to the recovery of life-saving and life-enhancing organs and tissues for transplantation therapy. It is the only organ procurement organization in the state of Georgia. Currently, there are more than 5,000 people on the transplant waiting list in our state alone. This organization works to educate the public about the importance of organ and tissue donation with the goal of increasing the number of registered donors in Georgia. Its last fiscal year it reached a milestone of nearly 300 organ donors. Almost 50% of those donors had joined a registry prior to their passing. 880 organs were transplanted in the state of Georgia during the same time frame. This organization literally saves lives.
Gina Solomon, BSN, RN, CCRN, TCRN – Gwinnett Medical Center
Dr. Michael Wolf, pediatric cardiologist, at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta says, “Every patient and family that has an opportunity to work with her will forever be grateful. Her hard work and passion for what she does is truly unique. From my own personal experience, I have seen nothing like it. I was extremely impressed by her compassion and ability to make – what we would consider impossible – possible. I could not think of anyone else that deserves this award more than her.”
In November of 2017, a family of five was involved in a horrible auto accident. The parents were taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, while the three children were taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This individual received a call from Children’s Healthcare, informing her that they did not think the 4-month old would make it through the night. With pure determination, she vowed to find a way for the parents to see their child once more. She contacted the Orthopedic Surgeon, who just completed the mother’s procedure, and understanding the incredible significance, got him to agree to allow the mother to travel by ambulance to see her son. This has never been done before, especially with an inpatient. This person, who is also a seasoned ICU nurse, offered to travel and care for her during the transport. The next day, the parents were able to hold their child for the very last time.
Henry Edward Braselton
For many reasons, Henry Edward Braselton felt gratified to attend the ground breaking for the new hospital that was going up just down the road from his homeplace. Braselton, the town that bears his family name, may be classified as an exurb of metro Atlanta now, but with a population hovering around 10,000 in its rolling hills, it still feels rural.
Henry Edward Braselton, a businessman and grocer, was the son of one of the “Three B’s,” the founding trio of brothers who helped incorporate the town in the 1880s. His father, at the age of eight, started a store that sold crackers, tobacco and the like and grew into the Braselton Brothers country store that was known to supply a person “from cradle to grave,” offering dry goods, hardware, furniture, banking and groceries, and at one time even selling caskets.
As a lifelong public servant and one of the regional visionaries on the Northeast Georgia Health System’s hospital’s advisory board, Henry Edward Braselton wanted access to medical care and quality jobs closer to home for the community he loved. As young boys, he and his brother watched their Mama, an early volunteer with the American Cancer Society, deliver medicine to patients up in the mountains of north Georgia. Both sides of his family set examples that nurtured service to country, community, church, friends and strangers.
If there was anything worthwhile going on, Henry was involved in it, reliably and honorably – you could set your watch by whatever he told you,” says Abit Massey, president emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation, of his longtime friend who served as mayor of Braselton from 1988 to 2001 and held leadership roles in the town council for more than 40 years. “To twist around a Will Rogers line, I never met a person who didn’t like Henry, from farmhands to heads of state.”
Henry was thrilled to be present for the cornerstone ceremony in 2007 to welcome a state of the art hospital to Braselton. He saw his work on bringing a hospital to the community as a sustaining gift for his neighbors and their children. Sadly, the longtime civic leader died in 2009 and did not see the 100-bed hospital he helped to bring to the community open its doors in April of 2015.
Braselton resident and Jackson County Commissioner, Ralph Richardson recalls going to work in the supermarket bagging groceries as a teenager in the 1960s. “Hundreds of times, Henry would send me out into town to deliver free boxes of groceries to people in need, along with big bags of candy and five-dollar bills. I was from a very poor family, and many nights I would’ve gone to bed hungry without help from Henry. The value of a man lies not in what he receives, but in what he gives. None of us could ever repay Henry for what he has given our community.’
Henry’s legacy of compassion will linger in its bricks and mortar, just as his name designates a special place within it: his family’s generous gift to The Medical Center Foundation has made possible the Henry Edward Braselton Chapel.
Henry would probably be uncomfortable knowing there is a chapel named after him. He lived by the values of faith, humility, kindness, service, stewardship and love. He devoted his life to helping people, but he worked quietly behind the scenes. He was a gentleman and a friend to all.
The Braselton family believed the hospital to be the perfect place to remember him since its mission is to help those in need. The Henry Edward Braselton Chapel is a destination that welcomes all faiths with open arms, much the way Henry did. A standing invitation to “come see us” was just one of many friendly gestures Henry would offer to others. And since the opening of NGMC Braselton, the chapel has welcomed countless patient families, hospital staff and the community to a sacred space and moments of quiet and peace.
PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR – PRIMARY CARE
Dr. William Bostock, DO – Gwinnett Medical Center
Upon graduating from medical school, this individual applied to the Medical College of Georgia for his residency in family medicine, but as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in a world of MDs, it was challenging. Luckily, he was accepted and became only the third DO to complete that program. He also spearheaded many firsts for Gwinnett Medical Center. At the time, with Gwinnett County growing, he became one of the very first family practitioners to be on staff at GMC in 1986. He was also the only DO who was MD trained, which was extremely unique at the time.
As times continued to change, so did the medical field, and so did this individual. He was presented with the opportunity to help develop a residency program, serving as the Osteopathic Program Director. When he originally graduated, the only certification available was allopathic. In order to assume this new role, he needed the osteopathic certification. After extra classes and 800 hours of studying, he passed the exam and was ready to begin his new journey as an educator. Through his decorated career, you will see a constant of education and innovation, which is so very important in all areas of healthcare, especially primary care.
PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR – SPECIALIST
Dr. Peter Mann, MD – Gwinnett Gynecology & Maternity
A passion for advancing the delivery of care led this individual to be one of the first Certified Menopause Clinicians in the United States. That same passion led him to become the only board-certified sub-specialist in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery in Gwinnett County.
He has served as Vice President and President of the Medical Staff at his health system. He has been a member of the Medical Executive Committee as well as a member of the Board of Trustees. In addition, he is currently a member of the Quality Council and has served as its Chairman. He served on the Executive Board of the Atlanta Obstetrical & Gynecological Society for 10 years. He has also worked as a consultant and preceptor for Boston Scientific Corporation and has been an Examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology since 2000. He has been named a “Top Doctor in Atlanta” by Atlanta Magazine 11 times.
By his accomplishments, it is evident that he strives to improve women’s health by practicing evidence-based medicine and by adopting cutting-edge technologies.
Sherwin Levinson – Medical Reserve Corps Georgia East Metro
Paying it forward is innate to this individual. He has served in volunteer roles for many organizations, including: City of Berkeley Lake, Rotary Club of Gwinnett, Gwinnett County Citizen Corps and the Georgia Citizen Corps. In addition, he has served as the Executive Director, which is a volunteer position, for the Medical Reserve Corps Georgia East Metro for the past 10 years. When he assumed his current position, the organization had less than a dozen active members. Today it is considered an invaluable partner of public health and emergency management, with nearly 600 members.
These top subject matter experts respond to radiation incidents and provide training to others around the country. The CDC uses their organization as an example of how volunteers should be trained and deployed for this kind of response and its radiation incident rapid response team is included as a resource in the multi-state Emergency Management Assistance Compact database. In addition, under the Executive Directors guidance, this organization was the recipient of the Surgeon General’s Community Resiliency Award.