ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
Amy Wellington – Peachtree Orthopedics
Amy Wellington has devoted her time to the Gwinnett healthcare industry for more than 30 years, working at hospital based outpatient rehab clinics, outpatient orthopedic clinics and private practices. A true innovator, she is responsible for many firsts including an aquatic therapy program at a local Gwinnett county aquatic center and a total hip and knee replacement surgery rehabilitation program. Civically engaged, she serves on the parent–teacher association for an elementary and middle school as well as is the secretary of the Grayson High School Swim and Dive Team Booster Club and volunteers for many area races.
Dorothy Rainey – Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation
Volunteering 6,000 hours and donating more than $350,000 to the healthcare industry, Dorothy Rainey exemplifies the servant leadership that thousands have been fortunate to witness and receive. From serving in executive roles on boards of directors, to working in hospital gift shops, it is amazing that one person can give so much of oneself. This 94-year-old is described as having a kilowatt smile and a heart to match.
Live Healthy Gwinnett
With 2,500 individuals participating in its 150 classes and events, Live Healthy Gwinnett is making a positive impact on the health of our community. Its mission is to promote positive change that encourages people to be active, eat healthy, get checked and be positive. Only in existence for two years, it has complimentary classes that are available for everyone, no matter their ability or skill level. Its success is also due to the more than 70 local business collaborations. When a community pulls together like this you know it is truly a critical and well-executed initiative.
Gwinnett Medical Center’s Graduate Medical Education Program
The Physicians Foundation revealed that nearly 50% of physicians plan to retire, cut-back on the number of patients seen or change to an administrative role. These changes will reduce the physician workforce by tens of thousands and will create a huge deficit, which is why preparing the future workforce and retaining them in our community is imperative. The Gwinnett Medical Center’s Graduate Medical Education Program was built on a mission to train residents in family and internal medicine and encompasses state-of-the-art simulation labs, which are uncommon in a community hospital. Launched in just one year, which is a feat in its own, the excellence of this program has garnered support from the Governor’s office, the Board of Regents and the Physicians Shortage Task Force.
Thomas Morris – Eastside Medical Center
Compassionate care—change agent, these are words that describe Thomas Morris, who has devoted so much of himself to the healthcare industry. Under his direction, Eastside Medical Center received top overall patient satisfaction in its entire division and implements early adoption of technological uses that benefits the patient. He has many accolades and credentials, too many to cover tonight, but what is most impressive is his investment in others—leading his teams to show courtesy, extend compassion and to provide exceptional communication. Morris believes that leaders have a responsibility to care for their team, to break down barriers, to help provide context so that work is meaningful and to give them a voice. By doing so, employees feel valued, see the importance of their work and are better positioned to provide exceptional care. This contributes to the employee engagement survey results where company averages are always strongly exceeded. In addition, he leads by example and donates his time and expertise to many, many projects and even formed and chaired Eastside Medical Center’s first Outreach Committee that serves the community.
Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Located in Suwanee, the Georgia Campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is dedicated to the education of students in behavioral sciences, health care and medicine and is committed to the advancement of knowledge and intellectual growth through teaching and research and to the well-being of the community through leadership and service. A trailblazer, it is the first school of osteopathic medicine in Georgia and has conferred more than 1,000 doctorate and masters’ degrees. It has a $107 million economic impact in the state, creating 800 jobs and 7,000 volunteer hours, all of which is done annually.
Larry Connelly – Peachtree Christian Hospice
As an ordained minister, Larry Connelly has been a board-certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains for nearly 40 years and is currently in his 8th year serving as a Commissioner with the National Congress of Certification for Ministry in Specialized Settings. In hospice, he has learned that hope is defined differently. There is sometimes hope for a miracle, but more often the hope is for an end to suffering or for the spiritual, the time to move on. In his humble and kind way, Connelly encourages people in their sorrow, allowing each, if they are willing, to share the rawest part of their soul as they come to terms with their end-of-life reality. Veterans of our nation’s military often have unique end-of-life reconciliation needs and he holds a special affinity for them with the utmost respect by conducting a final Veterans Salute. Although many patients may not appear responsive, when the ceremony is beginning a closer look will often reveal a slight change in awareness, for example an increased cadence in breathing. For those few minutes, patients will set aside their grief and even pause their dying process to accept the veneration, honor and peace that he so graciously bestows. Connelly is highly trained in crisis intervention and, in his spare time, works with police officers, firefighters and others in the community to effectively deal with traumatic events. This is truly touching and the recipient of this award is so deserving.
Philip R. Wolfe – Gwinnett Medical Center
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once said, “Business leaders cannot be bystanders.” It is clear that Phil Wolfe supports this same philosophy. Over time, he has demonstrated his commitment to the community by making local and state level contributions. Following is just a sampling of organizations to which he has donated his time and leadership experience: Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, Georgia Hospital Association, Georgia State University Healthcare Advisory Board, Gwinnett Chamber, Gwinnett Championship Foundation, Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation, Georgia Gwinnett College, Gwinnett Technical College, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Advisory Board and Vizient MidSouth. Earl Rogers, president and CEO of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) said, “Whenever GHA has sought his experience and wisdom to address some of hospitals’ most challenging issues such as Medicaid funding, emergency room overcrowding and price and quality transparency, he has provided leadership. While he has made significant contributions to Gwinnett, he has also volunteered his time to several key issues and Georgia’s healthcare delivery system is stronger as a result.”
PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR – DENTIST
Dr. Matt Mazzawi – Mazzawi Family Dentistry
A family-based dentistry practice, generations have been coming to Mazzawi Family Dentistry for more than 50 years. In the office setting, Dr. Matt Mazzawi promotes the growth of his staff by allowing on-the-job shadowing. His leadership is evident, as many seek his advice and knowledge throughout the day. He was inducted into the International College of Dentists, the world’s oldest and largest honor society, and has received numerous awards from the Georgia Dental Association and the Northern District Dental Society. Additionally, he was awarded fellowship into the Pierre Fauchard Academy, as well as the Georgia Academy of Dental Practice. Dr. Mazzawi is an active member in various dental societies and holds committee appointments annually. Civically engaged, he has provided more than 10 years of support to the Brighter Smiles for Brighter Futures Campaign, visits local schools to educate children, volunteers at Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett and Truth’s Community Clinic, and has provided free dental care to mentally and physically disabled persons in the office as well as at Eastside Medical Center for two decades.
PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR – PRIMARY CARE
Dr. Arif Patni – Northeast Georgia Physicians Group
Dr. Arif Patni has practiced medicine for more than 20 years and received his medical degree from Michigan State University with honors. He completed his residency in family medicine at Medical College of Georgia and is certified by the American Board of Family Physicians and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. He is passionate about his patients and his community. Dr. Patni’s significant clinical experience and bedside manner makes him a highly sought-after primary care physician in the region.
PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR – SPECIALIST
Dr. Miles Mason III – Gwinnett Medical Center
Dr. Miles Masson III earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and completed his internship at Baylor University Medical Center and residencies at Baylor Medical Center and the Medical College of Georgia Hospitals & Clinics. He served as a ship’s surgeon in the U.S. Navy and as a staff surgeon at Portsmouth Naval Hospital before coming home to open his general surgery practice in 1979. Since that time, he has continued the tradition of excellence in his profession and the community that his father began many years ago. His father taught him that it’s important to remember that you are “treating the patient, not just the disease” and that is something that he has taken to heart and is evident through the relationships he has with his patients and how he supports his community. Just a few examples of his service include: Board of Directors, Gwinnett Community Bank; Board of Counselors of Oxford College of Emory University; Assistant Clinical Professor, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Georgia Campus and Member, Gwinnett Health System Foundation. As president of the medical staff at Gwinnett Health System, Dr. Mason has championed new technology and innovative procedures. During his tenure, the hospital system celebrated the opening of the first all-digital hospital in North Atlanta, the introduction of minimally-invasive robotic surgery and the development of the state’s leading sports medicine program.