TC Parker – Gwinnett Technical College
This person makes a substantial impact on the medical community, influencing every hospital in metro Atlanta, by connecting the industry with skilled professionals. Her influence also touches the entire state, as she has held several seats on the Georgia State Assembly of Association of Surgical Technologists, currently serving as its vice president and is also chairperson of its legislative committee. In addition, she serves on the Association of Surgical Technologists National Education and Standards Committee.
Pamela Kramer – Eastside Medical Center
Over the years, this individual has supported numerous civic organizations, including: The American Cancer Society, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and the Saint Vincent DePaul Society. However, one endeavor has spanned more than 25 years and has reached thousands. This person is one of three that launched the Gwinnett Community Clinic, which provided healthcare to low-income and uninsured Gwinnett County residents. As you can imagine, creating an organization that effects so many is a labor of love that comes from the heart. Altruistic is defined as showing a selfless concern for the well-being of others and this person exemplifies all that the word represents.
Dr. Marcus Sims – Eastside Heart and Vascular
Influenced by the loss of his father, due to a sudden cardiac arrest, this professional is passionate about identifying and treating heart disease. Did you know that only 5 percent of patients who experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a clinical setting survive the event? This is because intervention does not occur rapidly enough to revive them. To address that issue, a nonprofit organization named Pat’s Heart was formed. Its goal is to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and to also raise money to donate automated external defibrillators, also known as AEDs. AEDs are already in malls and airports and by increasing the availability in other public venues, like parks, the success rate of a sudden cardiac arrest increases. The individual who will be recognized with the Community Wellness Award has dedicated his profession to the service of others. His proactive approach and the mission of Pat’s Heart will save countless lives and set a standard for other communities to emulate.
Gwinnett Medical Center’s Sports Medicine & Concussion Care-a-Van
Children and young adults are being diagnosed with concussions at a high rate, which has increased 500 percent in four years. To lesson permanent damage, timely intervention is imperative. In addition, while there are physical locations that offer that specialty, accessibly and proximity have been a barrier in the past. These needs have resulted in the creation of a mobile unit that offers concussion baseline testing, first aid, injury prevention, physical therapy, and education, just to name a few. Because the unit is mobile, limitations are greatly reduced, and athletes can get the care they need. Released in August, it is the first of its kind in the state and has garnered attention from high schools around the southeast, universities, and the NFL Players Association.
Mike Levengood – Gwinnett Medical Center
A recent study released by The American Hospital Association finds that hospital mergers, in recent years, have resulted in significant costs savings and quality improvements. According to the study, the key to transforming healthcare is increased efficiency and quality. It’s through these synergies that hospitals are able to meet the needs of a community and provide a stable foundation to achieve further growth. Facilitating the business of healthcare today is no easy feat. Ken Blanchard said, “The greatest leaders mobilize others by coalescing people around a shared vision.” As hospital board chairman, this individual has done just that. He leads selflessly, and his inclusive style has contributed to a culture that supports a number of best practices such as transparency and respect. As one known for his leadership and engagement, this individual helped to effectively challenge the board of a local hospital to identify new or revised models. He, along with others, anticipated proper timing to pursue the alignment of Gwinnett Medical Center and Northside Hospital. This individual has many academic accomplishments and designations that we could mention. However, the true testament of his leadership is when people naturally follow him because of the fairness of his actions and the integrity of his intent.
Derek Singleton – View Point Health
This young professional is a Chief Financial Officer for an organization that provides services to individuals who need treatment to cope with addictive diseases, developmental disabilities and with mental health issues, most of whom are uninsured or underinsured, among the aging community or war veterans. Since he assumed the role, its operating budget has increased more than 10 percent each year, resulting in more individuals who are positively impacted. During his tenure, he has led many capital projects and expansion efforts, including the completion of Bridgeway Village, an addition to the north wing that serves as an Adult Crisis Stabilization Unit and is currently working on the growth of the Crisis Stabilization Unit for Children and Adolescents. His passion goes beyond the numbers, as he sits on the Board of Directors for three 501(c)3 organizations: Behavioral Health of Georgia, Bridgeway Village and Clover Bridge. He is also on the Advisory Board for Gwinnett Technical College. Wow, this emerging executive has accomplished so much professionally and still makes it a priority to pay it forward through philanthropic efforts.
View Point Health
This organization’s vision is to build healthy lives and healthy families through high-quality comprehensive care. It provides services to individuals who need treatment to cope with addictive diseases, developmental disabilities, and mental health issued. The services it provides contribute to a reduction in crime and subsequent incarcerations, a reduction in homelessness, a decreased in the rate of child abuse and welfare utilization, while decreasing ER visits and inpatient admissions. Its influence also increases graduation rates and lowers dropout rates. Ever evolving, it is always expanding its portfolio and has recently added new programs for youth, such as The Georgia Apex Project, which is a school-based mental health program. In 2017 alone, it has served more than 13,000 patients. This organization is certainly a community asset.
Dr. Matthew Goldstein – Eastside Medical Center
This decorated professional has a career that spans more than 30 years, touching many areas of healthcare. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Member of the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians and is Board Certified by the American Board of Emergency. In his current role, he partners with medical staff and administration to continually work to improve the patient experience in the emergency department. Civically engaged, he has volunteered at the Gwinnett Community Clinic, mentors medical students and is also a Gwinnett County Emergency Services guest lecturer.
Dr. Laurence Lesser
This honor pays tribute to an individual whose timeless influence will continue to positivity effect the future of healthcare. He was the first board-certified cardiologist in Gwinnett County. It’s no surprise that he was the national recipient of the first Humanitarian Award, presented by the Medical Association of Georgia. He was a pioneer of medicine in Gwinnett County and his charitable contributions and love for his fellow man will have a lasting impression on future generations. From the creation of the first hospital in Snellville, to the founding of the Gwinnett Community Clinic, to his love for teaching his fellow physician, he has had an impact on the area like no other.
PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR – DENTIST
Dr. Scott Carter – Carter Family Dentistry
Many practices today have transitioned into a high-volume corporate model. The leader of this organization focuses on quality and takes pride in giving patients the personal, individualized care they deserve, while using modern technology. This dentist graduated first in his class. Education and innovation are still of upmost importance, as he teaches part-time at the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University and is a volunteer instructor in the General Practice Residency. Additionally, he is an instructor in the Dental Implant Course at the Dental College of Georgia. General dentists from around the country attend this course. Carter Family Dentistry has served the Gwinnett community for more than 30 years, seeing many positive changes and rapid economic growth, for which the practice has made a significant contribution to.
PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR – PRIMARY CARE
Dr. John West – Eastside Family Medicine
This physician knew at the young age of five that he wanted to be a doctor like his father and remembers going to after-hours calls to assist him. It definitely runs in the family, as in just three generations they have a combined 120 years in medical care. For him, it is more like a calling rather than a profession. The practice he leads aggressively seeks to diagnose and treat the earliest indications of heart disease. This specialization and the practice’s approach to patient education and disease prevention is unique in family medicine. He is one of only a handful of primary care physicians that has pursued board certification in clinical lipidology. In addition, he is a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians and has served as a delegate for the Georgia Academy of Family Practice Congress of Delegates.
PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR – SPECIALIST
Dr. Michael Kissel – New London Anesthesia & Pain Consultants at Eastside Medical Center
Frequently overlooked among specialists, the work of an anesthesiologist is often behind the scenes. This professional brings real-life issues out of the background and into the forefront by addressing opiate abuse. He has taken an active role in educating patients on the dangers of opiate addiction, abuse, and diversion. Together, they work on lowering total daily doses of narcotics by combining physical therapy, therapeutic injections, and non-opiate medications to provide safer management of chronic pain. He also works with primary care providers to educate them on the use of the Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. In addition, he and his team have developed a newsletter for referring physicians, which keeps them up to date on Georgia requirements for continuing medical education on opiates and CDC guidelines. It also encourages involvement with state and federal legislators to require insurance companies to cover abuse deterrent formulations of narcotics.
Jay Dennard – Gwinnett Medical Center
Paying it forward is innate to this individual. He has served in volunteer roles for many organizations, including: the American College of Healthcare Executives, Boy Scouts of America, Financial Management Association, Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives, Glance Gwinnett, Leadership Gwinnett, Rainbow Village, Rotary Club of Duluth and the United Way of Greater Atlanta. All the while, holding a C-level position at one of the area’s health systems. In addition, he is also on the board for Annandale Village, which is a nonprofit dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of residential and non-residential programs for adults with intellectual disabilities and traumatic brain injuries. This is what that organization’s director has to say about our recipient. “He is extremely approachable, open and wise. He provides guidance, advice, and leadership to anyone who works with him. He has been a strong advocate for Annandale and in a short period of time on the board, he has worked above and beyond to develop an impactful healthcare perspective. Under his leadership as the Governance Committee Chairman, we have seen 100% board participation in all aspects. If anyone deserves this award, it is truly him.”