South Florida Hospital News
Monday August 19, 2019
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April 2005 - Volume 1 - Issue 9

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Health Care HeroesŪ Awards Presentation Set For May

The ballots are in and the judges from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce are poring over the nominations to determine who will be selected as this year's finalists for the Chamber's annual Health Care HeroesŪ Awards. Since 1998, the Chamber has been hosting an awards ceremony and luncheon, designed to recognize professionals and institutions that have made an impact in the health care community.

This year's luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 12, and will feature John R. Combes, M.D. as the keynote speaker. Combes is President and COO of the Center for Healthcare Governance, an affiliate organization of the American Hospital Association.

Based in Chicago, the Center is comprised of executives and leaders who are dedicated to advancing excellence, innovation and accountability in health care governance. Realizing that all hospitals and health systems share the similar goals of building healthier communities while improving financial, operational, and clinical performance, the Center also realizes that being able to achieve those goals requires informed, effective leadership. To aid them in their quest, the Center serves as a resource for education, research, and practical tools and information.

Combes was invited to be the luncheon's keynote speaker through Linda Quick who, along with John Brant of Cordis, is serving as Co-Chair of this year's Program. President of the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association since 1994, Quick has been involved with the Program since its inception. Combes said he had made a presentation at a meeting of state and regional hospital associations, and "They heard the presentation about the Center, which focuses on leadership issues. Since this award program is about leadership, Linda felt a keynote speech by me would be appropriate."

He accepted because he believes such a speech would indeed be appropriate. "Those people (in attendance) are in leadership positions in health care. I'm sure the audience will be comprised of hospital CEOs, board members, and medical staff leaders. They are the people who make a difference and need to hear this message."

One segment of Combes' speech will center on leadership in the health care industry and its need to be accountable to patients. He emphasizes the importance of how the two go hand-in-hand: "We can't lose the connection between ourselves and the patients," he said. "We must determine how the processes can be improved, how care is delivered, and how to help organizations and their staffs improve their skills, safety, accountability, and responsibility."

In addition to his work at the Center, Combes is currently Senior Medical Advisor to The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. He also serves on numerous health care committees and advisory boards, and is a member of several professional associations. Combes earned his M.D. at Cornell University Medical College in 1978.

The Health Care Heroes nominees are recognized in seven categories: Health Care Professional (physicians, dentists, health care administrators, researchers, academics, inventors, among others), Nurse; Individual of Merit (board member, philanthropist, journalist, government official, etc.); Institution/Program (a hospital, organization, government agency, school, or association, or a program within one of those entities); Bio-Medical (any person whose work within the field has resulted in a breakthrough or major development in medicine); Youth Volunteer (a student under the age of 19 who volunteers his or her services without solicitation or payment); and Lifetime Achievement (an individual who, over his or her lifetime, has made a significant impact or changed history in the health care industry in South Florida).

Laraine Blessing, Vice President of Regional Business Development of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, is extremely pleased with the amount of nominations sent in to the Chamber this year. "The number is one of the highest we've ever received," she said.

Blessing explained the selection process for choosing the finalists: "In the six categories, three finalists are chosen in each," she said. "We do a video on each nominee, and the person who nominates them is the person who talks about them on the video. We show the videos at the awards luncheon, and then the winner is announced."

The selection committee is a panel of seven judges comprised of people in the Chamber. Two are usually from the health care industry but five others from outside the industry are chosen as well, so the selections are unbiased. Each committee member is given a copy of the applications to peruse. The winners of the Youth Volunteer and the Lifetime Achievement Awards are announced immediately, but the other winners are only revealed at the luncheon.

The Awards Luncheon will take place at noon on Thursday, May 12, Radisson Downtown Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Boulevard. The cost is $55 per person or $550 for a table of 10. For more information, call Tania Valenzuela at (305) 577-5491.
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