The second annual Champions of Health awards took place on October 5, 2005, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City in Oklahoma City. The evening featured The Oklahoman's Sue Hale as emcee and Roger Stubach and Drew Pearson as keynote speakers.
J. Mark Osborn, M.D., Miami
Dr. Mark Osborn of Miami, Oklahoma, was chosen as the Champion of Oklahoma Health, the highest recognition in the 2005 Champions of Health Awards. Osborn was chosen for his tireless efforts to assist families affected by the health care crisis at the Tar Creek Superfund site near Picher, Oklahoma. After countless hours of study and communication with elected officials, Osborn helped form the Ottawa County Health Coalition to educate local health care providers about the dangers of lead poisoning. Osborn also helped design a Harvard University study investigating the potential for pregnant mothers to pass lead contamination to their unborn children. Osborn worked with Governor Brad Henry to enact legislation creating the Lead Impact Trust Authority, resulting in $3 million in appropriations to relocate Picher-area families with young children.
Cindy Pribil, R.N., Green Country Free Clinic , Bartlesville
Cindy Pribil founded the Green Country Free Clinic in Bartlesville. Pribil has made a big difference in the lives of Oklahoma's uninsured. With a vision for the clinic and two borrowed boxes of physicians' prescription samples, the clinic opened its doors 15 years ago. Today, 2,200 patients are served every year by the free clinic.
Cardinal Health Incentive Program, Cardinal Engineering, Inc. , Oklahoma City
Cardinal Engineering developed a unique cash incentive program to encourage employees to set and meet personal health goals. Company leaders recognized that their most precious asset was their employees and made an investment in their employees' health. The result was fewer sick days, better attitudes and more stamina for employees to achieve personal and company goals.
"Don't Bug Me" Flu Prevention Campaign, Hillcrest HealthCare System and Tulsa City-County Health Department, Tulsa
Due to the 2004 flu vaccine shortage and the possibility that large numbers of Tulsa-area citizens would not get immunizations, Hillcrest and the Tulsa City-County Health Department developed a public awareness campaign designed to educate students, employers and the community about simple steps that could help prevent the spread of the flu virus.
Men's Health Tune-Up, Craig General Hospital, Vinita
Men tune up their vehicles. They take care of their boats, fix up their lawns and do preventive maintenance on their homes. But sometimes men overlook one important piece of equipment that definitely needs some attention: themselves. To address the growing concern over men's health issues, with creativity and originality, Craig General Hospital in Vinita launched the Men's Health Tune-Up. The event featured health screenings and presentations from four physicians specializing in fields important to men - cardiology, gastroenterology, orthopedics and urology.
Claire Richard, Project Falummichechi, Oklahoma City
After reading that domestic violence is more prevalent in Native American cultures, teen Claire Richard decided to take action. Yearning to know more about her Choctaw heritage, Richard developed Project Falummichechi, which in the Choctaw language, means "to reclaim." Richard created a curriculum and mentor program, recruiting other teens to teach second graders about coping skills and positive ways to deal with their emotions. Through Richard's efforts, the program has grown to 30 classrooms throughout the more than 10 counties comprising the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Sue Hale, The Oklahoman , Oklahoma City
As an Oklahoma journalist for more than 30 years, Sue Hale has worked to address health issues in the media, created a regular health column and health-focused special publications in The Oklahoman. As co-chair of Central Oklahoma Turning Point, Hale works to form partnerships in the Oklahoma City area to promote healthy lifestyles among their employees.
John M. Kalbfleisch, M.D., Cardiology of Tulsa
Dr. John Kalbfleisch had a vision for a cardiovascular program that offered the most advanced treatment and technology to the people of Oklahoma. In 1970, he helped to open the first catheterization lab at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa. Other breakthroughs followed, including performing Oklahoma's first coronary angioplasty and leading research efforts for groundbreaking clot busting drugs.
Bill Heaton, The Oklahoma Arthritis Network, Laverne
Upon his second "retirement" as a director of the Area Agency on Aging, Bill Heaton, 74, found a way to continue his work with the aging population. He became a trained volunteer leader of People with Arthritis can Exercise (PACE). He travels across Northwestern Oklahoma to instruct others who have arthritis and also serves as a role model for healthy aging.
Former Senator Bernest Cain, Oklahoma City
Throughout his legislative career, Senator Bernest Cain has championed innumerable issues regarding the health of Oklahomans, particularly the state's youth. In 2005, Cain was instrumental in the passage of three major pieces of legislation designed to help improve the health of Oklahoma's school children. The laws address the health value of food choices in school vending machines and physical education requirements for Oklahoma schools.
Jerry Morgan, M.D., Compassion Outreach Center , Ada
Through his leadership in helping to create the Compassion Outreach Center, a free clinic in Ada, Oklahoma, Dr. Jerry Morgan has helped improve access to health care for residents of Pontotoc County. Opened in March 2004, the debt-free facility serves as a location for 50 area medical professionals to volunteer their services for the community.
In addition to the 11 Champions of Health, four programs were chosen for Awards of Merit and a $500 grant: