TULSA, Okla. — The 2023 Champions of Health award recipients were announced today. Honorees will be recognized at the 20th annual Champions of Health Gala, Tuesday, Oct. 3, in Oklahoma City, which will feature NFL player Damar Hamlin.
The Champions of Health awards, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, recognize people and organizations working to improve health outcomes throughout the state. The highest honor, the Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health Award, is given to the person or organization with the most unique and effective approach to improve Oklahoma health.
“For 20 years, Champions of Health has honored innovative programs that improve the health of Oklahomans, and this year is no different,” says Stephania Grober, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “We’re grateful for the tremendous work each of these remarkable organizations are doing in their communities and across the state.”
The 2023 Champions of Health recipients are:
Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health: Neighborhood Services Organization
Champion of Children’s Health: Tulsa Public Schools
Champion of Senior Health: Calm Waters Center for Children and Families
Champion of the Uninsured: GRAND Mental Health
Champion of Community Health: Tulsa CARES
In honor of the award program’s 20th anniversary, Neighborhood Services Organization will receive a $20,000 grant, and the other award recipients will receive $5,000 grants.
“Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO) has been serving the state of Oklahoma for over a century, and we have seen firsthand how our housing programs are positively impacting our most vulnerable community members,” says Stacey Ninness, president and CEO of NSO. “Access to safe housing is critical to securing positive health outcomes and achieving health equity in our community. We are truly humbled to receive this honor.”
The Champions of Health Gala will also feature remarks from NFL player, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Damar Hamlin. Hamlin, a safety for the Buffalo Bills, suffered a cardiac arrest on field and received emergency medical care which led to his remarkable recovery. Hamlin will share his incredible journey and inspire attendees with his passion to stand up for those who need it the most.
The Champions of Health Gala is presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and benefits the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Oklahomans access to preventive health services. Since 1999, the Oklahoma Caring Vans have provided more than 230,000 underserved children with over 370,000 vaccinations.
Sponsorships and tickets to the event are available at championsofhealth.org.
About Champions of Health
The annual Champions of Health Gala benefits The Oklahoma Caring Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing Oklahomans access to preventive health services. Founded in 1994, the foundation is funded by community contributions and administered as an in-kind gift by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
The Champions of Health awards program is presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, in partnership with Care Providers Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Primary Care Association, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Medical Association.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association