The 13th annual Champions of Health Awards took place on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Six winners were honored for their efforts to improve the health of Oklahomans. The evening featured KWTV News9 Oklahoma City anchor Lacie Lowry as emcee and keynote speaker Rob Lowe.
Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health
Winner: Veterans Corner, Inc.
Veterans Corner, Inc., a non-profit organization, which is housed in Newcastle, is comprised of volunteer veterans who are dedicated to helping other veterans and their spouses. Whether it's getting transportation to a doctor appointment, seeking help with a Veterans Affairs (VA) claim, or providing non-perishable food to families, Veterans Corner, Inc. has found a way to give back to those who have fought for our freedom. Oklahoma is home to approximately 350,000 veterans and 47,000 active duty personnel. Since inception in 2003, Veterans Corner, Inc.'s volunteer team has assisted over 65,000 veterans and spouses with VA claims, in all of Oklahoma's 77 counties. In 2015, more than 490 veterans from out-of-state were also assisted. Veterans Corner, Inc.'s volunteers help over 100 veterans and spouses each week, and will use the grant money to help further their reach.
Champion of Children's Health
Winner: Hearts for Hearing
Hearts for Hearing began in 2007 to provide audiology and speech therapy services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Hearing loss no longer has to be a disability that separates a child from a hearing and talking world because Hearts for Hearing can diagnose hearing loss in the first weeks of life, fit hearing aids and cochlear implants as soon as possible, and begin specialized therapy.
Finalist: Desiree Doherty, The Parent Child Center of Tulsa
Champion of the Uninsured
Winner: Crossings Community Clinic
Crossings Community Clinic is a ministry outreach of Crossings Community Church, working to serve the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the uninsured and medically vulnerable. Services available include medical, dental, eye care and integrated behavioral health. Since May of 2005 the clinic has provided services for 49,600 patient visits valued at $18.9 million, with the aid of 102,000 hours of volunteer services. Ninety-nine percent of the patients cared for are at or below 300 percent of federal poverty level.
Finalist: Ministries of Jesus, Inc.
Champion of Senior Health
Winner: Sunbeam Family Services
Sunbeam Family Services has promoted the quality of life for senior adults for more than 40 years, and serves more than 1,500 seniors through eight programs, including Oklahoma's only Emergency Senior Shelter. The unique shelter serves homeless seniors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Seniors come to the shelter with many mental health and physical health limitations. During a 30 day stay, residents are supported by therapists from Sunbeam's counseling program, receive meals and weekly laundry while developing a plan to address health and wellness needs, housing and furniture needs, and employment and financial stability needs.
Finalist: Mental Health Association Oklahoma
Community Health Champion
Winner: Hospitality House of Tulsa, Inc.
Hospitality House of Tulsa (HHT) compassionately assists families in medical crisis, with a mission to offer a home away from home for families in medical crisis. The organization provides lodging, meals, laundry, transportation, and emotional and spiritual support, along with health and care-giving education for approximately 800 families each year. After 10 years of successfully serving families who have traveled to one of Tulsa's 14 hospitals seeking medical care, other hospitals across the state have tasked HHT with expanding services to assist their patients.
Finalist: OpenTable Community Café, Inc.
Corporate Health Champion
Winner: OU Fit
OU Physicians, a subsidiary of OU Medicine, is the state's largest physician group and encompasses almost every adult and child specialty. With over 800 employees, the organization is committed to improving overall wellness of its employees and affiliates. The "OU Fit" program focuses on five dimensions important to transforming the way employees think: Healthy Living, Activity, Nutrition, Prevention/Risk Reduction and Community/Education. From group fitness classes, community events, wellness challenges and cooking seminars, OU Physicians believes that in order to provide quality care to patients, investing in employee health is a priority.
Finalist: Alicja Carter, Gateway to Prevention and Recovery