The best health care has to offer


By Scott Robertson

Health care these days is a topic of concern. Nationally, it eats up a huge portion of our economy, while not providing world class outcomes. Locally, everyone wants to know how they will be affected by the proposed merger of two healthcare systems.

Yet this time every year, we in this building take it upon ourselves to call attention to what health care is really about. It’s about real people taking care of real people. Not account numbers, not copays and deductibles, but people who go above and beyond the call of duty to help other people.

We call this effort the Healthcare Heroes Awards, and News & Neighbor’s sister publication, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities, TN/VA is now accepting nominations for the 2017 class of Healthcare Heroes.

Who, you may ask, is a Healthcare Hero? A doctor? A nurse? An administrator? Yes, all of those can be Healthcare Heroes, but there are so many more. The throat cancer survivor who travels to elementary schools to promote tobacco avoidance is a Healthcare Hero.

The overnight custodian who sings gospel songs to patients who are too nervous to sleep is a Healthcare Hero. The university researcher who looks for new ways to combat disease and suffering is a Healthcare Hero.

The volunteer at the local Veterans Affairs hospital who serves those who have been injured in voluntary service to their country is a Healthcare Hero. The fund-raiser who makes the community aware of a need, then goes out and meets that need, is a Healthcare Hero. The EMT who climbs down a stream bank in winter to rescue someone who’s fallen in is a Healthcare Hero. The other EMT who drives the ambulance as fast as safely possible to the ER is a Healthcare Hero. And the ER team who spends over an hour successfully reviving that someone after his heart has stopped are Healthcare Heroes.

The bookkeeper who finds a way to save one job at a local physician’s office in the era of healthcare reform is a Healthcare Hero. Even the receptionist who gives an extra warm smile and reassuring touch on the hand to a frightened senior just before a diagnostic exam is a Healthcare Hero.

Healthcare Heroes are the men and women who go above and beyond the call of duty every day.

For more than 20 years, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities, TN/VA has honored these heroes on behalf of the business community they serve. Without healthy employees and customers, business cannot survive. Healthcare Heroes keep our region’s people and businesses well cared for.

To nominate an individual or organization today, email with a letter of recommendation telling what makes them a Healthcare Hero. Deadline for nominations is the close of business on May 20.

In addition to recognizing general Healthcare Heroes, five special Cup of Kindness© awards will be presented from the following categories:

• Innovation Award: To a provider whose innovative thinking furthered the delivery of health care.

• Distinguished Service Award: To a provider who has shown leadership and excellent service over a sustained period of time.

• Community Service Award: To an individual or organization for excellence in public health.

• Meritorious Service Award: To an individual who has shown excellence in administration.

• Support Service Award: To a provider for outstanding assistance in the field of health care.

Nominations are judged based on the impact nominees make on the community, the difficulty of their accomplishment, innovation of their work, their leadership qualities and the quality of the nominee’s documentation.

The 2017 Healthcare Heroes Luncheon will be held July 21 at the Meadowview Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport.


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