Honoring those who make compassion their mission

The 2019 Commitment to Compassion honorees (L-R: Amanda Corzine, Vicki Yazel, Rebekah Gossom, Dr. Matthew Adamkin, Bob Mueller, Dr. John Hamm, Abraham Aluel, Dr. Nancy Kern, and Dr. Joe D’Ambrosio)

For the fourth year, leaders in local health care held a celebration to honor those among us for their extraordinary compassion. Last month’s Commitment to Compassion luncheon recognized those who exhibit compassion in everything they do, without expectation of an award or recognition.

Harry Pickens emceed the luncheon.

The emcee of the event was Harry Pickens, the award-winning performing artist, educator, composer, author, workshop facilitator and life transformation coach.

A joint effort of Passport Health Plan and Compassionate Louisville, the awards have now recognized more than three dozen individuals and organizations out of more than 100 nominations. Those nominations were offered by co-workers and colleagues across the health care spectrum.

The list includes doctors, nurses, technicians, volunteers, executives and others who exhibit a passion to serve and to do so with exceptional kindness and generosity.

Held at the Muhammad Ali Center, the Luncheon featured Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the Department of Public Health and Wellness, who spoke about the importance of compassion in patient care, as well as the role compassion plays in making Louisville a better place for all residents to live.

Panelists Kim Tharp-Barrie, Aiyesha Stiles, and Cissy Musselman discuss the benefits of compassionate care during the luncheon.

There was also a fascinating panel discussion featuring Kim Tharp-Barrie, System Vice President at Norton Healthcare’s Institute for Nursing and Workforce Outreach; Aiyesha Stiles, a Family Nurse Practitioner, and Elaine “Cissy” Musselman, Vice Chair of Louisville’s Risk Management Services Company and founder of the nonprofit Women 4 Women. They discussed the benefits of Compassionate Care, and the connection to good patient outcomes.

The 2019 honorees represent a wide spectrum and showcase the quality of health care in Louisville. They include a radiology technician, coordinators of a clinic treating victims of sexual assault, a doctor focused on innovation in aging patients, a speech pathologist who helps parents feed fragile infants, a doctor who volunteers his services for Special Olympics, a nurse who provides services for the homeless, and an executive and leader at Hosparus.

The Norton Cancer Institute was presented with an organization award for three of its physicians.

Each honoree gave a brief speech and, without fail, recognized the colleagues and patients who make their work so rewarding.

Here is a list of the 2019 honorees:

  • Bob Mueller, Senior Vice President, Fund Development, Hosparus Health.
  • Amanda Corzine, clinical coordinator, and Vicki Yazel, assistant clinical coordinator, are with Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Services at U of L Hospital.
  • Dr. Matthew Adamkin is an assistant professor for the UofL School of Medicine in the Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
  • Rebekah Gossom is a Speech-language pathologist, specializing in infant feeding. She works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
  • Nancy Kern, a nurse practitioner, is an associate professor of nursing at the Spalding University School of Nursing, teaching in the master’s program and training future nurse practitioners.
  • Abraham Aluel is a radiology technician in the Pediatric section at Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville.
  • Dr. Joseph D’Ambrosio is Director of Health Innovation and Sustainability at the University of Louisville’s Trager Institute.
  • And these physicians from Norton Cancer Institute are being honored jointly for their work in cancer treatment:
  • Dr. John Hamm, a co-founder of Norton Cancer Institute, is the medical Director of the Norton Cancer Institute Research Program, and specializes in medical oncology.
  • Dr. Aaron Spalding, Executive Medical Director of Norton Cancer Institute, specializes is radiation oncology.
  • Dr. Don Stevens, a co-founder of Norton Cancer Institute, specializes in medical oncology and hematology.

Four years ago, two executives came up with the idea to recognize compassionate caregivers in Louisville. Passport Health Plan vice president and chief communications officer Jill Bell, along with ChooseWell Communities’ Stephanie Barnett, worked with staff members at Insider Louisville to create the program.

It has been an amazing success. The number of nominations has increased each year, as has the recognition of the importance of compassion in Louisville’s thriving health care community.