Thanks to a program launched three years ago, we now know there are many compassionate deeds taking place in Louisville. We’re aware that there are individuals who go the extra mile to make others feel loved, even when it’s not part of their job description.

At the third annual Commitment to Compassion luncheon, set for Feb. 28 at the Muhammad Ali Center, seven individuals who have demonstrated a personal commitment of compassion in the health care field will be honored.

Created by Passport Health Plan and the Healthcare Constellation of Compassionate Louisville, and supported by Insider Louisville, the annual luncheon continues to grow and put a spotlight on the countless compassionate caregivers in our community.

Here’s a look at these seven amazing people.

  • Guy Harvey is known at Norton Children’s Hospital as simply “Uncle Guy.” That’s because Harvey approaches his work keeping patient rooms clean and comfortable with a friendly spirit, especially with children. He gets to know patients and bonds with kids, many of whom keep in touch with him long after they leave the hospital.
  • Heather Renee Hibbard leads the medical infusion center at the Brown Cancer Center, but that’s only the beginning of her compassion story. She came up with an idea that has reduced patient wait times for lab work by a third. A mother of three teens, she is involved in community sports and helps raise money for children in low-income families.
  • Mary Lynn Spalding carries a “can do” focus in her life as President and CEO of Christian Care Communities. She oversees a statewide staff of nearly 1,000, yet when a fire destroyed the kitchen at a West Louisville facility in 2015, it was Spalding who personally made sure that 100 seniors saw their needs met. She says she has a “purpose-filled calling” and a mission to enhance the journey of life for older adults.
  • It takes a high level of compassion to help dementia patients, and Sheila Carter has been doing it since a young age. Seeing a need for dementia care in the South End, she started Heartsong Memory Care and takes pride in working with families, who know they can ask her any question about their loved ones. Carter encourages her staff to uphold the promises of justice and fidelity, two cornerstones of nursing.
  • Visitors never know where they’ll run into Zella Fraze at Gilda’s Club, because she has volunteered in nearly every part of the operation. She brings her cheerful attitude to all her volunteering efforts, whether it’s greeting guests, answering calls from those newly-diagnosed with cancer, or representing Gilda’s Club at community events.
  • Dr. Michael Imburgia has dedicated his professional life to evaluating and treating cardiovascular patients who are poor and/or uninsured. He started the Have a Heart Clinic in 2008, and has led a group of nurse practitioners, cardiologists and others to volunteer in his goal of eradicating health disparities based on income.
  • In the battle against the opioid epidemic, Robin Goodman is on the front line. A supervisor at Family Health Centers, she had demonstrated leadership in establishing expanded mental health and substance abuse care, all while working with individuals to provide clinical patient care.

You can meet all the honorees at the Commitment to Compassion Luncheon. The event’s emcee will be Emmy Award-winning anchor and medical, health and science reporter Jean West. There will be a performance by the West Louisville Boys Choir.

A panel discussion will focus on how an innovative and compassionate approach to health care is making a difference in West Louisville.

Join us and celebrate compassionate care

Please help us honor the people who are concerned about patients and who foster compassion within healthcare systems of education, healthcare delivery and personal/professional practice. Click here to RSVP and learn about additional details.