Healthcare Heroes

Seated, from left: Barbara Ann Oxner, BSN, RN, Patient Navigator at the University of Toledo – Center for Health & Successful Living, and Kamala P. Tamirisa, MD, FACC, FHRS, Cardiologist at ProMedica Physicians Cardiology. Standing, from left: Kent E. Bishop, MD, FACOG, Chief Experience Officer and President of Women’s Service Line at ProMedica; Heather Hall of the ABLE Medical-Legal Partnership for Children of Toledo, which won the Collaborative Initiative Award; and Lifetime Achievement Awardee Thomas G. Welch, MD, FACC, Regional Chief Clinical Officer – Toledo Region at Mercy Health. (Not pictured: Randy Oostra, DM, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMedica.)

2017 Healthcare Heroes Recognized

Five healthcare professionals – including a nominee with at least 25 years of experience – and a collaborative initiative that has made great strides in impacting community health were recognized as Healthcare Heroes on June 27, 2017 at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion. The 2017 Healthcare Heroes were:

  • Thomas G. Welch, MD, FACC, (Lifetime Achievement Award), Regional Chief Clinical Officer – Toledo Region, Mercy Health
  • Kent E. Bishop, MD, FACOG, Chief Experience Officer and President of Women’s Service Line, ProMedica
  • Randy Oostra, DM, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, ProMedica
  • Barbara Ann Oxner, BSN, RN, Patient Navigator, University of Toledo – Center for Health & Successful Living
  • Kamala P. Tamirisa, MD, FACC, FHRS, Cardiologist, ProMedica Physicians Cardiology
  • ABLE Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, Toledo (Collaborative Award)

Thirty healthcare professionals and five collaborative initiatives were selected as 2017 candidates for the Healthcare Heroes program, which recognized extraordinary contributions to health and wellbeing in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. To view a list of 2017 candidates, please click here.

A Healthcare Hero could be a physician, nurse, allied health professional, researcher, administrator, first responder, educator or caregiver who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Healthcare Heroes should demonstrate honesty, integrity, humility, courage and commitment. Created in 2009 as an awards program, Healthcare Heroes expanded in 2014 to offer an awards program and a community health improvement summit on alternate years. The final year of the program was 2017.

Healthcare Heroes was sponsored by Concordance Healthcare Solutions; Fostering Healthy Communities, a collaboration of Mercy Health, ProMedica and the University of Toledo Medical Center; Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD; the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio; Hylant; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP; and Toledo Community Foundation. Community partners include the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Greater Toledo. Toledo Business Journal is the program’s media partner.

Who is a Healthcare Hero?

A hero is usually an ordinary person doing extraordinary things who is distinguished for courage or ability. Heroes may also be people who are models for others and have performed a heroic deed and/or tirelessly given of their time, talent and expertise to improve health.

A Healthcare Hero may exemplify one of the following:

Patient Care: A healthcare provider who gives extraordinary quality, compassionate patient care.

Innovation: A person who is breaking new ground in the healthcare arena through an advancement, improvement of efficiencies or a new initiative.

Research: A researcher who is on the cutting edge of clinical research to ultimately improve patient care.

Education: An accomplished healthcare educator who is inspiring the next generation of healthcare providers.

Management: A healthcare leader who exceeds all expectations when it comes to influencing growth and development of healthcare to meet the needs of the community.

Community Service: A healthcare provider making a meaningful contribution to community health improvement, including but not limited to increasing access to healthcare for low-income residents.

In addition to recognizing four people from different aspects of healthcare, a Healthcare Hero Lifetime Achievement also was presented as part of the awards program. To qualify for the Lifetime Achievement Award, a healthcare leader must have left a mark on healthcare through an at least 25-year career of heroic acts, compassion, honor and integrity. In 2015, Healthcare Heroes also started recognizing a Collaborative Community Health Improvement Initiative.



Past Healthcare Heroes Recipients


  • Kenneth Bertka, MD, FAAFP, CPHIMS – (Lifetime Achievement Award) – Chief Medical Officer and Vice President, Mercy Medical Partners and Mercy Integrated Care
  • Brian Byrd – Deputy Chief, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department
  • David Pollick, M.Ed – Health Commissioner, Sandusky County Health Department
  • Kay Smith, MSN, WHNP-BC, CNM – Director of Women’s Services, ProMedica Bay Park Hospital
  • Pierre Vauthy, MD – Medical Director of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital
  • Activate Allen County – (Collaborative Award) – Lima Family YMCA


  • Beverly Bahret, RN – Program Manager, Mercy Outreach
  • Patrick J. Martin, FACHE – President & CEO, Fisher-Titus Medical Center
  • Diane Simon, RN, CEN – Trauma Nurse Coordinator and Emergency Unit Coordinator, ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital
  • Kevin Webb, Ph.D, FACHE – President, ProMedica Toledo Hospital, Toledo Children’s Hospital and the ProMedica Acute Care Division
  • Herbert E. Stockard, MD – (Lifetime Achievement Award) – Chief Medical Officer, Mercy St. Anne Hospital


  • Rodney Cheney, Fulton County EMS
  • Robert W. Mills, MD, FAAP, & Laurie Mills, RN, BSN – PediatriCare Associates, & Robert W. Mills, LLC
  • John Newton, MD – Toledo-Lucas County CareNet
  • Richard A. Paat, MD, FACP – University of Toledo
  • John T. Schaeufele, MD, FAAP (Lifetime Achievement Award – posthumous) Mercy Children’s Hospital


  • Imran Andrabi, M.D., ABFM, FAAFP, CMCM, President & CEO of Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center
  • Frank Barone, M.D., FACS – M.D. Plastic Surgery, Operation Smile
  • Irene Brookes, R.N., M.Ed., CDE – Diabetes Educator, Pharmacy Counter
  • Lawrence W. Elmer, M.D., Ph.D. – Associate Professor and Director, Center for Neurological Disorders, Department of Neurology, University of Toledo College of Medicine
  • Ann Locher, MSN, R.N., ACRN (Lifetime Achievement Award – posthumous) – Vice President, Health Education Initiatives


  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Arthur Mancini, MD, Urology, Chairman of the CareNet Board and volunteer physician
  • Samantha Christie, Senior Clinical Coordinator of the Cardiac Rehabilitation/Heart Failure programs at Mercy St. Charles Hospital
  • William L. Horvath, MD, Hematology/Oncology & president of HOA Cancer Center
  • Ann Marie Kujawa, Administrative Director of the ProMedica Cancer Institute
  • Sister Dorothy Thum, RSM, Regional Vice President of Mission and Values Integration for Mercy


  • Lifetime Achievement Award: David K. Scheer, MD, Internal Medicine, West Central Medical Group
  • Joyce Granberry, Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Kenneth A. Kropp, MD, Professor Emeritus, Urology, University of Toledo College of Medicine
  • Elizabeth S. Ruppert, MD, Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, University of Toledo College of Medicine
  • Richard D. Ruppert, MD, President Emeritus, University of Toledo College of Medicine