Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hospital Heroes 2016: Care in Action

Since 2005, National Health Foundation has reached out to the Southern California health care community to nominate Hospital Heroes. These are individuals who, through their commitment to care, have left an indelible mark on their patients, coworkers, and communities. Since then, more than 200 medical, technical, clinical, administrative and volunteer staff members have been celebrated.

The 11th Annual Hospital Heroes Awards Luncheon will be held Friday, November 4th, 2016 and once again, we will shine the light on the incredible service of the health care community and award winners will be announced and recognized.

This year’s nominees include David Watkins, associate director of the Emergency Department (ED) of Cedars- Sinai Hospital, Brian Lugo, Emergency Preparedness Manager of Desert Valley Hospital and Tommy Covington, a hematology-oncology nurse at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

As ED nurse and leader at Cedars-Sinai, David Watkins is an inspiration to his peers, modeling outstanding patient- and family-centered care that has him consistently going the extra mile for the people he serves. For example, a recent patient needing medical attention refused to be admitted without first finding someone to care for his dog. David made a promise to the patient and personally walked and cared for the dog, in addition to ensuring the dog had a safe place to stay until the patient was treated and safely discharged several days later. 

It says “Emergency Preparedness Manager” on his badge but Brian Lugo is much more than that, not only to the Desert Valley Hospital family, but to the whole community. For over 12 years Brian has carved a place as an expert in all things emergency related.  With responsibilities at several hospitals in Southern California Brian must often place himself in the center of chaos such as the recent Pilot and Blue Cut Fires, and provide the staff with answers and solutions when his expertise is needed. In his role as Chaplain, as he has done from the kindness of his heart so many times, he has been that person who jumps in when a patient has passed away. He comforts the family and offers that much needed shoulder to lean on. 

Tommy Covington, RN, has worked the 7 pm – 7 am shift on the hematology-oncology floor of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles since 1975. His tireless work ethic is driven by his motto: “I try to live in the now and let the future develop around me.” Many of his patients succumb to their diseases. “When there’s a remission or a recovery, we rejoice in that.” Covington has remained in contact with many Children’s Hospital families. One family, whose child died 20 years ago, joins him on fishing trips. “We email, we talk, and we reminisce about their child we took care of and the love we shared,” he says.  “Love is the reason I do what I do.  It’s painful when you have a loss, but I love my job.”

For National Health Foundation, recognizing Hospital Heroes is especially important not only because we partner with many hospitals throughout Southern California, but because we are a nonprofit that is dedicated to improving the health of individuals and underserved communities by taking action on the social determinants of health and bridging gaps in the health care system. Hospital Hero luncheon proceeds will directly benefit National Health Foundation programs.
For more information about National Health Foundation, please click here.

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