Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, are you looking for that spark, that extra little boost to get you into the holiday spirit?
We've got just the tonic. We invite you to attend the presentation of the 2011 BizTimes Health Care Heroes Awards.
The annual awards honor southeastern Wisconsin people and organizations that are making a difference on the front lines of health care.
The coolest thing about the program is that the award recipients get to speak for a few minutes about the things that motivate them to help others.
The inspirational breakfast event will be held Friday, Dec. 9, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., at Boerner Botanical Gardens, which will be decked out for Christmas.
Joyce Garbaciak, award-winning news anchor at WISN-Channel 12 News, will emcee this year's Health Care Heroes program. WISN-Channel 12 is a media partner of BizTimes.
The Health Care Heroes to be honored are:
Grand Achievement Award
Dr. Howard Jacob, director of the Human & Molecular Genetics Center and the Warren P. Knowles Chair of Genetics at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, will be honored with the BizTimes Grand Achievement Award. Jacob and his colleagues were the first in the world to decode the sequence of the DNA of a human being and use the information to make a diagnosis and treatment plan for 6-year-old Nicholas Volker.
Sharron Coffie, R.N., Froedtert Health/Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. Coffie goes above and beyond the call of nursing to provide mentoring to nursing students and improve cardiovascular outcomes among minorities in the community.
Dr. Charles Lanzarotti, cardiac electrophysiologist, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Milwaukee. Lanzarotti became the first doctor in Wisconsin to offer Cryoballoon treatment for patients suffering from symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF).
Dr. Robert Rohloff, pediatrician, Children's Medical Group-Southwest Pediatrics in New Berlin. Rohloff provides groundbreaking care coordination and parent education.
Dr. Jim Sanders, assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and director of the International/Community Medicine Track at Columbia St. Mary's Family Health Center in Milwaukee. Sanders provides treatment for hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking among uninsured African-Americans in Milwaukee's central city.
Shelli Marquardt, executive director, Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph Foundation in Milwaukee. Marquardt helped raise $10 million in funding to combat infant mortality and benefit the Safe Place for Newborns Program.
Kae Buelow, bereavement outreach volunteer at Horizon Hospice Grief Resource Center in Glendale. Buelow provides exceptional comfort to grieving families.
Dr. Michael Johnstone, volunteer medical director, St. Ben's Clinic for the Homeless, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee. Johnstone provides health care for the homeless in Milwaukee.
Cheryl Lingle, volunteer at the Horizon Homecare and Hospice in Brown Deer. Lingle has contributed 10,000 hours of volunteer service.
Advancements in Health Care
Dr. Husam Balkhy, cardiothoracic surgeon, Cardiothoracic Surgery Group, Wheaton Franciscan/Wisconsin Heart Hospital in West Allis. Balkhy has pioneered minimally invasive robotic heart surgery.
Dr. William Pennington, orthopedic surgeon, Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital and the Orthopedic Institute of Wisconsin in Franklin. Pennington performed a revolutionary new joint replacement surgery known as Arthroscopic Biological Resurfacing of the Humeral Head.
Corporate Achievement in Health Care
Jane Cooper, founder, CEO and president, Patient Care in Milwaukee. Cooper's company has helped its corporate clients and their employees save more than $2.9 million in health care costs.
Health Care Staff
Kim Melcher, coordinator, Wisconsin Well Woman Program in West Allis. Melcher helps uninsured and under-insured women get access to mammograms, cervical cancer screenings and related treatments.
Angela Sawyer, medical assistant, Aurora Advanced Healthcare in Hartford. Sawyer provides exceptional care for patients.
The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges in the health care field.
The Health Care Heroes will be profiled in the Dec. 9 edition of BizTimes Milwaukee magazine and at BizTimes.com. The public is invited to attend. Cost to attend is $50 per person or $400 for a table of eight. To register, visit www.biztimes.com/hero.
Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes Milwaukee.