Local Magazine Celebrates Wellmont's Health Care Heroes, Who Go The Extra Mile To Help Patients

Medical professionals are special people who save lives, develop creative initiatives that improve patients' health and build a legacy of care that greatly impacts the region they serve.

In fact, they could be called heroes.

To celebrate these leaders in the advancement of high-quality care, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia recently honored several Wellmont Health System physicians, employees and board members as Health Care Heroes for 2013. The winners were selected by the magazine after being nominated by co-workers and patients.

"Wellmont has long been dedicated to improving health and wellness in the communities we are privileged to serve, and we have succeeded due to the effort of many caregivers and other leaders who make a positive difference every day," said Denny DeNarvaez, president and CEO. "These honorees exemplify the compassionate, innovative spirit that encompasses Wellmont's Healing Environment."

The following Wellmont representatives were recognized at the annual Health Care Heroes luncheon:

Dr. Jason Brazee, chief administrative medical officer for Wellmont Medical Associates, and Dr. Stephen Combs, chief executive medical officer of Wellmont Medical Associates, who played an integral role in forming this physician-led, professionally managed organization and created Wellmont's patient-centered medical home. Both are medical doctors.

R. David Crockett Sr., a longtime system and hospital board member, who has devoted the last 30 years to enhancing the delivery of and access to health care in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Terry Eads, Wellmont's system director of quality, safety and accreditation, who has provided excellent leadership and strategic direction for investigating and implementing numerous patient safety processes.

Hawkins County Memorial Hospital emergency department and Hawkins County EMS, which worked tirelessly together to revive a patient who had spent more than 14 hours lying unconscious in a watery ravine and was without a pulse for 109 minutes.

Sue Lindenbusch, senior vice president of the Wellmont Cancer Institute, who helped craft an integrated approach to cancer care that addresses not only patients' physical needs but their emotional and spiritual needs as well.

Lonesome Pine Hospital Community Fund board members, who are known for making a difference within their community and have donated more than $180,000 to local charities and colleges, as well as the hospital.

Dr. David Miller, a compassionate medical oncologist and medical director of the cancer institute's Southwest Virginia Cancer Center, who has spent 39 years applying his medical training and spiritual beliefs to give his patients strength for today and hope for tomorrow and is retiring in September. He is a medical doctor.

Billie Skelton, a switchboard operator for Holston Valley Medical Center, who inspired the Shepherds Watch program, which ensures patients have companionship during their final hours.

Wellmont Parish Nurses, who recently celebrated 15 years of helping local communities stay healthy and working with their congregations to promote wellness.

Dr. Mark Woodard, an emergency department physician who provides exceptional care to every patient he encounters and leads a team of medical providers at the Bristol Motor Speedway and the Bristol Dragway. He is a medical doctor.

"These heroes make an enormous difference in the lives of people throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia," DeNarvaez said. "On behalf of our communities, we thank them all."