Selfless acts recounted during Health Care Heroes event in Charleston

By Andy Owens
aowens@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 3, 2012

Military service members and a deaf teen who testified before a Congressional committee about the value of making hearing options available to all children, received standing ovations at the 2012 Health Care Heroes event held last week in Charleston.

Dr. Ann Kulze, who moderated the awards, extolled the healthful virtues of dark chocolate, which she picked as her food hero of the night.

See photos from this year’s Health Care Heroes event.
“Come over to the dark side,” she said, “because if you do, you can get all those benefits.”

Though the 22 Health Care Heroes finalists all said they were just doing their jobs, the Charleston community and business leaders came out to honor them all during a night of thanking others and recounting acts of bravery and choices that changed and saved lives.

Finalist and winner Lt. Col Monica Lovasz, who served in Kuwait with the 628th Medical Group at Joint Base Charleston as a staff psychiatrist, helps war veterans cope with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

“It is one of the greatest passions in my life,” Lovasz said. “Being in the military makes it just that much better. It’s a privilege to serve with our nation’s heroes and war heroes.”

Finalist and winner Tim Pitko of Personal Care Ambulance recalled being at a bar when he noticed someone was struggling to breathe.

“I said you need to call 911 right now. He’s about to die,” Pitko told the bartender who didn’t think he was serious at first but made the call. Pitko said her actions and the actions of Charleston County and other emergency response crews all worked together to save the man’s life.

“We all worked as a team together,” he said. “I just played one part.”

North Charleston firefighter and finalist David Reindollar talked about the signatures and messages that cancer survivors and their families left on a pink fire truck owned by the city. Reindollar and others helped get the fire truck painted and operational to raise awareness about cancer.

“I’ll always fight because of the pink fire truck,” read one.

“I miss you, daddy,” read another.

2012 Health Care Heroes
Community Outreach
Jim Etheredge, MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, hero
Michael Shirey, Trident Health, finalist

First Responder
Tim Pitko, Personal Care Ambulance
Glen Kramer, North Charleston Police Department, finalist
Brandon Van Ausdal, North Charleston Police Department, finalist
David Reindollar, North Charleston, finalist

Health Care Professional
Capers Limehouse, Roper St. Francis Healthcare
Karen Hodge, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, finalist

Nurse
Kathy Gill-Hopple, Medical University of South Carolina
Cheryl Allen, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, finalist
Laura Martinette, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, finalist

Physician
Dr. Rick Bolt, Palmetto Primary Care Physicians
Dr. Jennifer Beatty, The Breast Place, finalist
Dr. Chris Streck, MUSC Children's Hospital, finalist

Volunteer
Johnathan Small, MUSC Children’s Hospital
Kendra Christmas, Carolina Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Institute, finalist
George Pope, MUSC Children's Hospital, finalist

Health Care Researcher
Dr. Melanie Thomas, CanLiv Foundation/Hollings Cancer Center
Dr. Susan Newman, Medical University of South Carolina, finalist

General Dynamics Land Systems/Force Protection Military Medical Hero
Lt. Col Monica Lovasz, USAF-628 Medical Group
Maj Dan Michel, USAF-628 Medical Group, finalist
Dr. Patrick Grover, Naval Health Clinic Charleston, finalist

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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