My City 2018 Wellness Awards WinnersCongratulations!

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In the fall issue of My City Wellness, we announced the winners of the inaugural Wellness Awards, recognizing excellence in local health care as chosen by reader votes.

Thank you to those who helped us in this endeavor! In this section, we profile some of the 2018 winners – look for more in upcoming issues of Wellness.

 


M. Luay Alkotob MD, FACC

Occupation: Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist, Advanced Cardiovascular Clinic

Education: Medical School –University of Damascus; Intern/Resident – The Cleveland Clinic; Fellow – Cardiovascular Diseases University of Connecticut, Fellow – Interventional Cardiology Boston University Medical Center

Affiliation: American College of Cardiology

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

As a child, I was drawn to the medical field as I grew up in a medical family, looking up to my father and mother.

How did you choose your field?

It seemed like the only field that I was excited about and felt like second nature to me.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

Seeing a patient come to me with a life-threatening condition and then, being able to walk home to their family with a smile on their face.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

Walk! And, at any stage of life, never underestimate the power of physical activity and positivity.

 


Khalil Katato, MD, FACP

Occupation: Physician, Medical Oncologist, Hospice and Palliative Care Specialist

Education & Training: Intern/Resident – Jordan University Hospital; Internal Medicine – Michigan State University; Residency – Hurley Medical Center; Medical Oncology – Wayne State University; Fellowship – Detroit Medical Center, Karmanos Cancer Institute

Affiliation(s): Hurley Medical Center, Ascension Genesys Hospital, American Board of Internal Medicine

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

I have known that I wanted to be in the medical field since my high school days.

How did you choose your field?

I chose oncology because of the rapid development of the field including the innovations in treatment. I became a hospice and palliative care specialist because of the internal comfort it provides when treatment is able to help the patient and their family deal with the end of life.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

Being able to help cure my patients and if that is not feasible, the ability to provide a better quality of life for those suffering.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

Be sure to have regular cancer screenings such as mammograms, pap smears, colonoscopies, skin exams and lung cancer screenings (for smokers.) Use cancer prevention techniques such as proper diet, stop smoking, lose weight and cut down on alcohol consumption.


Patricia LaBrecque, RN

Occupation: Registered Nurse

Education & Training: University of Michigan, Flint; Mott Community College; Hurley School of Nursing; ACLS, ATCN, TNCC, PICC Team

Affiliation: Hurley Medical Center

When did you choose to be in health care?

Actually, I was in the fifth grade when, as an assignment, I wrote a letter to my grandmother saying that I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up. I forgot about that letter until college, when I pursued that desire and made it my goal to become a registered nurse.

How did you choose your field?

I have always been a critical care nurse. I worked in the Neuro/Trauma ICU for 30 years. The quick, critical thinking it takes to care for severely injured patients and their families has always appealed to me. I am now part of the Critical Care Resource Team, also known as Rapid Response. I evaluate patients who are starting to decline, help to stabilize them and if necessary, facilitate transfers to the appropriate ICU for critical care management. I am also part of the IV/PICC team, placing peripherally inserted catheters in patients with long-term IV medication needs.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

This may sound corny, but, I enjoy interacting with people and knowing that in some small way, I helped them get well, eased their suffering, consoled a family in a time of need, or simply talked to a lonely, elderly patient. Nursing is an extension of myself, and now I am proud to say all three of my children, as well. My daughter Lindsay is an RN, my son Travis is in nursing school and my daughter Abbi is in college completing her nursing school prerequisites.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

Your mental and physical health are equally important. Strive to attain and maintain both with exercise, nutrition and regular visits with your physician. You are worth it!

 


Nkechi Onwuzurike, MD

Occupation: Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist

Education & Training: College of Medicine, University of Nigeria – Enugu Campus; Residency (Pediatric) Henry Ford Hospital; Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University, Detroit

Affiliation(s): Hurley Children’s Hospital at Hurley Medical Center, Flint, Michigan

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

As a young child in elementary school, the medical field intrigued me. My mother is a nurse (retired) and my uncle was a physician.

How did you choose your field?

I wanted to be involved in the research, innovation and multi-disciplinary care toward better quality of life and cure of children, adolescents and young adults with blood diseases and cancer. I love the opportunity this field offers me to foster long-lasting relationships with my patients and their families.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

I provide support and hope for children and families faced with the diagnosis of life-threatening blood disorders like hemophilia, sickle cell disease and childhood cancer. Being a physician in Flint, I have had the privilege of providing care to the medically under-served and vulnerable population. This has been very rewarding.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

All patients and caregivers should become knowledgeable about their disease and be involved in their disease management to improve compliance and adherence.

 


Alexander Rodriguez, MD

Occupation: Family Medicine Physician

Education & Training: Central University of Venezuela School of Medicine; Board Certified in Family Medicine

Affiliation: McLaren Flint

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

During high school, I cared for my grandparents. Growing up in an oil town, I reached a fork in the road and had to decide between engineering or medicine. I chose medicine, a more challenging and rewarding career for me.

How did you choose your field?

Family practice allows a broader spectrum of care, in addition to the option of obstetrics, which was also high on my list.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

I enjoy helping people improve their quality of life, working side-by-side with patients, with entire family units and across multiple generations, as well. It is satisfying and feels like time well spent when I see a patient taking my advice and seeing positive results.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

A positive outlook on life is important – smile more often and take the time to enjoy your surroundings.

 


Alycia Schlosser

Occupation: Physical Therapist

Education & Training: Doctorate in Physical Therapy, UM-Flint; Additional training for lumbar dysfunction

Affiliation: Hurley Medical Center

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

I had received physical therapy as a teenager after having knee surgery which sparked my initial interest. When I was attending MSU as an undergrad, I started observation at different medical facilities. When I observed in a physical therapy clinic, I just knew it was what I wanted to do.

How did you choose your field?

I chose the field of outpatient adult physical therapy because of how much I truly enjoyed working with people and I was intrigued with the idea of studying the function of the human body.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

Being able to make connections with people while also teaching/educating them on their own well-being is very rewarding.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

“Move it or lose it” is what I tell patients and it’s a true statement. To keep your muscles and joints healthy and strong and maintain your functional mobility, it is important to keep your body moving.

 


Photography by Kayce McClure and Photos Provided by M. Luay Alkotob, MD & Hurley Medical Center

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