On March 27, the Genesee Health Plan (GHP) honored healthcare heroes, leaders and advocates during the Health Care Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held at the Flint Golf Club. The GHP Hall of Fame Awards is designed to showcase community efforts among GHP and local partners to help people get healthcare, from connecting patients to the right treatment and service to enrolling people in health coverage.
Healthcare champion and GHP advocate, State Representative Phil Phelps (D-Flushing), was honored with the 2017 Health Care Hall of Fame Visionary Leadership Award. GHP also recognized five individuals and organizations as community partners, physician leaders and visionary leaders in healthcare.
“We are proud to honor individuals and organizations that have dedicated themselves to serving uninsured Genesee County residents,” said Jim Milanowski, GHP President and CEO. “Our healthcare heroes are integral to the work we do to increase access to quality healthcare, and we are grateful for their support and commitment to closing gaps in our community and finding healthcare solutions for families and seniors.”
Healthcare Hall of Fame Visionary Leadership Award
State Rep. Phil Phelps is a champion for GHP and has been a strong voice for affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare throughout his career. Phelps played a significant role in the passage of GHP’s millage in 2006 by serving as a spokesperson for the ballot initiative. He also served on GHP’s Millage Steering Committee in 2012. Phelps has spent the last year working with Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration on Flint’s water issues. He helped create a bill that provided $28 million in assistance for Flint residents that passed unanimously in January 2016.
“As a former GHP member, I understand the true impact of the health plan and how it helps uninsured individuals get access to life-saving healthcare services and treatment every day,” said Phelps. “I am fortunate to have received assistance from the health plan and today have the opportunity to advocate on the plan’s behalf and increase awareness of its services and programs across Genesee County.”
Other 2017 honorees recognized at the celebration were:
Community Partnership Award
The Community Partnership award honors an individual or organization that joined GHP in an enduring partnership, worked hand-in-hand to improve wellness and health education, or supported quality, affordable health care for Genesee Health Plan members.
- United Way of Genesee County has assisted GHP in reducing barriers to healthcare services within Genesee County’s Latino community. The United Way has also funded a Community Health Worker at a Flint school to identify healthcare needs within the school and the communities it serves. This work is crucial to connecting children and families with invaluable healthcare resources.
- John J. Gleason, Genesee County Clerk/Register of Deeds continues to work tirelessly to spread awareness of organ donation and connecting community members to organ donation tools and resources. He was also instrumental in securing dental coverage for GHP members by developing a partnership with Delta Dental.
- Valley Area Agency on Aging (VAAA) is committed to providing answers, action and advocacy on care for the elderly and disabled adults of Genesee, Lapeer and Shiawassee counties. VAAA has recently partnered with GHP to support its Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program and last fall, participated in GHP’s WNEM TV 5 phone bank to answer questions regarding the new program.
Visionary Leadership Award
The Visionary Leadership award honors local people and organizations that have provided leadership for creative solutions to accessible, quality and affordable health care in our community.
- Congressman Dan Kildee is a tireless advocate for Flint families and has led the fight in Congress to bring federal funding to the city in the wake of the water crisis. In December 2016, Congress passed $170 million in federal aid championed by Kildee and directed at helping Flint recover from the city’s ongoing water crisis.
Physician Leadership Award
The Physician Leadership award honors a physician leader or organization who provides exemplary care, serves as a patient advocate and demonstrates a commitment to strengthening health care in the community.
- Genesee County Medical Society (GCMS) is a long-time partner for GHP and continues to work with the local medical community to encourage their participation in GHP. During the Flint Water Crisis, GCMS and its members played a critical role in exposing health risks, and GCMS physicians have been heroic during the water crisis by serving as spokespeople for Flint residents. Under the Physician Leadership Award, 11 GCMS members who worked on helping the residents impacted by the Flint Water Crisis were honored: Dr. Bishr Al-Dabagh, Dr. Walter Barkey, Dr. Laura Carravallah, Dr. Kevin Gaffney, Dr. Eyassu Habte-Gabr, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Dr. Gerald Natzke, Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, Dr. Robert Soderstrom, Dr. John Waters and Peter Levine, MPH and Executive Director of GCMS.
New this year, past Hall of Fame Inductees were honored with beautiful plaques that will be displayed in a physical Hall of Fame display at GHP’s office. In the coming months, GHP will unveil its new Health Care Hall of Fame display located at the GHP office at 2171 S. Linden Road in Flint. View more coverage of the 2017 Health Care Hall of Fame Awards at geneseehealthplan.org.