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As published in Toledo Business Journal - July 1, 2010

Healthcare Heroes

2010 Healthcare Heroes recognized

The healthcare profession is one where acts of heroism often go unnoticed, because they happen every day. Healthcare Heroes do not act for praise, recognition, or job advancement. Indeed, their stories are not always picked up by the local media or communicated outside of their organizations. Rather, Healthcare Heroes are motivated by a desire to make a difference in the lives they touch.

Healthcare Heroes was launched in 2008 to recognize the extraordinary impact that exceptional healthcare professionals have on the healthcare industry and on the quality of life in their communities.

The Second Annual Healthcare Heroes Recognition Ceremony, held on June 24, 2010 at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, recognizes the extraordinary contributions healthcare makes to the quality of life in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Each honoree has received an award for the honor.

Healthcare Heroes has honored 47 candidates and five recipients this year, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. To qualify for the Lifetime Achievement Award, a healthcare leader must have left a mark on healthcare through a career (of at least 25 years) of heroic acts, compassion, honor, and integrity that have helped to put our region at the forefront of healthcare.

The Healthcare Heroes exemplify the contributions healthcare makes to the region.

A hero is usually an ordinary person doing extraordinary things, distinguished for his or her courage or ability. They may also be someone who is a model for others that has performed a heroic deed and/or tirelessly given of his/her time, talent, and expertise to improve health.

A Healthcare Hero could be a physician, nurse, allied health professional, researcher, administrator, educator, or caregiver that has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Healthcare Heroes should demonstrate honesty, integrity, humility, courage, and commitment.

For example, a Healthcare Hero may be a healthcare professional who exemplifies extraordinary quality and compassionate patient care; is breaking new ground in the healthcare arena through a new advancement, improvement of efficiencies, or through a new initiative; is providing research and is on the cutting edge of clinical research to ultimately improve patient care; is an accomplished healthcare educator that is inspiring the next generation of healthcare providers; is a healthcare leader who exceeds all expectations when it comes to influencing growth and development of healthcare to meet the needs of the community; or is a healthcare provider making a meaningful contribution to community health improvement, including but not limited to increasing access to healthcare for the low income uninsured.

Sponsors for this year’s event include: The Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio; Gordon Food Service; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP; Hylant Group; Gilmore, Jasion & Mahler, LTD; and Life Connection of Ohio. Toledo Business Journal is the media partner and Kristian Brown, 13ABC, is the host and emcee for the event.

Samantha Christie, RN, BSN

William L. Horvath, M.D.

Ann Marie Kujawa, MSN, RN, OCN

Sister Dorothy Thum, RSM

A. Arthur Mancini, M.D.

Samantha Christie, RN, BSN

Samantha Christie, RN, BSN
Cardiac Rehab and Heart Failure Clinic Senior Clinical Coordinator
Mercy St. Charles Hospital

Samantha Christie, RN, BSN knew at a very young age that she wanted to be in healthcare and decided nursing would be her best option. Born in Cleveland, she graduated from the University of Toledo / Medical College of Ohio (MCO) in 1986 with a bachelors degree in nursing and has since then provided more than 23 years of healthcare service in northwest Ohio. She is licensed in the states of Ohio and Michigan.

Taking care of patients and educating families is Christie’s passion, and it’s a role where she excels. Her goal for each patient is to give them tools and support they need to achieve a very independent and active lifestyle. Working for Mercy Health Partners has allowed her to be autonomous and develop programs that improve patients’ quality of life.

In addition to Mercy St. Charles Hospital, Christie has also held positions with Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center and ProMedica Health System / Northwest Ohio Cardiology Consultants. She was honored as Nurse of the Year, Education in 1998 and nominated for Physician Nurse of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

Christie considers her greatest healthcare-related accomplishment to be her role in developing the heart failure program at St. Charles Hospital. While working in cardiac rehabilitation, she realized that there was a population of patients who needed specialized care and could not be served by this program alone. She researched a range of heart failure programs throughout the US to determine the best care options for patients diagnosed with this condition and opened the Heart Failure Clinic in January 1995.

Christie serves as a team captain for the American Heart Association (AHA) Heart Walk and has, upon request, spoken at a number of public engagements about heart disease and heart health. Additionally, she serves as a preceptor for nursing students.

She has served as secretary for Ohio Cardiac Rehab Association, member of Ohio Cardiac Rehab Association, member of American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, founding member of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN), and more.

Christie aims to provide patients and families with compassion and support and has been known to notice signs and symptoms of impending problems before they become an issue. Nursing has allowed her to form very strong relationships with the patients and families with whom she works. She puts a great deal of effort into providing education and support to her patients so they can return to an optimal level of health and normal activity.

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William L. Horvath, M.D.

William L. Horvath, M.D.
HOA Cancer Center

William L. Horvath, M.D. has dedicated his entire lifework to his profession and northwest Ohio for 35 years. He considers his greatest accomplishment to be caring for thousands of patients with cancer and blood disorders.

Horvath earned his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine. He has certifications in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology. He has served on the board of the St. Vincent Foundation, Victory Center, and Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

From 1975 to the present, Horvath has been a member of the Haematology-Oncology Association of Ohio and Michigan, P.C., Lambertville, Michigan in association with George M. Pipoly, M.D.; Kenneth R. Krupp, M.D.; and Jeffrey H. Muler, M.D. His previous employment includes a role as Major for USAF MC, hematologist / oncologist, Department of Medicine, USAF Regional Medical Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Additionally, he completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and his fellowship in hematology – oncology at the University of North Carolina.

Horvath has been involved with the American College of Physicians, American Society of Internal Medicine; American Society of Hematology; American Society of Clinical Oncology; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group; North Central Cancer Treatment Group; and more.

Horvath was instrumental in bringing cooperative group clinical trials to northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan and continues to be a staunch advocate for ongoing cancer clinical trials, both research and preventative. In fact, he was one of the lead local investigators for the STAR and SELECT studies, both national cancer prevention trials. He then went on to procure pharmaceutical trials guaranteeing patients could stay in our community for their treatment rather than travel long distances for the same care.

He has also initiated processes and assisted in recruitment of the administrative director of oncology at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, which led to American College of Surgeons Approval of the Cancer Program. Additionally, he initiated and led the effort for an approved marrow and stem cell transplant program at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in cooperation with the administrative director of oncology and others. He also played a major role in support and fundraising for the Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center Family Care Center, an inner city primary care facility.

Horvath plays a significant role in the medical education of future physicians, enthusiastically spending time explaining cancer and treatment on rounds. He lectures regularly to students, medical staff, oncology nursing societies, and the public on a range of issues related to hematology and oncology.

A forward thinker, Horvath remains active in working to maintain, improve, and exceed the cancer care provided in our community.

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Ann Marie Kujawa, MSN, RN, OCN

Ann Marie Kujawa, MSN, RN, OCN
Administrative Director, ProMedica Cancer Institute
ProMedica Health System

Ann Marie Kujawa, MSN, RN, OCN has provided 26 years of service to northwest Ohio healthcare. She became a nurse to help others, understand what made people ill, and learn to intervene to support their needs.

Kujawa earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Madonna College in Livonia, Michigan and a Master of Science in Nursing (Adult Health Major, Management Functional Tract) from the Medical College of Ohio (MCO).

During Kujawa’s education, she completed a clinical rotation in an oncology unit and was assigned a young patient with the diagnosis of leukemia. Understanding how the disease affected not only the patient but the family as well became the focus of her career. She learned how complex cancer care is and also how rewarding working with these patients could be. As she continued her education, Kujawa began to seek out oncology-related experiences; by graduation, this specialty became her passion.

Kujawa’s greatest contribution to healthcare relates to her role as administrative director of the ProMedica Cancer Institute. When the Institute was announced in 2007, the initiative included a $42 million commitment to patients to provide advanced treatment technologies and expanded and renovated clinical facilities. The technology that was purchased has allowed the community to have access to care options that were available only in large academic institutions in other communities.

Kujawa has interacted with multiple professionals, clinicians, and patients collaborating on further programming that ultimately benefits the cancer patients in the community.

Kujawa’s other employment experience includes a role as director of oncology services at Flower Hospital and The Toledo Hospital as well as director of the surgical, inpatient oncology, and orthopedic units at Toledo Hospital.

Her past and present activities include involvement with the Breast Health Coalition, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month Style Show (core team member), the Bloodless Care Community Open House, the American Cancer Society (board member), and Race for the Cure (committee member).

Kujawa’s accomplishments include participation in the Product Line Steering Team, completion of the ProMedica Health System Mentoring Development Program (2009), and development and implementation of five site specific multi-disciplinary teams (breast, thoracic, head and neck, GI, and malignant hematology).

She represents ProMedica Health System in the community and has published articles advancing cancer care at both the regional and state level.

Kujawa has been a visionary and exemplary healthcare leader for more than 26 years, focusing on implementing positive changes in the lives of cancer patients, their clinical outcomes, and their overall personal well-being.

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Sister Dorothy Thum, RSM

Sister Dorothy Thum, RSM
Senior Vice President, Mission and Values Integration
Mercy Health Partners

Sister Dorothy Thum, RSM believes healthcare provides a career path with which we can be of service to others – providing healing in many ways based on patients’ needs, not only in facilities but also in the broader communities. A member of the Mercy family since 1982, she has dedicated 28 years to healthcare in northwest Ohio.

Thum’s life work encompasses a range of fields, most noticeably business and social services.

She holds a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in New Orleans; a Masters in Business Administration, Healthcare Specialty, from The University of Toledo; and a Masters in Food Systems Administration from The University of Tennessee – Knoxville. She is a Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives and a licensed registered dietician.

Thum began her healthcare career in dietetics because of her belief that so much in health and wellness is related to proper nutrition or lack thereof. As part of her role in dietetics, she has visited area schools to teach children about nutrition.

As she has continued to work in healthcare, Thum’s role has changed, and she has learned to change with it. She now works in Mission and Values Integration and brings the same commitment to helping others to her role in meeting the needs of employees as well as the community.

Thum is proud of the work she has done and continues to do that is focused on nourishing the spirit of Mercy employees, leaders, and board members through spirituality programs. She is also a part of the Catholic Healthcare Partners faculty team and in that role has trained other faculty members.

Additionally, Thum played a key role in starting Mercy St. Charles Hospital’s Mobile Health Van program, which goes to migrant camps, schools, churches, and community events to provide screenings and health education.

She authors a bi-monthly spirituality column for the employee newsletter. She has served as United Way of Greater Toledo Health Community Solutions team member, St. Charles Mercy Health Foundation board member, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center Foundation board member, Allen Community Hospital board of trustees member, West Central Ohio Health Partners board of trustees member, Women Blessing Women board of trustees member, Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center board of trustees member, and CareNet board of trustees member.

Thum’s focus is to ensure that Mercy Health Partners is serving its patients’ most basic needs as well as those of the community in which the organization resides. She influences business decisions that are made from the perspective of Mercy’s mission, which is to “extend the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the health of our communities with an emphasis on people who are poor and underserved.”

Thum has devoted her life’s work to the service of others.

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A. Arthur Mancini, M.D.

A. Arthur Mancini, M.D.
Lifetime Achievement
Physician / Chairman of the Board

A. Arthur Mancini, M.D. has contributed 44 years to healthcare in northwest Ohio. Obsessed with medicine since the age of five, his entire schooling experience centered on going to medical school. Mancini received his Bachelor’s of Science (cum laude) from John Carroll University and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Michigan. He is a Fellow of the American College Surgeons (FACS).

At his graduation from medical school, Mancini’s father took him aside and made him promise not to forget “the little man.” As an Italian emigrant who was a child soldier in World War I and had little more than a sixth grade education, his father had witnessed the ravages of war and the effects on the less fortunate. He instilled in Mancini the importance of helping those who are less fortunate.

Starting with the practice of medicine and including a range of leadership roles and community endeavors, Mancini decided early in his professional career to take on the duties and responsibilities of leadership and participate in every aspect of medicine as a practitioner of urology and in the chairmanships in a variety of positions.

CareNet became Mancini’s favored project in medicine, because it gave him the opportunity to continue to practice urology, have close patient contact, and treat the working uninsured in healthcare.

Mancini has a great desire to convey knowledge to those who need and deserve a better chance. A teacher his entire professional career, he was at first involved in the transfer of knowledge to young and eager physicians who were hungry to learn. More recently, he has been tutoring children in the inner city of Toledo.

His volunteer work has included work with Flower Hospital Family Practice, the University of Toledo College of Medicine, and Kids Unlimited.

Mancini is also associated with the American College of Surgeons, American Urological Association, Ohio Urological Association, North Central Urological Association, Northwest Ohio Urological Association, American Medical Association, Ohio State Medical Association, North Central Oncology Group, Academy of Medicine of Lucas County, and seven hospitals in Toledo and adjacent suburbs (as a medical staff member).

He served as captain and major in the US Army between 1968 and 1970, receiving a Bronze Star in 1969.

Mancini is an accomplished physician and citizen. Since his retirement, he has become even more involved in CareNet. He currently runs a urology clinic for the organization and goes out of his way to help his patients improve their lives. He is a very active, hands-on board volunteer, representing CareNet and advocating for its mission with physicians and the community at large.

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