The 14th annual Champions of Health Awards took place on Thursday, September 28, 2017, at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa. Six winners were honored for their efforts to improve the health of Oklahomans. The evening featured KOTV News On 6 Tulsa morning anchor Rich Lenz as emcee, KOTV News On 6 Tulsa evening anchor Terry Hood as keynote moderator, and author and journalist Jane Pauley as keynote speaker.
Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health
Winner: Resonance Center for Women, Inc.
Resonance Center for Women, Inc. (Resonance), a Tulsa-based non-profit organization, offers substance abuse treatment as an alternative to incarceration and prison-to-community reentry services for those who have been incarcerated. Resonance’s newest program, Take 2: A Resonance Café in downtown Tulsa, is a transitional work program for women needing immediate employment and housing upon release from prison. Take 2 offers a stable work and living environment, enabling women to establish a positive work history and improve life and work skills during their first six months outside prison walls. Women work in the café and live in adjacent housing. Tom Butcher, well-known Tulsa restaurateur, serves as café manager, and the Resonance reentry staff supports and prepares the clients to move on to better jobs and their own housing, focusing on skills training, family reunification, and relapse prevention.
Champion of Senior Health
Winner: NewView Oklahoma
NewView Oklahoma empowers people with vision loss to reach independence through employment, rehabilitation and community outreach. NewView is dedicated to meeting the needs of the blind, and is the sole provider of comprehensive low vision optometry and rehabilitation services in the state. Serving a base of more than 4,000 clients statewide, NewView’s nationally recognized medical model for service delivery combines state of the art low vision optometry with occupational therapy that helps clients maximize their remaining vision and achieve greater independence where they live, learn, work and play. NewView’s Older Blind Adult Vision Rehabilitation Program provides low vision exams, occupational therapy and safe travel training, combined with instruction in healthy meal preparation, medication management, exercise and diabetic education that empowers visually impaired seniors with the skills and tools they need to remain living in their own homes in health and safety.
Finalist: Edmond Mobile Meals
Champion of Children's Health
Winner: American Lung Association in Oklahoma
The American Lung Association of Oklahoma is dedicated to the prevention, control and cure of lung disease, the third leading cause of death in the United States. Its Open Airways for Schools program is a free asthma education curriculum designed for youth, ages 8-12 years, with a diagnosis of asthma. This research-based program is highly interactive and designed to teach children how to manage and control this disease. Topics within the program include understanding normal vs. asthmatic breathing, recognizing early warning signs, and taking medications.
Finalist: Global Gardens
Champion of the Uninsured
Winner: Tulsa CARES
Tulsa CARES is the largest and most comprehensive provider of care and social services for uninsured people living with HIV/AIDS in Oklahoma. Since 1991, the agency has compassionately provided health care coordination, mental health services, housing, nutrition services and social support to those who very often fall through the cracks. The organization is recognized as a leader in its field by partner organizations, funders and the prestigious Council on Accreditation for providing high quality care in the most caring and responsible way possible. Each day, the dedicated staff at Tulsa CARES work to end the stigma around HIV/AIDS and ensure that each client has the best possible chance to thrive.
Finalist: Community Health Connection, Inc.
Community Health Champion
Winner: The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges
The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges (The Center) increases access to fitness programming for those with physical disabilities, offering an accessible facility, knowledgeable staff, and modest fees. People with disabilities often experience poorer levels of health than the general population because of the many barriers they face when trying to improve their health. Individuals with physical challenges who are discharged from local health facilities often need further assistance to improve their health and prevent further decline. However, for those with disabilities, participating in fitness activities can be challenging due to variety of barriers including costs, lack of knowledgeable staff, and inaccessible facilities. The Center provides rehabilitative and recreational activities for persons with mobility-, dexterity-, or sensory-disabilities.
Finalist: Latino Community Development Agency
Corporate Health Champion
Winner: Nabholz Construction
Nabholz is a private construction company operating in five states, with licensure to construct in 43 states. In 2007, the company decided to address the rising health care costs it had been absorbing by implementing a robust wellness program. Nabholz covers 100 percent of the employee-only premiums for health and dental insurance and makes a significant contribution to the premiums for employees who wish to cover their spouse and dependents. The company offers access to care and education with a full-time physician assistant/wellness director, physician, medical assistant, dietitian and personal trainer. Nabholz observed a zero percent increase in health insurance premiums for 2016.
Finalist: Oklahoma State University
Note: The winner and finalist in the Corporate Health Champion category are not 501(c)(3) organizations, and are ineligible to receive grant funds.
The Champions of Health awards program is presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, in partnership with the Office of Secretary of Native American Affairs, the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Primary Care Association, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Medical Association.