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Annual IBR Health Care Heroes event draws community support

West Valley Medical Center Volunteer Mary Sedlar dispenses teddy bears, wipes tears and listens. PHOTO BY BRAD TALBUTT

It took Nancy Casperson 30 tries to conquer her smoking habit. Then she founded Quit and Live Global, an organization devoted to helping people quit. So far, she’s worked with more than 10,000 tobacco users and helped nearly 4,000 kick the habit.

Caspersen was one of 18 honored Oct. 4 at an award ceremony and luncheon for the Idaho Business Review’s Health Care Heroes. About 200 attended the event, with sponsors Stevens-Henegar College and Saint Alphonsus Health System. This is the sixth year Idaho Business Review has saluted those in the health field who have gone above and beyond with an awards event and a special publication.

“They are heroes in the truest sense of the word,” said Sean Evans, IBR president and publisher. Evans and Helena Hanson from Stevens-Henegar spoke at the event which was held at Saint Alphonsus. “These health care heroes save our lives, lift our spirits and mend our hearts — both figuratively and literally,” Evans said.

IBR also gave a $1,000 scholarship to Corey Baum, a medical assistant student at Stevens-Henegar College. Baum, 23, is on track to graduate in 2012 – but he doesn’t want to stop there. He hopes to continue with his education and go on to med school.

“I would like to be a neurosurgeon,” Baum said.

The health professionals honored by IBR’s annual Health Care Heroes program include volunteers like Mary Sedlar, who passes out teddy bears and wipes away tears at West Valley Medical Center, and companies that reach out to the community. PacificSource Health Plans’ Community Health Excellence Program recently ponied up $92,000 in a joint effort with the Y to battle childhood obesity.

Read all their stories in the special Health Care Heroes magazine published as an insert in this issue of IBR.

If you wish to nominate a Health Care Hero for 2012, you can fill out a nomination form on the IBR website.

About Jeanne Huff

Jeanne Huff is the special sections editor at IBR, editor of Women of the Year, Accomplished Under 40, CEOs of Influence, Money Makers, Leaders in Law, Corporate Guide to Event Planning as well as editor of custom publications including Welcome to Boise, Dining Decisions, Idaho Heartland Living and Travelog.