PHOTOS BY // MICHAEL GLEASON PHOTOGRAPHY
Genesee Health Plan (GHP) honored local health care champions for their commitment to increasing access to health care coverage in Genesee County during the 2019 Health Care Hall of Fame Awards on Friday, April 12, at the Genesys Conference & Banquet Center in Grand Blanc. The Health Care Hall of Fame Awards showcase community efforts among GHP, local health care professionals and leaders who are committed to increasing access to quality health care coverage and services.
Peter “Pete” Levine, Executive Director of the Genesee County Medical Society (GCMS), was recognized as the 2019 Health Care Hall of Fame Inductee for his commitment to GHP and the community through work accomplished with the Genesee County Medical Society during the water crisis. Dr. Laura Carravallah, Program Director, Meds-Peds Residency Program, MSU College of Human Medicine and Board Member of both the Genesee Health Plan and Genesee County Medical Society, presented Levine with the honor.
“Pete Levine has worked tirelessly with the GCMS physicians in response to the Flint Water Crisis by researching and analyzing significant impacts on public health and safety. In doing so, the GCMS was able to publicly advise the community on how to reduce health risks based on exposure to the contaminated water,” says Dr. Carravallah. “We are blessed to have many outstanding health care leaders in Genesee County, including Pete Levine and all of the award recipients this year who are committed to improving the overall health of our community.”
HEALTH CARE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
For more than 30 years, Pete Levine has served as Executive Director of GCMS. Pete has been a longtime supporter of Genesee Health Plan, also playing a key role in its launch in 2001. He has contributed to Genesee Health Plan in many ways since its inception, including bringing hospital leaders, physicians and health care professionals together to ensure residents have equal and affordable access to health care, which is the vision of Genesee Health Plan. He serves on the Genesee Health Plan’s Physician Advisory Committee and volunteered with each Health Care Services Millage effort. Additionally, Pete worked with community leaders to launch the Greater Flint Health Coalition, which is dedicated to improving the health of Genesee County residents as well as the quality and cost effectiveness of the health care system within the community.
“Pete Levine is a true example of an unsung hero. Our Health Care Hall of Fame Inductees are honored for their selfless service to our community and for the work they do behind the scenes every day that helps improve the health and wellbeing of each resident in Genesee County,” says Jim Milanowski, GHP President and CEO. “Pete has dedicated his entire career to advocating for quality health care and improving overall community health and is a true connector in the medical community. We are honored to induct him into the GHP Health Care Hall of Fame.”
“I love being part of a community that’s willing to help the underserved,” Levine says. “The Genesee Health Plan is a reflection of our community’s commitment to making sure people have access to quality health care.”
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 GHP members. Motherly Intercession is the recipient of the 2019 Community Partnership Award.
Motherly Intercession was founded in 1999 by Shirley Cochran. She began with a passion for seeing children united with their mothers during Christmas, even though they were in the County Jail. Motherly Intercession is now open to serving any of Genesee County’s children whose parents are incarcerated. Motherly Intercession is committed to serving children and cultivating a stronger community by preventing the cycle of intergenerational incarceration. In 2016, Motherly Intercession partnered with the Genesee Health Plan to increase access to health care for incarcerated mothers and/or fathers, their children and other family members.
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. The late Nicholas T. Evans is the recipient of the 2019 Visionary Leadership Award.
Nicholas “Nick” T. Evans was known for bringing his tremendous energy, optimism, passion and sense of humor to his work. He was the Vice President of Business & Fund Development of Ascension Genesys Hospital for over 14 years. During his time, he worked with the Veteran’s Administration (VA) in areas including Veterans Choice integration, planning for a proposed veteran’s retirement home adjacent to the Ascension Genesys Campus, presumptive illness programs and integration with the federal and state VA agencies.
Genesee Health Plan posthumously awarded Nick with the Visionary Leadership Award for his work to ensure the men and women who bravely served in the United States Armed Forces have access to quality health care. Nick worked with the Genesee Health Plan to develop a community-based veteran navigation program, which has been named the “EVANS Project” (Empowering Veterans of America with Navigation Services) to honor Nick’s legacy. The program, is designed to empower veterans with health navigation services and connect them with benefits within the Veterans Administration (VA) and the community, including Genesee Health Plan’s dental program and providing a Patient Centered Medical Home for those who need one.
“We are honored Nick Evans is being recognized by the Genesee Health Plan for his dedication, compassion and commitment to increasing access to health care in our community,” said Chris Palazzolo, President and CEO of Ascension Genesys Hospital. “Nick was deeply passionate about expanding access to health care services for veterans across Genesee County. His work touched the lives of many people in our community.”
HEALTH HERITAGE ESSAY AND SCHOLARSHIP CONTESTS
GHP partnered with Delta Dental Foundation of Michigan to co-sponsor this year’s Health Heritage Essay and Scholarship Contests. The contests each included an additional requirement to explain how one’s oral health impacts their overall health. Teachers in both categories who had the most students in their class submit an essay into the contest were also recognized. Below are the winners:
MIDDLE SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS
FIRST PLACE: Kole Hogan, St. Pius X Catholic School
SECOND PLACE: Alex Rinoldo, St. Pius X Catholic School
HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST WINNERS
FIRST PLACE: Omar Naguib, Grand Blanc High School
SECOND PLACE: Saani Jackson, Genesee STEM Academy
ORAL HEALTH CAREER SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS
Max Slezak, a senior at Davison High School, is the first-place winner of the 2019 Oral Health Career Scholarship and will use his $1,500 scholarship to attend Michigan State University’s Predental Program this fall.
Sean Jorrey, a senior at LakeVille Memorial High School, is the second-place winner of the 2019 Oral Health Career Scholarship and will use his $1,000 scholarship to attend Oakland University’s Predental Program this fall.
FRIENDS OF GENESEE HEALTH PLAN CHAMPION AWARD
For the first time ever, GHP honored local hospitals, chambers of commerce and several individuals who volunteered their time and talent during the Health Care Services Millage effort last November.
GHP is proud of its 2019 honorees and is grateful for continued support and commitment from Genesee County health care professionals, community leaders and partner organizations. Founded in 2001, GHP provides basic health care coverage and life-saving services to the uninsured residents of Genesee County. GHP takes a proactive approach to health care and covers preventive health care services including doctor visits, outpatient mental health services, prescription drugs, mammograms and cancer screenings. GHP also provides dental care coverage for seniors and veterans.
Learn more about GHP at www.geneseehealthplan.org or call 1-844-232-7740.