Information taken from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Edge Business Magazine
In its third annual edition of Champions of Health Care, Edge magazine received nearly 200 recommendations from the public about health care providers, administrators and volunteers who are making health care better in Chattanooga.
From among those nominations, a panel of judges comprised of top leaders from the Chattanooga/Hamilton County Medical Society and each of Chattanooga’s three major hospital systems — Erlanger Health System, CHI Memorial Hospital and Parkridge Health System — picked nine winners in eight different classifications of health care.
The Champions of Health Care award winners this year have tackled major community health problems, started or promoted programs to better coordinate care and expanded initiatives for wellness and disease detection. Others are recognized for new approaches, strong leadership and simple acts of kindness during their lifetimes of achievement and service. In a variety of volunteer and professional roles across many of Chattanooga’s major health care institutions, the honorees have distinguished themselves and the community for improving the health of individuals and Chattanooga as a whole.
This year’s Champions of Health Care will be honored at an awards luncheon at The Chattanoogan on Wednesday, September 5. Tickets are available at www.championschatt.com.
A complete description of the nine winners will be available in the September edition of Edge magazine but here is a preview:
Peter Boehm Sr., MD - Lifetime Achievement Award
Honors health care leaders who have left a legacy on the quality and diversity of health care in Chattanooga.
Dr. Peter Boehm Sr. carries on the legacy of health care in Chattanooga started by his father, Dr. Walter E. Boehm, as one of the most experienced neurosurgeons in our community. Even though he officially retired five years ago, Dr. Boehm still assists with surgeries especially when his son, Dr. Peter Boehm Jr., is operating. He says he scrubs in for surgeries because he loves the work and the people the work serves.
Dr. Boehm Sr. served as president and co-medical director of the Walter E. Boehm Birth Defect Center, for 35 years. Dr. Boehm’s brother. Dr. Walter M. Boehm, also became a leading area neurosurgeon and the brothers worked side-by-side at the Center until his brother passed away.
John Boxell, MD - Lifetime Achievement Award
Honors health care leaders who have left a legacy on the quality and diversity of health care in Chattanooga
For more than 35 years, Dr. John Boxell was a head and neck surgeon and specialist in otolaryngology along with his practice partner Dr. Harvey Hathaway at Associates in Ear, Nose, Throat/Head & Neck Surgery, coming to Chattanooga in 1970.
Dr. Boxell was always civc minded, serving on numerous boards. He served as president of the Chattanooga - Hamilton County Medical Society in 1989, chair of the Memorial hospital board from 1990-1991 and chairman of the board of Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation from 2010 to 2012. Dr. Boxell was also an associate professor in the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and He remains active in both the Chattanooga Tumor board and the Hurlbut Cancer Fund.
Melanie Blake, MD - Innovation in Health Care Award
Honors a company or person primarily responsible for a scientific discovery or new processes, device or service that can save lives or improve the quality of lives.
Dr. Melanie Blake has led the development of Erlanger’s Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program to better coordinate care and give physicians more time for patient care by lifting some of their administrative duties and relying upon other health care professionals to aid in the overall care model.
Dr. Blake oversees the PCMH care models which helps patients and providers coordinate care so patients are not left to navigate the sometimes confusing and overlapping health-care system on their own. Colleagues say it’s not easy to advance a new care model but Dr. Blake jumps in and works out the bugs before asking providers to participate in the PCHM model.
Dr. Blake earned her medical degree at the University of Alabama, where she met her husband, Dr. Rett Blake. She also received an MBS from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Kelly Rodney Arnold, MD - Community Outreach Award
Honors a company or organization that reached out of its normal sphere of operation to focus
Dr. Kelly Rodney Arnold, a fourth generation, physician, is the founder and medical director at Clinca Medicos, which is a clinic dedicated to serving the underserved Latino community in Chattanooga, and the chairwoman of La Paz, which is an organization that advocates for the Latino community.
Dr. Rodney Arnold modeled Clinica Medicos after her family’s clinic in Memphis which serves a mostly Hispanic population. On its first day, the practice saw one patient. Now they see roughly 1,200 patients a month. They’ve even adjusted their operating model to work seven days a week so patients who work can be seen. Clinica Medicos is also upfront about prices, working with patients to ensure they receive the tests and treatments they need.
Dr. Rodney Arnold is also part of the faculty at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga and Department of Family Medicine. Most recently, she was awarded the “Degree of Fellow” by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Davey Daniel, MD - Personal Physicians Award
Honors physicians whose performance is considered exemplary by patients and peers
A veteran oncologist with, Dr. Davey Daniel is praised both for his clinical and personal care, offering the latest in cancer treatments.
As a medical oncology and hematology specialist with Tennessee Oncology, Dr. Daniel insists his patients call him “Davey.” He does this to help patients facing difficult cancer diagnoses and treatments feel more comfortable and to alleviate anxiety.
Patient and their families tell stories of Dr. Daniel holding their hands during consultants, counseling them on their options and finding ways to impart, sometimes, not good news. His approach is flexible and direct but also tender.
Dr. Daniel started his education at the University of Georgia, received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins and completed his residency and fellowship at Duke University.
Marshall Horton, MD - Health Care Volunteer Award
Honors a volunteer in the community who has demonstrated commitment and passion for serving those in need.
Dr. Marshall Horton is in his fourth decade as a gastroenterologist. Since retiring five years ago, he is active as vice president of the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation, a volunteer medical director for Hamilton County Project Access and donates his time at Volunteers in Medicine.
At Volunteers in Medicine, he and some two dozen other physicians and nurse practitioners donate their time at the clinic for the indigent and uninsured, many of who work but don’t have health care benefits, he says. The clinic receives about 5,000 visitors a year and provides some $8 million in care, Horton says. There’s a big need for Medicaid expansion in Tennessee, he says, as too many people are going without health care.
At Hamilton County Project Access, which is run by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, Horton facilitates colonoscopies and keeps up with the number performed. At Project Access, services are donated by hospitals and physicians to help people in need, Horton says.
Eugene Ryan - Academic Physicians Award
Honors physicians whose performance is considered exemplary by patients and peers and recognizes one who has advanced medical research and training
Dr. Eugene Ryan earned the distinction of being an Army Major, a doctoral pharmacist, a medical doctor specializing in internal medicine and a certified fellow of the Wilderness Medical Society, while still volunteering for the Boy Scouts and serving in leadership roles as chief of staff at Parkridge Medical Center, chair of the hospital’s medical executive committee and member of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society board of directors.
Dr. Ryan describes himself as “just an average Joe,” but in an era where the art of medicine is often lost in electronic frenzy, he’s more akin to an Irish Rembrandt, who also happens to love Star Trek. His diverse knowledge and experience — medicine, pharmacy, research — and volunteer attitude set apart from the “average” doctor.
Mentoring youth through local Scouts programs lead Dr. Ryan to complete an additional 200 hours of continuing medical education and become a fellow in the Wilderness Medical Society.
Gregg Gentry - Administrative Excellence Award
Honors a health care administrator whose performance, care and leadership are considered exemplary by patients and peers
As a 29-year veteran at Erlanger Health System and the the chief of staff to hospital CEO Kevin Spiegel, Gregg Gentry has aided the turnaround of Chattanooga’s biggest hospital and served in key roles on human resources, marketing, public relations, development, government relations and payor relations.
Non-physican Practitioner Award - Judy Buhrman, FNP
Honors a health care provider other than a doctor whose performance is considered exemplary by patients and peers
A nurse and family nurse practitioner for the past 28 years, Judy Buhrman has helped provide care to thousands of impoverished persons at community clinics on the Westside and in Hixson for CHI Memorial.
Buhrman’s heart for the less fortunate has been a constant theme in her career. In nursing school, when asked to write a paper on a disease she chose poverty. She said her professor wasn’t happy but that she truly believes it is a disease and that it impacts everything.
After working 20-plus years at some of the most impoverished health clinics in the city, Judy Buhrman has witnessed things no one wants to see. But she has also seen selfless love, undying gratitude and immeasurable sacrifice.